By : Glenn A. Tom
December 15, 2016 08:00 AM
As the drive towards omnichannel banking continues, one of the challenges banks face is delivering a consistent, seamless experience across channels. After all, omnichannel banking isn't about simply giving your customers a choice between one channel or another, but providing the flexibility for people to make easy transitions between channels, sometimes during a single transaction.
There's no denying that delivering this sort of seamless experience is a big ask, but it's something that practically all banks are working towards.
A cohesive customer experience
In a recent study assessing digital transformation progress in the financial industry, business software provider Liferay found that 94 percent of financial institutions (FIs) are at some stage of coordinating a "cohesive customer experience" across channels. A similar proportion (92 percent) said they were addressing the full customer lifecycle.
Other findings showed that around half (49 percent) of businesses were about halfway through their digital transformation projects and 37 percent were just starting a rollout. Less than one in ten (nine percent) were nearly finished and only four percent had completed their digital transformation work.
John Choi, director of US operations at Liferay, said: "The results of this survey make it clear that digital strategy and marketing leaders in the financial industry view technology as essential to achieving digital transformation.
"Delivering engaging, personal customer experiences is critical for businesses to succeed going forward, and it's imperative that financial institutions embrace the technology leadership, cross-functional teamwork and integration technology necessary to make those experiences possible."
Challenges and solutions
There are many obstacles that make it difficult for banks to deliver a fully consistent and seamless omnichannel experience, one of which is the silo mentality that is often found in large, complex organizations. If different departments are operating in different ways and failing to share information and practices with other parts of the business, providing a unified customer experience will prove extremely difficult, if not impossible.
In an article for Banking Technology, Alison Wilkes, general manager of the EMEA banking division at finance technology and outsourcing firm FIS, said: "It's clear that continuing to operate in silos amidst a tangle of legacy systems isn't the answer. Utilising intelligent strategies to integrate disparate digital and physical channels into a single, seamless experience has to be a priority."
Channel management solutions can prove highly effective when it comes to tackling silo mentality and ensuring you get maximum value and leverage from your IT investments.
In a report titled 'Making omnichannel work', professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers noted that another potential obstacle to delivering a seamless experience across channels is focusing too much on products, rather than customers and their behaviors, needs and expectations. The company pointed out that chief customer officers or customer segment owners can be used to analyze new product offerings and determine how they would affect the customer experience across all channels.
As you work towards delivering a seamless omnichannel banking experience, it will become increasingly important to listen to your customers, examine their behaviors across channels and use data insights to identify ongoing or emerging trends. This will enable you to keep in touch with what your customers want while also managing all channels - from ATMs to mobile banking - as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.