Digital transformation is always an enterprisewide process. It cannot happen in a vacuum, so it requires buy-in from every department within the organization as well as a certain amount of understanding from customers. Customers that are already pleased with the customer experience they get from their bank may be unhappy about changes. But deploying new CX capabilities also has the potential to increase customer engagement, deliver better service outcomes, and boost customer retention.
Naturally, it all begins with an understanding of the customer.
At 60%, most organizations believe they understand their customer’s digital communication preferences well or “very well.” These organizations have the confidence to move forward with new communications technologies and CX models. However, that leaves 40% of respondents who don’t have a clear understanding of their customers’ communication preferences.
Banks must analyze their customers’ communication preferences before making strategic investments in new channels and technologies. This could be accomplished with surveys, but customer data also has the potential to reveal trends about customer preferences.
For example, data could reveal the communication preferences of specific age groups or those of customers in a specific region. Banks can then use this information to deploy technologies where they will be better received or to conduct customer-facing trials of new CX programs.
While live agent call volume via phone is expected to retain prominence as the single channel involved in the largest share of total customer initiated requests, this is likely due to a perception that a live agent is needed for resolution of challenges on the part of many customers.
How well does your organization understand the digital communication preferences of your customers on a scale of 1-5, with 1 being very well, and 5 being not at all.
To avoid too much disruption to the customer experience, banks will need to balance the deployment of new CX technologies with traditional customer channels like phone calls.
Interestingly, 57% of respondents believe customer phone calls to a live agent will continue to make up the largest volume of overall customer customer-initiated service requests in the next five years. However, 32% of them believe the trend will flatten.
Phone calls are still a significant channel for CX, as many customers feel they can’t speak their mind or resolve complex problems without speaking to a human, either in-person or over the phone. Nonetheless, communication technologies are taking the place of at least some of these interactions, as 43% of respondents expect call volume to decrease in the next five years.
Thinking about live agent call volume as a share of overall customer-initiated service requests, what do you think will happen to phone in your organization in the next 5 years?
The importance of live chat will continue to grow. In the next 5 years, nearly a third of respondents believe they will get the majority of their requests from this channel.
Similarly, 31% of respondents believe either IVR or live telephone calls will account for the most customer-initiated service requests for their organizations in the next five years. Another 18% expect social media and messaging to be the most prominent channel. Meanwhile, 31% of respondents believe live chat will account for the most customer-initiated service requests in the next five years, while 20% believe email will dominate.
These results show that digital channels are beginning to overtake a share of the customer experience from traditional ones. The real question is whether banking organizations and their customers are ready for fully automated digital experiences or not.
In five years, which channel do you think will account for the most customer-initiated service requests for your organization?
How open do you think your organization is for bots and automation for customer engagement?
Currently, 59% of banks are not ready to use bots and automation for customer engagement, although 50% are open to the idea. The remaining respondents are at least mostly open and eager to adopt bots and automation. Nonetheless, this means 91% of banks are at least open to the idea of using bots and automation for customer engagement.
Those that are not ready may be facing some of the common barriers to the adoption of these technologies, such as a lack of buy-in at high levels of the organization or a lack of supporting infrastructure. Organizations that haven’t’ completed their digital transformation are not likely to be in a position to leverage bots and automated CX technologies.
How is your customer engagement strategy continuing to change?
“Robotics will play a very important role in our engagement strategy in the next 12 months.” - Chief Experience Officer, Financial Institution with $100 billion+ Assets Under Management.
TAKEAWAY: The importance of robotic automation for scalability is growing, and attitudes of consumers have the potential to be positive with the right implementation.
How open do you think your customers are for bots and automation for customer engagement?
Of course, many organizations are reluctant to use bots and automated CX tools because they don’t believe their customers are ready for them. In this case, 62% of respondents say their customers aren’t ready for the technologies.
Nonetheless, a significant number of banks not only believe that bots and automation are the future of CX, but also that their customers will welcome them: 25% say their customers are “mostly open and eager” while 13% say their customers are “completely open and eager.” It is up to each bank to assess the efficacy of these solutions and whether they would have a positive or negative impact on the customer experience.