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Financial Services

Financial Services Start Setting the Pace for Digital Engagement

Every aspect of how financial services institutions engage with customers has shifted. As a result, the entire digital banking experience has been reimagined.

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[®MCKINSEY JORDAN/ Stocksy United]

Like most industries, banking and lending institutions were already undergoing a shift to serving customers through digital channels when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, but the shift to all-digital went into overdrive almost overnight. This was a huge wakeup call for the financial services industry to focus not only on digital transactions, but to fully reimagine the entire digital banking experience as one that is digital-first and provides customers with automated, personalized, and self-service options. 

Accelerating digital transformation

Every aspect about how you engage with your customers has fundamentally shifted. Prior to the pandemic, 52% of banking customers were branch-dependent, according to a J.D. Power study. However, the study highlights that digital-only customers tend to have lower levels of satisfaction, making it critical for banks and lenders to improve digital engagement and provide customers with a valuable bank-from-home experience that is connected, cohesive and personalized. It’s crucial that you continue to plan for what comes next. 

Salesforce research shows that 88% of customers expect companies to accelerate digital initiatives due to COVID-19, while 68% say the pandemic has elevated their expectations of a brands’ digital capabilities. And no wonder. Digital services provided a lifeline for millions of consumers stuck at home for months on end. Consumers had no patience for brands that did not deliver. And now that you know digital is the path forward for serving your customers, it’s time to focus on how you can quickly scale your services to provide your customers with a connected, innovative and intuitive digital experience.

Reimagining the digital experience

Getting to market quickly with new products and services is even more important, especially now that everything you do is under scrutiny by internal stakeholders, organizational leadership, shareholders, regulators, customers and even the government. Homegrown systems or traditional experience platforms were not built to respond to this level of urgency with the speed and flexibility that is required to serve today’s digital consumer.

Today’s consumers want a simple digital banking experience, and that means being able to make transactions anytime and anywhere. And the expectation is that their digital banking experience will exceed that of their in-person interactions, only more robust, informative, connected, and convenient across every touchpoint. Some big banks are extending digital services beyond the transactional to crucial, relationship-based services like mortgages. However, implementing new technology and automating processes is not the primary replacement for in-person interactions. An optimal customer experience in banking today means that financial institutions need to offer the right mix of self-service and automation, along with interaction with a live person on the other end of the phone line. 

As such, the tools and services you implement are crucial to support your customers through this time of economic uncertainty. Your customers need help navigating the new normal, including what can be a frustrating process of applying for government programs to support small businesses. And more importantly, they’re relying on your employees and systems to make that possible. 

With the right platform, you can gain a 360-degree view of your customers, use artificial intelligence to reduce risk, automate processes, and provide powerful self-service tools to help improve customer experience, employee productivity, and operational efficiency. 

Managing for change

For Zions Bancorporation, a connected digital experience platform was the answer. When the Small Business Administration’s lending program was announced in response to COVID-19, Zions Bank realized it needed to scale its ability to process a large and sudden influx of loans, while providing digital solutions to replace its homegrown system to facilitate the application, approval, and lending process. Using Salesforce Experience Cloud, Zions Bank was able to do just that.   

With Experience Cloud, financial institutions like Zions Bank are able to quickly build branded websites, digital banking portals, mobile applications, and many other digital touch-points to engage with customers.  This lets them digitize and automate business processes to move faster in an online-first world. For Zions Bank, Experience Cloud made it possible to facilitate conversations with customers and track the loan application processes from start to finish. Ultimately, Zions Bank was able to process upwards of 42,000 small business loans, worth about $4 billion, and help more than 14,200 small businesses get the assistance they needed.  

Building relevant customer experiences

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed two truths about digital transformation: building relevant digital experiences are important for banks and lenders to support their customers; and customers expect to quickly, easily, and intuitively interact with you online, beyond the physical bank branch. It’s the digital experience you provide that connects you with customers and empowers them to engage and take action.

Experience Cloud helps organizations launch new services fast, and connects every experience to data, and ties everything together across every customer interaction with your brand. It also makes it possible to accelerate digital efforts with turnkey financial services applications. Why turn to an already-built application?

Many organizations make the mistake of building their digital experiences from scratch or using their existing, siloed systems. This requires a significant and ongoing investment in developer resources just to implement, maintain, and support every digital change made. 

Salesforce offers simple apps or portals that are built for specific use cases, for example, mortgage loan applications or the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) distribution, that can be deployed with absolutely no coding required. And templates don’t always mean constraint – even though they are turnkey, every single pixel can be customized for financial consumers, distribution partners, and intermediaries. 

When thinking about your digital experience, financial services organizations must ask themselves if those experiences are threaded through the customer journey. Using Experience Cloud, institutions are able to gain a complete view of the customer with a single, unified profile, from email to digital engagement, to service.

These requirements are what drove the Experience Cloud mission and roadmap, and today our customers are building a variety of digital experiences that are both mission-critical — and built in record time.

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