By James Mingard, Head of Retail & Finance at Maintel
It’s a well-known fact that traditional financial service providers have previously fallen behind in the digital era. But, with challenger banks and changing customer expectations, things had to change. According to a new research report from Maintel, in partnership with RingCentral, the financial services sector is now leading the way when it comes to implementing digitisation plans. In fact, 35% of those surveyed within the sector claim to have fully implemented their digitisation plans, compared to just 26% in other industries.
Evolving with the times
As such, banking technology is innovating at a significant rate, with everything from start-ups offering online-only credit cards to TSB opening a 100-seat tech centre in Scotland. There is little doubt that the sector understands the need to be digital-first, but there is room for improvement. Over half of respondents said they have seen an increased demand for digital communication from customers because of the pandemic, but the channels on offer fall behind other industries.
Over half (55%) of other industries communicate with customers through Twitter, compared to just 30% in the financial services sector. We might not want to discuss our mortgage over Instagram or to tweet about how much money is in an ISA. However, there is a real opportunity for the financial sector to add to its offering and grow its digital communication channels. By giving customers more options, it will help improve customer experience and let the end-user reap the benefits of digital transformation strategies. Balancing the expectation for digital-first interactions while ensuring a high-quality customer experience is central to creating an efficient, yet personal service.
Better technology and more autonomy
The contact centre of the future should represent an integrated approach to unified communications. It should bring business experts and agents together, across every channel to deliver real-time customer experiences in a cloud-based, collaborative engagement model. For financial services, this once seemed a pipe dream but advancements in digital transformation mean that the sector can in fact set the standard for other industries.
From a productivity point of view, team collaboration can also be enhanced using innovative communication technology. This helps to improve an employee’s workplace experience by providing instant access to essential information and allows them to work effectively from any location. Flexibility has not always been associated with the financial sector, but by giving employees better technology and more autonomy, naturally, this has a knock-on impact on the experience that customers receive and helps to foster long term loyalty.
Customer experience to crack FinServ
Banks used to be built on life-long custom. Many people would be with the same bank from their first current account through to the day they passed away but the volume of competition, variety of offers and new customer deals mean that today’s consumers are fickler than ever. To really stand out, financial services providers need to make sure that everything from communication strategies through to software has the customer at its heart. And technology is key.
To improve customer service in the finance industry, evidence points to digital transformation as being fundamental. The top three benefits of digitisation within the sector were found by Maintel and RingCentral to be customer experience, customer insights and technology upgrades. This highlights that to succeed in the finance sector, organisations must have a clear user experience strategy. This customer centric focus is how Finserv can lead the way.