Future-proofing customer service in financial services
Two key trends are driving the evolution of the customer experience delivered by financial services brands. The first is the rise of agile new rivals, which is increasing competition and disrupting traditional banking models. Often these new players base their whole business model on offering a personalised, responsive customer experience. Secondly, digital channels are growing fast, with more and more customers moving away from face-to-face and telephone interactions, a trend fast-tracked by the pandemic.
However, many interactions within financial services are complex, meaning that customers want the reassurance of speaking to a human. That means that digital channels will never wholly replace the telephone or face-to-face. At the same time financial companies need to focus on efficiency – any technology investments must therefore help reduce costs and deliver ROI.
Altogether this is leading to four key customer service challenges for financial services organisations as they become more digital:
1. Meeting the needs of a wide demographic
Financial services companies have to deliver services to a wide range of customers, with different levels of digital maturity. That means that to deliver ROI, any new technology has to be adopted by a sufficient number of customers, putting the onus on it being easy to use by all.
2. Overcoming the risks of digital transformation
Digitising and automating customer service is often a core part of digital transformation strategies. But major transformational initiatives are notorious for being difficult to deliver – around 70% of them fail. Often that’s because they neglect to take a structured approach revolving around what consumers actually want. That makes it key to start your strategy by analysing your customer experience objectives and requirements.
3. Prioritising security and compliance
Initiatives that involve remodelling or automating customer service are likely to have an impact on the way critical personal data, such as customers’ financial information, is presented and accessed. They therefore cannot be implemented without meeting complex security and compliance requirements.
4. Delivering personalised experiences
Companies have enormous volumes of data on customers and need to use this to personalise their offerings for individual customers needs. This personalisation has to extend to customer service, using data to deliver a tailored experience to all.
Driving success in financial customer service
Overcoming these four challenges requires companies to focus on four key factors:
1. Identify the optimal mix of channels
Balance deploying new technology to meet customer needs while also make existing channels more efficient. For example, companies can use AI-based chatbots to ask qualifying questions at specific parts of the customer journey to guide people to the right information or to help them complete a transaction.
2. Embrace innovation within customer service
Use new channels to be more innovative and to better meet customer needs. Take the example of using video to replace face-to-face in-branch consultations. Advisors can explain the services and options and guide consumers through the process of signing contracts digitally, reducing administration costs.
3. Focus on integration to provide personal service
Integrate new contact centre technologies and digital offerings with applications such as CRM and core banking systems to deliver a complete view of the customer to support sophisticated personalisation. Not only does this provide agents with access to relevant information while on a call, but it also means they can automatically add a record of their interaction to the customer’s details, enriching the available data to drive further personalisation and service improvements.
4. Use AI and automation to improve performance
AI can support better customer service and empower agent performance in a variety of ways. For example, it can be used to provide agents with an up-to-date view of each customer’s history and interactions. You can also use real-time speech analytics tools to remind agents to cover key information such as relevant regulatory terms and conditions. AI-based interaction analysis can also be used to highlight opportunities for coaching and performance improvements across all channels.
Financial services companies are increasingly looking for new ways to digitise and optimise the customer experience. To achieve success, they need to overcome significant challenges around security and data compliance requirements, the risks involved in rolling out digital transformation, and the need to ensure personalised service. To find out more about how financial services companies can successfully transform their customer service download our new report.