By Paul Holland, CEO, Beyond Encryption
With many financial organisations working hard to improve their bottom line, more focus is being geared toward creating a streamlined, customer-centric journey for consumers. In a digitally reliant environment, Financial Service Providers (FSPs) have acknowledged the importance of utilising innovative technology during customer interactions and are increasing their investments in digital transformation as a result, with 61% adding new digital projects. The need to keep up with increasing customer demands introduced the term ‘Responsive Organisation’ – one that transforms its operations through continual innovation to keep customers satisfied. Digitisation can allow organisations to be more responsive, attract and retain customers, and future-proof their business by enhancing security measures and the brand’s overall reputation.
However, as more dependence is placed on digital aid, customers are becoming increasingly aware of how their data is utilised. Within FinServ – where highly sensitive information is handled daily – customers are increasingly cautious about the level of security that an organisation can provide. FSPs must find a way to not only offer a seamless customer experience but a highly secure one too.
Consumers demand convenience and excellent customer service. When organisations are hard to reach, satisfaction rates plunge. With 77% of customers frustrated with how long it takes to reach a human agent, FSPs need to offer customer service on channels their consumers prefer or allow them to self-serve via digital platforms.
Customers want to be able to reach an organisation when they want and how they want, through text, email or other preferred means. According to 73% of consumers, FSPs should implement cutting-edge technology that makes doing business with them simpler and 85% of FinServ professionals believe that responding to customers faster is a necessity for their organisation.
A customer-focused approach aids institutions to create a 360° view of their customers by interconnecting systems, data, and devices. This approach considers all the available information about a customer to enhance engagement, increase loyalty, and drive more revenue. Not only will customers feel that their service provider knows them, but employees will be better equipped to serve them.
Transparency & Personalisation
Companies are striving to offer an individualised experience to their customers, resulting in tremendous growth in the practice of personalisation and the technology to enable it. Integrating personalisation has resulted in the enhancement of customer service, the acceleration of sustainable growth, and the reduction of operational costs. 83% of FSPs believe that providing a customer experience tailored to each individual is key to gaining a competitive advantage.
FSPs must first assess and solve the obstacles the sector faces regarding stepping up its personalisation efforts if they want to generate new revenue sources, foster customer loyalty, and stand out in a crowded market. Individually tailored customer service is not merely a luxury, it has become the baseline expectation – as 40% of consumers admit that they would switch FSPs for a more personalised experience.
Furthermore, the key to fostering customer loyalty and increasing retention is gaining customer trust. No matter how exceptional an organisation’s service is, or how great its products are, customers will end the relationship when they lose trust in a company. Transparency eliminates suspicion or anxiety customers might have about the value offered by an organisation. This also extends to how protected customers feel by the company they offer personal information to. Having secure forms of communication, such as email encryption, allows organisations to further strengthen a customer’s confidence in their service.
Mapping the Customer Journey
UX professionals have used customer journey maps to visualise the route of all interactions a customer has with an organisation to develop a more holistic view of the customer experience and aid them in better anticipating their needs. A customer-focused approach isn’t just about offering excellent service, but rather a strategy based on placing the customer at the core of the organisation, where data protection is upheld and encrypted communication prioritised. For FSPs, this means investigating and redesigning the entire customer journey to provide a truly reliable and integrated experience across all touchpoints.
There are multiple alternatives customers can choose from for their financial solutions, and institutions are constantly competing for their attention by offering cheaper solutions, more secure communication, and innovative digital experiences. Thus, standing out with an elevated customer experience is critical. For effective digital transformation, organisations must align their internal operating models in addition to their technological investments. It is crucial to truly understand the needs and requirements of each customer, while promising to protect their data as those needs are being met.
The FinServ industry is continuously evolving, as is the technology used to support operating systems. With this technology, businesses must find ways to balance immersion and privacy by incorporating digital systems that are both coheisive and allow customers to share personal information without the fear of interception. With seamless and encrypted email communication, finserv organisations can empower employees to easily meet customer needs while keeping their data secure. Understanding and mitigating cyber risks can allow businesses to provide more personalised service offerings, while protecting consumers along their journey of purchase and thereby retaining and gaining more customers.