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Reinventing banking: 4 Technologies to modernize the consumer banking experience

According to recent research, 2020 will become the year customer experience is expected to become the main differentiator between brands. Already, nearly 90% of businesses say they’re competing largely on their customer experience. But unfortunately, 51% of consumers report that most companies aren’t meeting their heightened expectations.

The silver lining here is that there is plenty of room for disruptive financial institutions to break away from the pack and deliver banking experiences that compel customers old and new:

Automate Customer Support with Chatbots

Today’s banking customers don’t just want convenience. Modern technology has led them to expect smart, around-the-clock customer service that’s tailored to their specific needs.

In fact, nearly 80% of North Americans say they’d trust computer-generated investment advice. In other words, chatbots have truly come of age.

Chatbots are software tools that use artificial intelligence to hold simple conversations via text. These digital customer support “agents” empower banks to provide informed and personalized advice around the clock. They also enable customers to be more self-sufficient when it comes to completing simple tasks like checking balances, ordering checks, and more.

Implement Modern Devices and Spaces

Not too long ago, Apple reinvented the retail shopping experience by implementing sales associates that brought the customer service and purchasing process to the customer, instead of the other way around.

Recently, some banks have started to catch on to this same strategy.

By supplying customer facing staff with tablets, banks give employees the freedom to move around the space so they can complete transactions faster and establish stronger bonds with customers.

This freedom of movement also means that banks can mix up their layouts to provide the most comfortable and convenient customer experiences possible.

Some banks choose to stick with their existing floor plan, some implement private pods throughout the bank where more sensitive transactions can take place, and some (like a few Numerica Credit Union branches in Washington) implement “tech bars” where customers can use the branch’s mobile devices to take care of paperwork and other digital banking tasks.

While this is a simple technological upgrade for banks to make, it’s also relatively impactful for customers who still prefer to do their financial deeds in-person.

Personalize Each Customer’s Banking Experience

Eighty percent of consumers are more likely to do business with companies that provide personalized experiences.

When it comes to banking specifically, 40% of customers would switch financial institutions to get more personalized service.

A personalization engine automatically gathers context about a consumer and applies predetermined rules to create unique and relevant content, suggestions, and other interactions — at scale.

Scale is the operative concept here. Over half of consumers interact with brands on more than four different channels, and 90% expect their interactions to be consistent across all of them. Manual personalization simply isn’t a smart investment in today’s digital environment.

The issue is creating a personalization engine from scratch:

  1. Collate the content, data, and marketing management platforms that will run a personalization engine. Start with the content management system (CMS) that will create and distribute the content that powers consumer experiences. Ideally, choose an option that’s capable of integrating with personalization tools.

Any existing customer relationship management (CRM) platform should help you develop behavioural insight about customers and leads. Layering in a customer data platform (CDP) will help build more complete profiles. A data management platform (DMP) can also boost personalization efforts by enabling the collection of user data from digital domains, partners, and third-party aggregators.

  1. Conduct behaviour tracking. Whether monitoring consumer behaviour manually, using a website analytics platform, or implementing specific software; the objective is to learn where each of an important customer segment interacts with a brand on their journey to make a purchase.
  1. Create metadata such as its name, topic, keywords, and more. The CMS should have fields that allow the attachment of metadata to digital items. Personalization tools use this metadata to find and display the right digital item to the right user segments.
  1. Create personalization rules. Personalization engines run on rules, which are basically “if, then” statements that help them decide when certain pieces of content are appropriate. For example: “If the user has visited the site 5 times in the past 30 days but has never had a bank account with us, then display messaging about the benefits of signing up.”
  1. Finally, deploy a CMS to create content that targets each customer segment at each touchpoint. By attaching detailed metadata to this content, the personalization engine will be able to surface the right messaging, at the right time, to the right audience.

It’s important to remember that any personalization efforts will be for naught if consumers never actually experience them. To this end, banks must find a way to deliver personalized experiences across the always-changing litany of channels used by customers. And this means going headless.

Going headless

More than 70% of consumers shop on multiple channels. In the financial sector, 60% of customers engage with their bank’s online and mobile channels while 75% of sales are still made via telephone or in-branch.

The banks that are able to keep up with product, service, content, and support demands on these and even more outlets are the ones that will outlive their competitors. And a headless content management system (CMS) is just the tool to help financial institutions develop and deliver personalized, relevant offerings across channels.

Headless CMS is modern content management technology that replaces the inflexible, traditional CMSes of the mid-1990s.

On its back end, a headless CMS platform empowers marketers and content people to create and optimize content in a single repository. On its front end, designers and developers have the freedom to build out the best display for that content depending on if it’s going to live on a web page, a mobile app, a chatbot, or another smart device.

Thanks to the modular architecture that separates the creation and delivery of content, headless CMS makes it easy for banks to deliver personalized experiences across the diverse communication channels their consumers use, keeping existing customers as happy as the newest