Whether they are applying for a loan, opening an account, cancelling a lost credit card, selecting insurance, funding a term deposit or just making a straightforward payment, today’s consumers expect to be able to do it all quickly, easily and from their preferred devices.
A well-resourced, sophisticated self service portal is not just a nice-to-have for banks. It is a must-have for customers demanding immediate resolution. The challenge now is looking beyond the mere presence of a self-serve portal – using AI-powered automation and data analysis to deliver personalised and relevant information to those customers. And without a clear, single view of each customer, their problems cannot be solved with the speed, efficiency and specificity they now expect.
As Volt Bank’s Co-founder and CEO Steve Weston told us almost 18 months ago, banking now isn’t about providing products customers ask for and leaving them to it, it’s about knowing what customers want to achieve and helping them achieve it.
Consider these four practical ways for banks to transform customer experience (CX) and help customers achieve their goals by connecting every channel, business process and customer data point to make agents more efficient and closer to customers.
1. Find your FAQs
Finservs are good at providing FAQ pages for their customers but should also turn that information-gathering strategy on themselves by identifying the most common service requests. Here, banks can uncover opportunities to create more connected and competitive CX.
Reporting lost cards, resetting passwords, opening and closing accounts – none of these tasks should involve a customer having to call the bank and be put on hold. Where self-service or an online chat could do the trick, give customers the option.
These routine inquiries and processes are perfect places to start when introducing self-service and automation.
2. Let automation work its magic
AI-powered automation is a bank’s best friend, especially when it comes to simple requests that can be addressed via online portals or chatbots.
Customers resolve issues faster and your agents are freed up to focus on the cases that really need their attention or that require more interpersonal sensitivity than a chatbot can offer — for example, speaking about options with a customer who is seeking an extension on their mortgage repayment due to hardship.
Automation drives the kind of self-service that customers want and reduces the time spent by agents toggling between different systems. Furthermore, it allows agents to be proactive rather than just reactive, by using predictive analysis to anticipate customer needs and preferences.
3. Keep it connected
Many customers prefer and even expect self-service to be available, but it’s still easy to lose their goodwill by delivering poor CX when they actually do have to speak with a person. For example, a lost debit card might be reported online but a disputed transaction on that card is likely to be escalated to a human agent. In that case, an agent should be empowered with all the information the customer has already supplied in reporting their card missing as well as the customer data at their fingertips, and be augmented by AI-powered predictions of the next best action.
When every department has access to a real-time single view of the customer, customers don’t have the frustration of having to repeat information time and again. Remember, customers don’t see departments – they just see the brand or company and 78% expect consistent interactions across departments. Indeed, our State of Service research shows 89% of service professionals say partnering across departments is critical to providing great customer experiences.
Connecting channels and data is similarly important for when customers change devices or channels midway through a task – 64% of customers report using multiple devices to start and complete a transaction and 69% expect connected experiences.
4. Make it a 360-degree view
A customer relationship management (CRM) platform is the ideal way for a company to build a 360-degree view of the customer. With all of a customer’s history and information readily accessible (not to mention intelligent predictions of future needs), a single, comprehensive, fully fleshed-out picture of the customer enables agents to provide better service, faster.
CRM can help build more personalised service and open opportunities to be proactive in building CX. For example, if a customer replacing a lost card recently got married, the agent can ask if they want to add their partner as an authorised user.
AI’s predictive capabilities means banks can raise the bar even higher by recommending actions for reps based on the context of an interaction.
The digital transformation of banking has well and truly arrived. Successful banks will harness all its disruptive power to build amazing CX and nurture lasting customer relationships.