Digital transformation (DX) is revolutionizing the relationship between financial services firms and their customers. For many of these companies, the main impetus for DX has been improving the customer experience to attract and retain a wider audience. In a 2020 survey by Forrester, 33 percent of financial services firms said customer experience was a “key driver” for their recent DX — more than any other motivation given.
To upgrade the customer experience, finance businesses must focus on two domains: personalization and connectivity. But what separates a successful digital transformation in finance from an unsuccessful project? How can financial companies balance the need to grow their user base with the desire to offer a personalized experience to every customer?
This article is the third in a series exploring digital transformation in the financial sector, especially as it pertains to banking, investment, accounting, and insurance. Below, we’ll discuss how finance businesses undergoing digital transformation can offer a customer experience that leverages personalization and connectivity.
Personalizing the Customer Experience for Financial Services Firms
The benefits of personalization for any company are obvious: customers want to feel that the businesses they patronize genuinely care about them and understand their needs. According to McKinsey & Company, 71 percent of consumers now expect businesses to offer personalized interactions, and 76 percent become “frustrated” when personalization is lacking.
Personalization is especially imperative for finance businesses, however. Customers who entrust their financial well-being to banks, accounting firms, and insurance companies want to know their money is handled responsibly instead of merely feeling like a source of funding for the business.
A 2021 Capco study found that 72 percent of banking customers rated personalization “highly important,” while just 8 percent said it was unimportant. The survey also found that customers have a range of expectations regarding personalized experiences (and rightly so, since the very concept of personalization implies different preferences and behaviors).
A few ways that finance companies can implement personalization for their customers include:
- Enabling customers to speak one-on-one with bank representatives, either over the phone or in person.
- Using “hyper-personalization” to develop individualized offers on insurance products in terms of pricing, coverage, and more.
- Building marketing campaigns that speak to customers’ unique situations. For example, investment companies can send targeted emails based on customers’ age and demographics — whether they want to save for retirement or create a college tuition fund.
In addition to personalization efforts visible to the customer, banks can also use behind-the-scenes personalization techniques that serve up relevant content based on a user’s demographic profile. For example, financial companies can offer tailored experiences in real-time as users browse their website or mobile app — such as making recommendations or displaying special offers.
Faster and More Efficient Customer Experiences with Connectivity
Of course, all the personalization in the world means nothing for customers if they can’t efficiently do business with your company. Financial technology innovators must also prioritize connectivity, the second pillar in providing an optimal customer experience.
Simply put, “connectivity” means allowing users to interact with your business in the times, places, and methods that are most convenient for them. This includes offering an omnichannel customer experience that is seamless and real-time across your website, mobile app, phone, email, in-person, and more.
Connectivity also means leveraging new digital technologies and providing them for the customer’s benefit, linking them with your IT environment. Below are just a few possibilities:
- Investment firms can use artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyze a customer’s portfolio and recommend potential areas for growth. After customers answer questions about their individual goals and risk tolerance, investment algorithms can recommend different assets and asset classes and adjust portfolios in real-time based on changing market conditions.
- Banks can use Internet of Things (IoT) devices to detect when particular customers have entered the premises. This allows customers to receive more efficient assistance. For example, a teller can quickly review the customer’s history of interactions with the business to identify the problem or issue.
- Accounting firms can migrate from on-premises servers to cloud computing platforms, improving their systems’ performance and scalability. Popular business channels such as websites and mobile apps can remain consistently available and operational during increased demand (e.g., tax season).
The age of unending customer loyalty to financial services companies is over. With more options than ever and with easier access through their laptop or smartphone, customers can quickly jump ship to a competitor if they aren’t satisfied with their experience. The good news is that by understanding this evolution and digitally transforming your business, you stand the best chance at success.
Financial institutions must stay ahead of the curve when it comes to digital transformation — and that’s exactly why we founded DigXchange. We host an ongoing series of events and webinars, helping business leaders connect and share their experiences and advice for digital transformation.
To learn more, check out the DigXchange website, where you can sign up to receive updates on our next digital transformation event. You can also follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter for all the latest news and articles on digital transformation. In the next piece in this series, we’ll look at how digital transformation isn’t just crucial right now — it’s the most important factor to help financial companies future-proof their business.