How to Drive the Future of Customer Experience at Your Bank with Digital Transformation

Providing the Right Service and Tools for Your Digital Customer

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Chapter 2

Using Digital Transformation to Achieve Omnichannel Customer Engagement

Banking and financial services customers now demand a seamless customer experience whether they engage with their institution in-person or using a traditional phone, a computer, or a handheld device. Moreover, they now expect to be able to move between channels conveniently and with minimal disruption.

If there’s one thing banking customers dislike most about moving through customer service channels, it’s having to repeat themselves to get their questions and their problems solved. To solve this problem, many banks are now moving toward an omnichannel customer engagement strategy. This refers to a customer engagement strategy that can seamlessly and continuously communicate with customers regardless of the original channel used to initiate contact.

Does your company currently have an omnichannel customer engagement strategy?

At 74%, almost three-fourths of the respondents to this study are currently using an omnichannel customer engagement strategy. They are prioritizing a seamless customer experience across channels.

In your own words, what does your digital transformation entail?

“New Fintech partnerships are in the cards to facilitate better services and engagement platforms.” - Vice President Technology & Innovation, Retail Bank with $10 Billion+ Assets Under Management.

TAKEAWAY: Seek out innovative partnerships that can provide an edge or complement more mainstream strategies.

How far along is your organization on your journey to customer service digital transformation?

To facilitate an omnichannel strategy, most banks and financial services organizations need to successfully manage a complete digital transformation of their organization.

Here, digital transformation can be defined as the implementation of new digital technologies to solve problems, improve customer service processes, and automate cumbersome tasks. Digital transformation is necessary for an omnichannel customer engagement strategy because it ensures that every channel is connected and capable of sharing data. Digital transformation is also a necessary process to implement advanced customer engagement technologies like voice-assisted solutions, artificial intelligence, and augmented or virtual reality elements.

It should be no surprise, then, that 94% of the organizations surveyed are already in some stage of their digital transformation. One-fifth of respondents even say they have completed their digital transformation, and another 31% say they are mostly complete with the process.

Still, many respondents are only at the beginning or middle stages of their transformations. Digital transformation is generally a years-long process, so any banks or financial institutions that began the process late may need to make significant IT investments soon to keep up with their competitors.

At the same time, banks can’t suspend their current customer engagement initiatives to focus on transformation. Digital transformation must operate in tandem with existing strategies, upgrading them as new capabilities come online.

How would you rate the following aspects of your customer engagement strategy?

Currently, the only customer engagement strategy that a majority of respondents rated as “Excellent” is social media, at 51%. Almost half of the respondents rate their messaging strategy — engaging customers via SMS or apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger — as “Excellent.” These are both channels that many banks adopted years ago, and they’ve had plenty of time to refine their strategies to deliver fast and convenient customer services.

A significant portion of respondents is also seeing success with interactive voice response (IVR) and Live Chat, at 32% and 28%, respectively. These technologies have become almost ubiquitous in the banking industry. Most banking customers will be familiar with automated, voice-responsive messengers when they call into their bank. They’ll also be aware of live chat in the form of plugins on a bank’s website.

The next step for many banks will be to transform their technology infrastructure to support interactive voice-response bots and chatbots that can support customer transactions, such as balance transfers or even complex transactions like loan applications. This will require decisive action and the steady management of digital transformation initiatives.

How is your organization transitioning digital responsibilities in the next 12 months?

“We are creating a new digital banking center that will form the core of analytics used in customer engagement.” - Director of Experience, Retail Bank with $10 Billion+ Assets Under Management.

TAKEAWAY: Centralizing management of CX initiatives provides ownership of both key responsibilities, as well as valuable data and analytics.

However, banks and financial institutions are delegating responsibility for digital transformations to different roles within the organization. Although 22% of respondents have a formal Digital Transformation role specified, 12% have no role formally defined. Other organizations have given the responsibility to specific departments, such as IT, marketing, and customer experience.

Banks and organizations must define a formal role to manage digital transformation. They may wish to house the initiative in one of their departments, such as IT, but once stakeholders define their goals, a clear chain of leadership must be established to ensure execution and accountability.

Which department/role is responsible for your digital transformation initiative?

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