By Brian Heikes, Director Product Management at Webex Connect
In recent years, there has been a seismic shift in the way that customers want to interact with businesses. Advances in technology and changes in behavioural patterns, in part brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, have created a perfect storm that have left many businesses trailing behind when it comes to fulfilling customer expectations.
The continuous innovation with digital messaging channels such as SMS, WhatsApp Business and Apple Messages for Business, combined with an overall increase in the popularity of messaging apps, has left legacy IT systems struggling to cope, and the impact on customer experience is potentially catastrophic.
In the banking industry, where customer experience is paramount, there is the added complication of complying with security needs and adhering to industry and FCC regulations. This has, in some situations, led to a slower uptake of emerging technologies where seamless integration and compliance can prove difficult.
Recent research from imimobile, part of Webex, found that 75% of respondents cite good customer experience as a reason for repeat business, while 55% of respondents would change brands to receive better service. Today’s customers are in control, so how can businesses navigate changing customer needs and existing IT systems to prioritise the customer experience and ultimately keep their customers satisfied?
Embrace the Flexibility of the Cloud
Businesses are dependent on technology for the most basic of business processes. The increase in digital banking in more recent years has been embraced wholeheartedly by customers, but the ongoing deployment of updates, new systems and channels fuels a constant challenge. Traditionally, changes to legacy systems are slow and expensive and often cause issues with the end user interaction, creating frustration for businesses and their customers alike.
However, the increasing usage of technology such as CPaaS (Communications Platform as a Service) has enabled a new agility in the market. A low-code cloud platform which can easily be integrated with existing business systems so that an organisation can create seamless end-to-end user interactions across any channel without have to change the existing IT estate.
This means that banks can give their customers the ability to choose how they want to interact with their provider by embracing automation to create always-on connections. In addition, using richer, two-way messaging channels like WhatsApp Business and RCS Business Messaging to promote banking services, share policy updates and send financial reminders will engage customers in a more interactive yet straightforward way.
At the back end, system-triggered journeys are created that deliver personalised interactions and integrated touchpoints that are trackable, reportable and enable better customer profiling and seamless interactions for popular use cases such as fraud alerts, payment collection reminders and authentication processes.
CPaaS enables the level of personalisation that today’s customers demand coupled with the ease of management that businesses require. Unsurprisingly, the uptake in the technology has skyrocketed in recent years with the market predicted to reach 10 billion USD in global value this year.
Safeguarding, Transparency, and Security
In the banking industry especially, trust, security, safeguarding, and transparency are critical. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s been reported that SMS phishing attacks have increased by more than 330% and that 87% of customers won’t answer a call unless they recognize the number.
However, CPaaS technology enables the use of the latest digital communication channels which can be used by banks in order to improve trust, security and brand recognition in order to safeguard customers from threats. Channels such as Apple Messages for Business and WhatsApp Business offer brands the ability to add company logos, descriptions, company information, ‘green tick’ verification badges and more in order to build verified business profiles that customers can trust. They also offer end-to-end encryption to ensure that customer data is protected and remains private.
In addition, automation enabled through CPaaS ensures frequent security communications like the delivery of one-time passwords as well as two-factor authentication can be done seamlessly at scale – integrating systems, unifying data sources and allowing for extensive customer profiling.
For example, CPaaS solutions can help to combat SIM swap fraud, a common process whereby thieves clone a mobile phone number and then assign it to a new SIM card, through which they can access online bank accounts, messages and calls. By combining geo-location checks, mobile network information and customer behaviour, automated security checks and account suspension can be activated if the criterion for suspicious activity is met.
Digital Transformation Offers a 360° Service
It is clear that an increasingly digital customer base is demanding an increasingly digital service. The adoption of cloud software is accelerating digital banking and has often been the key to really set apart challenger banks from their more traditional counterparts. Challenger banks often rely less on legacy systems and so have been quicker to embrace newer technologies.
The rapid demand for digital transformation has put large enterprises under tremendous pressure to accelerate application development and enable them to effectively compete in the market while reducing costs and saving time. The mammoth task of developing customer journeys at scale, leveraging their existing systems while keeping operational expenses under check is a real challenge. However, an inability to keep pace with these requests can prove to be a significant barrier to a better customer experience, which is a severe risk. In the banking industry, there is also the added challenge of combatting fraud and ensuring that all customer interactions meet with ever-changing regulations.
In our experience of providing CX solutions at scale for some of the world’s largest enterprises, we believe the best customer experiences are created when every interaction across every communication touchpoint is contextual and seamless. Most large-scale businesses struggle to find a balance between prioritising customer demands and bringing operational efficiency internally. However, with the right tools and technology to manage customer interactions, businesses can achieve both.
Those banks that can embrace digital transformation and an agile approach to ever-changing consumer demands in a safe and secure way will be the ones that keep their customers loyal and achieve bottom-line success.