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4 Ways to Improve the Digital Banking Experience

The digital solutions banks should put at the heart of their customer experience strategy.

As Charlotte Cadness, Executive, Digital Customer and Colleague at NAB says, banking is a relationship-led business. Digital solutions are at the heart of building those relationships — whether they provide simple and speedy resolution of straightforward requests and transactions; more time for advisors to give 1:1 attention to more complex cases; or deep, connected insights into the customer wherever they are on their financial journey. 

Customer experience and the digital imperative

That 78% of banking customers initiate relationships on a website or app shows just how critical it is for banks to drive the customer experience with digital solutions. It’s also worth keeping in mind that 35% of customers have switched financial providers for a more user-friendly digital interface. 

Prioritising personalisation is key — financial services customers say three out of the top five pain points in their digital experiences all tie back to poor personalisation, with customers ranking the following as what they missed most in their interactions with financials providers:

  • Personalised support with quick and easy omni-channel communication
  • Finding relevant content with personalised knowledge-base articles and resources
  • Receiving personalised communications 

A clear, single view of each customer, AI-powered automation and data analysis, and self-service options are key ingredients to filling those gaps in the customer experience. Here are four ways to start improving the digital banking experience today:

1. Find your FAQs and offer self-service

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. This way, you 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 — it’s certainly an option they’re embracing.

In particular, building a customer-friendly, self-service support portal is an effective and cost-efficient way to grow your business that will help your customers find answers fast, on their own terms and time frame. Service Cloud’s self-service functionalities can connect your self-service portal with the Salesforce platform, making it easy for an agent to step in and support. 

And it’s popular with your customers too — The State of the Connected Customer report found 65% of customers have used self-service account portals, up from 59% in 2020, and 58% have used chatbots for simple customer service, up from 43%. Millennials in particular prefer self-service for simple cases. 

And remember, good service is a powerful driver of trust and loyalty  — 95% of customers say excellent service builds trust.

How NAB is driving digital transformation

How financial services can drive a successful digital transformation by adopting cost-saving technology like Salesforce.

2. Let automation work its magic

Automation can replace costly and error-prone manual processes and connect previously siloed systems so agents spend less time toggling between different platforms and more time on the cases that really need their attention. Some questions require a greater level of interpersonal sensitivity — for example, speaking about options with a customer who is seeking an extension on their mortgage repayment due to hardship. You can make sure your agents can approach those customers with empathy, and give them the time they need.

And as James Sattler from Boston Consulting Group (BCG) points out, “in a situation where FSIs are also struggling with skills shortages, they don’t want to waste employees’ precious time on lower-impact tasks. Technology platforms can step in, automate those manual efforts and free up an employee’s time so they can focus on the higher-impact tasks.”

This has been the case at NAB, where the automation enabled by a unified customer relationship management (CRM) system has had a measurable impact on how bankers can spend their time. “Our bankers … have reported saving an hour per day since moving on from our outdated legacy tool,” reports Cadness. “Our old tools create unnecessary manual work, causing frustration for our bankers who waste time toggling between different systems.”

“Multiply those five hours per week across the year for all bankers and it’s easy to see that even this small change will create a huge amount of time that can be redirected into better serving our customers.”

Furthermore, automation allows agents to be proactive rather than just reactive, by using predictive analysis to anticipate customer needs and preferences. Given the Trends in Financial Services report found only 11% of banking customers agree companies anticipate their financial needs, this is an area where banks could achieve significant wins when it comes to improving the customer experience.

3. Keep it connected

The State of the Connected Customer report found 66% of customers say they often have to repeat or re-explain information to different representatives and 83% of customers say they’re more loyal to companies that provide consistency across departments.

To avoid this lack of consistency and associated impact on customer experience, availability of a 360-degree view of the customer to all departments is critical.

In the case of a lost debit card, for instance, and resulting disputed transactions, 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.

For NAB, this involved combining more than 300 separate data points to create a single source of truth. Where previously the only way a banker could form a complete picture of a customer involved assembling data scattered across disconnected systems, the Salesforce platform now allows them to be more efficient and productive for their customers, especially when deciding on the next best action to take. 

“We knew that putting the customer front of mind from the outset would be critical to a project like this one,” says Andrew Irvine, Group Executive Business & Private Banking at NAB. “If we are a simpler bank to work for, bankers can support customers faster and in a way that works for the customers — saving both the customer and banker loads of time.”

4. Make it a 360-degree view

A 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. And that speaks exactly to the need customers have for personalised support, content and communication. 

It’s critical, though, that banks take the time to map and test the digital solutions that will work for them. Cadness suggests combining your long-term vision with clear incremental delivery so you don’t lose sight of the end point during delivery of the digital banking experience. 

As Irvine explains, developing a solution is all very well, but pointless if it doesn’t get used.

“Our iterative change model meant we could collect feedback from our first users. This feedback helped us improve the technical aspects of the solution and allowed us to better understand how to encourage adoption,” he says.  

“Ultimately, we were able to show our bankers how to get the most value for themselves and deliver added value to their customers.”

The result? NAB’s implementation of the Salesforce platform has driven higher conversion rates, lowered portfolio risk, and helped bankers be more productive.

Start improving the digital banking experience today

The digital transformation of banking has well and truly arrived. Successful banks will harness all its disruptive power to fill in customer experience gaps and nurture lasting customer relationships.

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Note: this piece was originally published on 9 July 2020 and has been updated.

Salesforce Staff

The 360 Blog from Salesforce teaches readers how to improve work outcomes and professional relationships. Our content explores the mindset shifts, organizational hurdles, and people behind business evolution. We also cover the tactics, ethics, products, and thought leadership that make growth a meaningful and positive experience.

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