The way in which customers interact with banks has transformed in the past two years. At the beginning of the pandemic, customers needed access to banking services, from mortgages and loans to savings and investments, while doing so entirely from home. This required banks to quickly act and adapt, implementing digital services to provide assistance and ensure needs could continue to be met.
Demands for digital banking services have accelerated. Research has shown that consumers now expect 61% of their banking services to be digital-only by 2024. However, with digital channels becoming the primary touchpoint between banks and their customers, both have had to adapt to new ways of communicating.
While customers still want convenient and regular communication with banks, the scale of this has escalated. Now, consumers have much higher expectations for instantaneous and on-demand responses. As such, this has seen a rising number of banking clientele turning to chat, text, messaging apps or email rather than initiating a phone call or visiting their local branches as they require assistance when and where an issue occurs.
Many clients also expect a seamless experience across channels. This means they may start a conversation on one channel, such as webchat, then follow up with a phone call or email and expect that their bank has a record of the previous conversation. Instead of starting each stage from scratch, the bank’s customer experience team must have insight into what has been discussed or agreed to beforehand, and must know what the immediate next steps should be.
While omnichannel and digital services aren’t new to banks, many institutions have struggled with the rapid changes and the scale of demand on these services during the pandemic. In many cases, this has resulted in siloed user experiences across voice and digital interactions because of ad hoc implementations. Larger banking institutions have also had the additional challenge of providing a consumer experience that’s consistent across all business lines and geographic locations, meaning a comprehensive digital and global strategy is even more vital.
Despite calls from clients for digital-first services, there remains hesitancy within the industry when it comes to building a robust digital banking strategy. This is often because of concerns around security and misconceptions of high risk and effort with low reward. However, if banks want to strengthen relationships and loyalty within the communities they serve, they must adapt to these demands and provide a customer experience that is meaningful and personalised.
As such, there are three key elements for maximising success when implementing a cloud-based digital banking strategy:
Putting the customer at the heart of deployments
When rolling out a digital strategy, simply adding new channels is a flawed approach – it requires a different way of thinking. New digital deployments can often fail when the design derives from a business’ internal goals and doesn’t take into account that customers want a consistent experience across channels that drives a meaningful outcome.
Using customer-centric design techniques places the user at the heart of transformation, allowing banks to remain focused on achieving outcomes that align with expectations for seamless and consistent experiences across channels.
By adopting cloud technology, banks can initiate a digital engagement solution that re-envisions the experience and needs of clients and employees throughout their journeys, getting rid of point solutions for a platform that scales.
Creating cloud-elevated experiences
After identifying which digital engagement methods clients prefer, banks need to make sure they can cope with that level of demand. The pandemic has heightened expectations of banks, with clients becoming accustomed to digital channels with features like quick pay, quick deposits and self-service trading that can be accessed anywhere, at any time of day. The demand for these features and further digital capabilities will continue to grow, and banks need to make sure they’re equipped to respond.
Leveraging cloud technology allows banks to scale services in line with demand, while enhancing agility and speed. This ensures customer issues can be resolved in a timely manner when needed. At the same time, this gives banks the ability to respond faster to the evolving needs of their clients by delivering a consistent experience across channels as they meet their expectations for convenience and accessibility.
Through defining which digital engagement methods matter most to customers and bringing capabilities up to speed with demand, the base of a digital strategy can be formed. Then it can be expanded and built upon. Banks can then begin to craft experiences that are personalised to the client.
Prioritise and personalise with predictive AI
Once customers’ preferred routes have been established, enabling predictive engagement using artificial intelligence (AI) is the next step in building an exhaustive digital strategy.
Customers want to know the businesses they interact with can learn and adjust faster to what’s happening across engagement channels, such as voice, digital and CRM platforms, to truly capture and understand their past and present activities across all touchpoints. AI-based predictive routing uses predictive capabilities to understand intent, route to the next best step in the journey and allows agents to respond with the insights needed to drive to meaningful outcomes.
By offering a truly personalised experience, banks can ensure clients feel heard and understood, and that their issues are met with empathy. Through this, banks can really begin to build relationships with the communities they serve and maintain loyalty by establishing themselves as businesses that understand and care about their clients’ needs and concerns.
An investment for the digital future
Despite hesitancy within the banking industry to implement new digital capabilities, it’s no question this is necessary if they are to develop and nurture their customer base. Cloud solutions are a key enabler in this space, allowing banks to transform and experiment with digital innovations, so new deployments are tried and tested before they’re implimented for the long term. This offers the flexibility and agility for banks to build new services and applications, making them better placed to respond and adapt to customer needs in the future.
With customers attuned to digital services, customers expect banks to be ready with solutions as soon as a problem occurs. Expectations are higher than ever, but by leveraging the right technology and establishing a robust cloud-based digital banking strategy, customers can receive exceptional experiences for the future.