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PisanoSep 3, 2020 12:46:38 PM4 min read

Guide to Successful CX in Finance Sector: Why Is Omnichannel Banking So Important?

Have you dived into the world of omnichannel yet? We already served great appetizers for the omnichannel banquet; it’s time for the main dish. Omnichannel is a digital business-focused solution that delivers bottom line benefits in the financial sector. Using the omnichannel approach we describe here, you’ll reap the rewards of better customer experience and have a clear idea of how to spend your precious budget for better return on investment.

The banking industry is certainly divided on what ‘digital’ and ‘omnichannel’ mean. Definitions are important, however, as the concepts are fundamentally reshaping financial institutions. Alison Wilkes (FIS Global, General Banking Manager) defines omnichannel banking as offering access to financial services across a variety of channels and more consistent interactions with the banking brand across various touchpoints. Interactions have to be customised and supported by analytics and automation. Operation models require changes in terms of products and services, organisation, culture, skills and IT. The economic value of this change has to be demonstrable and sustainable. Most importantly, digital technology is at the centre.

But how did all of this come about?

Emergence of omnichannel banking

For starters, digital certainly isn’t a new trend. “Defining a Digital Financial Institution: What ‘Digital’ Means in Banking” report by Celent points at the fact that digital banking has existed since the 1950s, when mainframes started processing banking transactions. Another important point was the rollout of electronic banking in the 1990s. The common point is technology taking over where previously live people had to perform a task; just as ATMs replaced teller windows. This trend continued and several years ago, banks launched online platforms. They encouraged customers to use call centres for their everyday banking needs. The number of touchpoints increased, but with expansion came more complicated IT systems. Additional channels were added on top of legacy platforms but many banks struggled. A joined-up approach to servicing customers was the solution. This solution is called omnichannel banking.

How does omnichannel banking happen?

Banks are uniquely placed to understand their consumers. They see their client’s expenditures, income pattern, savings profile, demographics, online and branch purchase history. With this information from various channels, banks construct detailed customer profiles. This is when data points become incredibly valuable. Bank marketers use the data they gather to communicate effectively with clients. This is important for improving the bank’s chances of success when trying to sell relevant financial products. Relevancy means customer satisfaction, which is the key to customer loyalty.

Your clients now engage with banking services in a broader ecosystem. While they are moving to digital channels for routine banking, they aren’t abandoning traditional channels. The latest US Retail Banking Study from Gallup found that 80% of those clients who visited a branch less than once a month still chose to open their account in a branch and only 8% opened their account online. This might be because of lack of easy-to-use digital new account opening options or even simple mobile apps. The branch-ATM-online trifecta still defines the core of day-to-day banking. Yet, what matters is that you have to enable access to banking products and services wherever and whenever. Digital is fragmenting and diversifying customer experiences as customers engage with more apps and websites. In order to stay relevant, your digital financial institution has to go where your clients are. Easier said than done, isn’t it?

Your roadmap to omnichannel banking

Operating a tangle of legacy systems isn’t a smart move. Financial institutions should prioritise integrating their digital and physical channels into a single, seamless experience. By analysing the activity and priorities of their client base, banks can tailor offerings to address the priorities of each individual customer. With omnichannel strategies, it’s possible to service both mass, low profit parts of the business as well as high margin services and clientele. Omnichannel delivers bottom line benefits: Banks develop plans to retain clients and enrich those plans to become more profitable. Taking the leap towards omnichannel will ultimately get you the edge over your competition.

You must be impatient to get started on your digital omnichannel transformation. For the beginning of your omnichannel journey in the finance sector, we summarised some high-level actions below:

  1. Pay attention to the client’s experience of your brand
  3. Create a client experience map
  5. Be clear how the economic value will be derived
  7. Never miss out on market developments
  9. Be flexible with your operating model; both business and technology-wise
  11. Invest in innovative tools

You know that digital is important, especially in providing your clients with the best banking experience. Yet, you may be perplexed about the best tool to tackle this issue. Pisano is here to help you realise your personalised solution. Use our real-time digital surveys to reach your clients while they are in the bank and develop an effective action plan with our detailed analysis reports. It’s not the amount of money you pour into customer service, it’s the correct data that will determine your success.