Financial services brands have a unique challenge in engaging today’s digital consumer. Based on a recent Lithium study, we found that 59 percent of adults in the UK prefer to do their banking digitally. Surprisingly, however, only 23 percent of those adults said they trusted digital banking (versus the 58 percent who said that in-person banking was most trustworthy).

Herein lies the problem: consumers want the autonomy of banking online from the comfort of their own home, but still expect the personalised service that comes with in-person banking.

This presents financial services brands with a huge opportunity – as long as they make an investment in aiming to surpass the wants, needs, and expectations of increasingly skeptical and demanding banking customers on digital channels. Rome wasn’t built in a day; neither is trust.

Financial services brands may still have a way to go before they can close this expectation gap, but those who harness the power of digital to put customers at the heart of their banking experience stand to gain the loyalty (and trust!) of customers for life.

Here are a few ways financial services brands can win the digital customer experience game:

1. Build Community
You can’t earn trust if you don’t take any steps towards building a relationship with your customers. Fostering a sense of community, with people who are passionate about your brand, is a great way to start. An online community – either hosted on your website or a third-party social channel – allows your customers to interact and collaborate with each other to ask questions and get answers. This helps alleviate the growing costs and pressures placed on customer care teams today.

2. Empower Agents
Customer care teams are only as strong as the information they have on their customers. Agents must have a comprehensive view. They need to have access to a customer’s latest transactions and past conversations with customer care just as much as they should know what social media channels they use and how influential they are on those channels. All this information combined helps create holistic customer profiles that provide the context agents need to be effective and efficient.

3. Embrace Technology
Technology is at the heart of the digital customer experience. The systems and platforms brands use to automate, streamline, and unify that experience across the organisation – from marketing to customer care – need to work together, seamlessly. Doing so can simplify internal processes, speed up go-to-market efforts, and spark long-term growth.

4. Understand Your Customers
Do you know what your customers care about most? Or why they remain loyal to your brand? Or, on the contrary, what motivates them to move on to the nearest competitor? You have to understand your customers intimately in order to deliver the kind of personalised service that leads to long-term loyalty and trust. Data is your answer. Fortunately, brands today have access to a tremendous amount of quality data that translates into actionable customer insights. The more you know about what your customers want, the better service you can provide them.

5. Share Information
A cohesive digital customer experience isn’t created in siloes. The work you do to create that experience shouldn’t be either. It’s important to share information about campaigns, communications, customer insights, and more with utmost transparency across the organisation to ensure that everyone involved knows exactly what’s happening, at all times. The digital customer experience is everyone’s responsibility.

6. Automate Publishing
As the saying goes, “Content is king.” It doesn’t look like that’s changing anytime soon. However, it can be challenging to find content that resonates with your customers at a day and time that’s likely to pique their interest most. By coupling customer data with automated content recommendation and publishing tools, you can more effectively share content your customers want – when they want it and in the right place and format. Why rely on educated guesses when the customer data and insights you have at your fingertips can already do the heavy lifting for you?

7. Measure Performance
So, how do you know if everything you’ve done actually works? You have to measure it – again and again and again. In fact, measuring performance is an ongoing effort as you strive to create outstanding digital customer experiences. From social media analytics to marketing campaign metrics to customer data, it’s essential to measure every customer interaction across every touch point in real-time to ensure that you are delivering long-term value. This is how you keep service-level promises. Not everything you do will be perfect 100 percent of the time. However, by constantly setting and reaching new success benchmarks, you will get there, fast.

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