By : Glenn A. Tom
June 22, 2017 08:00 AM
Research has shown that improving customer experience will be a key objective for financial institutions (FIs) in 2017. To deliver the services and convenience your customers want, your business must be in tune with the latest trends in the industry and willing to invest in keeping up with them.
As is the case with so many industries these days, this drive to deliver the best possible experience in financial services will involve a strong focus on new technologies.
Proving your value to the customer
In its Banking Priorities 2017 report, Computer Services, Inc revealed that more than half (55 percent) of bank executives taking part in a survey were planning to increase spending on customer experience initiatives this year. The only areas likely to attract more investment are managing cybersecurity risk (57 percent) and information technology (56 percent). Nearly half (47 percent) said using omnichannel strategies to attract new customers would be their top priority.
Steve Powless, CSI chief executive officer, said: "In a crowded marketplace, financial institutions must prove their value to the customer, which includes offering service experiences on par with other providers, especially those outside the banking industry. Banks must deliver services that allow customers to access financial services where and how they want, which means they will need to focus more of their attention and investments on technologies that directly affect the consumer."
One of the defining trends of recent years in the financial services industry has been the growth of the fintech market. For many of these innovative, technology-driven businesses, the key focus is offering a refreshing, ultra-convenient experience for the consumer. So for established providers, it has never been more important to engage with customers and invest in delivering the services people really want.
Investing and improving
There are certainly lessons to be learned from the growth of fintechs. But established FIs should also remember the advantages they have earned from their wealth of experience in the industry. Indeed, a November 2016 report from Capgemini and LinkedIn found that, despite its recent momentum, the fintech market has relatively low levels of customer trust and service quality. Customers said traditional providers hold the advantage over fintechs in areas like fraud protection, quality of service and transparency.
Established banks don't need to mimic the marketing strategies or business models of fintechs, but they could benefit from adopting a similar attitude when it comes to offering a fresh customer experience. One way of demonstrating this commitment to your customers is by making a well-planned investment in revitalizing a channel with which they are already familiar.
Consider your self-service network, for example. This year has already brought some hugely exciting developments in the ATM channel, which could help your business to deliver a massively enhanced service to its customers.
Despite the growth of technologies like mobile wallets and contactless payments, the ATM remains an extremely important part of the financial services industry around the world. Banks that show a willingness to invest in reinventing user experience via this channel will open themselves up to many potential benefits, including happier customers, new revenue generation and enhanced brand exposure.