Monica Hovsepian is the Global Financial Services Lead at OpenText.
We’ve long been in a time of constant change, both economically and socially, following the emergence of the internet. However, in 2019, the global pandemic upended lives and livelihoods across the globe, forcing consumers and businesses to adopt digitally driven behaviors.
Ultimately, the pandemic triggered a shift toward a digital-first expectation and reality. As a result, technology quickly conditioned consumers to believe they can get whatever they want, whenever they want, at the swipe of a screen or tap of a button—whether that is ordering grocery deliveries or booking a taxi.
The financial services industry isn’t exempt.
The pandemic expedited the demand for branchless digital banking and insurance services. Consumers now expect rapid, user-friendly, intelligent, transparent, tailored and contextualized encounters from all the providers they interact with.
This digital transition has exerted pressure on FSIs to supply efficient digital experiences to customers. However, only 44% of banks currently deliver personalized experiences; this is a problem as 78% of millennials seek personalized experiences from banks, a sentiment shared by Generation Z.
To bridge this gap, FSIs need to focus on providing genuine, relevant and seamless digital experiences that their customers desire and demand. This can be achieved by focusing on a “total experience” business model. This strategy empowers FSIs to weave together four disciplines: employee experience (EX), customer experience (CX), user experience (UX) and multi experience (MX) to gain the 360-degree view of what customers want and thus, develop tactics to serve unmet needs and deliver personalized experiences.
It may sound simple in principle; however, meeting these expectations requires real-time analytical horsepower to process the massive amounts of consumer data.
Let’s look at three pivotal components of total experience and explore how embracing innovative technology can lead to better outcomes for all.
Understanding The Customer
The delivery of exceptional digital customer experiences has turned into a pivotal differentiator. According to McKinsey, companies that effectively organize and manage CX can realize a 20% improvement in customer satisfaction, a 15% increase in sales conversion, a 30% lower cost-to-serve and a 30% increase in employee engagement. This is why more than 70% of senior banking executives rank CX as a top priority.
The bar has been raised and FSIs’ capacity to provide exceptional digital customer experiences hinges on their understanding of customers. However, legacy systems, outdated processes and resource constraints make innovation extremely difficult. Customer data and unstructured information are often stored in silos and scattered across various systems hindering a 360-degree view of the customer across the enterprise. As a result, disjointed interactions, errors and service lag, can result in dissatisfaction at a time when customers are reluctant to give second chances if expectations aren’t met.
By considering total experience, FSIs can remediate these issues by bringing information into a single customer view to elevate engagement and services across all delivery channels.
The transition to digital has exposed the inadequacy of existing legacy information systems, with many banks interacting with multiple systems at once to interact with customers and their data. The risk of utilizing different systems to store and access customer information increases the chance of human error, putting increased pressure on employees.
Before FSIs can move forward with customer experience excellence, they must first equip employees with the right tools—such as a more holistic internal system—to enable them to locate and manage customer data swiftly and efficiently, while also offering self-service options where possible. Tapping into total experience here drives transformation and delivers results, such as customer satisfaction and loyalty, brand advocacy and potentially more revenue. Deploying an internal system that facilitate direct access to and management of customer data also bolsters the employee experience and drives a more engaged and empowered workforce.
In short: There is simply no customer experience excellence without a healthy employee experience achieved first.
Enhancing Operational Efficiency
By amalgamating digital transformation endeavors with customer and employee experience, FSIs can achieve total experience, which in turns leads to heightened operational efficiencies and return on investment (ROI).
Both banks and insurance firms are striving to amplify operational efficiency and extract more value from customer data. For example, Gartner’s survey results assert that the primary drivers of insurance digitalization initiatives are enhancing customer experience and operational excellence. Such activities now take priority in the boardroom above more strategic focuses, such as growing the bottom line or launching new services as “the economic stressors of the coming year are making companies refocus and shift directions to fill gaps which have existed for many years.”
Automation of processes, dismantling information silos and delivering digital self-service alternatives for customers liberate employee time for more intricate or advisory tasks. As discussed, this stimulates satisfied employees who can allocate less time to manual tasks, alongside contented customers who can seamlessly navigate digital self-service options and interact with employees for more complex requirements. For many of these digitization initiatives, the total cost of ownership (TCO) is low in comparison to the potential ROI.
Total Experience And The Future
The industry financial services industry is already immersed in digitization endeavors with, according to Gartner, 69% of business leaders acknowledging that digitalization initiatives are accelerating, with the anticipation that digital technologies will profoundly reshape their sector by 2026.
Offering cohesive and integrated solutions for both employee and customer experiences is important to consider when crafting a comprehensive, 360-degree view of the customer. Linking employee and customer experiences to establish a total experience framework can assist FSIs in disseminating pertinent information coherently through all distribution channels. This foundation underpins employee productivity and customer contentment and loyalty within the sector.
Total experience will be an important consideration for businesses as they plan digitization efforts. Not only could it give them a potential edge, it could become a new norm.