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Digital Experience Platforms: A one-way ticket to providing excellent customer experience in the digital age?

The modern consumer has more power over a business than ever and is increasingly willing to leave if they’re not happy with the service they receive. In fact, recent research found more than 76 percent of consumers say they would no longer engage with a business that doesn’t meet their expectations. With so much to play for, it is imperative that financial service providers can provide customers with a convenient, comprehensive and efficient experience at all times.

With interactions increasingly moving online, inconsistency across banks’ digital channels can remove the convenience, comprehensiveness and efficiency that consumers expect from digital channels – increasing the risk that they will switch. On the other side of the equation, a poor or disjoined digital experience can also affect employees. Workers who are frustrated when trying to perform essential tasks, basic or otherwise, won’t only suffer from lost productivity – as a critical part of the customer experience, frustrated or ineffective workers could also result in dissatisfied customers.

To counteract this, and ensure that digital experiences meet their promises, we are seeing a rise in  Digital Experience Platforms (DXPs), designed to support the move from web-centric to more pervasive, multichannel digital experiences. But what exactly is a DXP, and what impact will they have on the industry? Michael Macauley, General Manager UK & Ireland at Liferay, gives Global Banking Finance Review the lowdown on DXPs and the benefits they will bring to the financial services industry:

Why does the financial services industry need DXPs?

Today, many of our financial services customers are facing external pressures, caused by everything from the current state of the economy to digitally-enabled start-ups such as Monzo and Revolut, which are pushing traditional banking models to breaking point.

The move to digital is a natural part of banking’s evolution – but so far, we have seen organisations adopting different channels without unifying them. As a result, a bank can offer customers websites, mobile apps and even social tools but if each exists in a silo, with no way of sharing information or continuing conversations across touchpoints, consistent, contextual customer experiences are impossible to achieve.

A DXP is designed to act as a single platform that unifies channels and data, for customers and the employees serving them. This consistent information availability across touch points provides a solid foundation for banks to build excellent customer experiences and ensure a truly useful service.

Good customer experience correlates with loyalty and this in turn raises the value per customer showing higher retention, cross-sale and post-sale customer satisfaction levels.

What are the benefits of using a DXP?

The greatest benefit of a DXP is that it gives customers access to the digital experiences they have expect. By integrating all channels and data in a single platform, organisations can give end-users more control over their own experience. For instance, a DXP makes providing self-service experiences a much more straightforward process than attempting to unify user interface and data stores across multiple, independent channels. Not only are customers empowered to do more themselves, employees able to provide more value to the customer and align better with their value ecosystem.

Another key benefit of a DXP is its simplicity. With just a single platform, organisations can build and introduce new experiences much quicker than if they had to be developed separately for multiple channels. This reduces time-to-market, which in turn allows banks to be more agile, acting and reacting to changes in the market and competitors’ offerings, instead of being left behind by newer challenger models.

With a DXP acting to aggregate systems and provide a unifying framework, this simplifies and significantly speeds up the task of designing services that are easy, effective and fulfilling to use.

What are consumers looking for in online services from financial service providers?

The first thing to say is that consumers don’t buy products, they buy experiences. With the introduction of Open Banking we will see the emergence of third party aggregation services that form part of their customers value ecosystems. Open Banking is a game changer and a huge challenge to traditional online services from financial services providers.

When it comes to financial services online, the two most important attributes for consumers are personalisation and convenience i.e in context and in the moment.  Customers now expect offerings that are tailored to their exact needs, that they can further customise themselves to something that is just right – whether arranging a mortgage or an overdraft. Similarly, they expect to be able to do this at the touch of a button, on whatever device they choose – otherwise, the benefit over doing these things in-person at the local branch rapidly disappears.

For example, we recently helped a leading bank in the U.S. build a bespoke customer portal, with convenient access to products, services, documents and the customer’s own data. In the process, this eliminated previous complaints about customers having to log into multiple sites to get a task finished or a question answered. As a result, consumers were much more engaged with the experience and the bank has a much more satisfied customer base.

How do DXPs secure systems for financial services companies?

Security has always been a critical concern for the finance industry, and has only increased with the GDPR introducing the potential of even more stringent fines in the event of a data breach.

The more a bank knows about its customer, their account and the devices they use, the better it can both create quality digital experiences and keep investments secure. This is where DXPs can make a real difference: as well as connecting to back-end systems which collect and share data to enable accurate decision-making processes, the bank can also monitor that data for any anomalies or unknown users. Additionally, the use of DXPs provides a central platform for determining enterprise content policy, including who has permission to edit and publish content, files and applications. While firewalls and anti-virus might seem the most visible means of securing systems, simply allowing easier analysis of data and controlling user access play a vital role in security – tasks that a DXP excels at.

How will DXPs prepare FS companies for the future?

As digital banking transforms the traditional model, it is unclear what the bank of the future will look like. But one thing is certain: online channels will continue to increase in priority. To prepare themselves for the future, financial institutions need to focus on providing innovative and consistent experiences to increase and retain market share, and defend against competition. This means having a flexible, reliable platform that can cater to both consumer and employee end-users. This will allow the bank to create new services and experiences as needed – whatever channel they are using, and without risking data falling into the wrong hands. Currently, the DXP is the single best solution for banks who want to be customer led, insight driven, fast to innovate and provide connected touch points for consistently excellent customer experiences. The operational agility they afford is vital in staying relevant to the self-sufficient, information savvy consumer.

Leaders use digital to help their customers get the results they desire. They understand that it’s not really about the product or service, it’s about the customers outcomes. Everything needs to align behind that.

Liferay develops software that helps organisations to create digital experiences on the web, mobile and all kinds of connected devices. Earlier this year, Gartner described the digital specialist as a leader in its first ever Magic Quadrant for Digital Experience Platforms.