By : Brian Bailey
August 15, 2016 08:00 AM
Customers are at the heart of any business, and banking is no different. Retail banking is, ultimately, about the consumer and how the financial institution interacts with them to address their needs. Delivering the right service, in the right way, at the right time is key. However, this is rarely as straightforward as it sounds.
Today’s financial institutions must contend with an increasing number of external forces that can distract them from the primary task of building great customer relationships. These include challenging economic markets, a changing regulatory environment and a rapidly commoditizing market where consumers have more choice than ever when it comes to their finances.
All of these forces create incredible pressure on financial institutions to grow, evolve and differentiate their offerings to stand out from the crowd.
Going above and beyond
Simply keeping pace with regulatory change and delivering efficiency are 'must haves', and won’t help any financial institution make a lasting impression on customers. True differentiation comes from a focus on the consumer and delivering experiences and interactions that others can't offer.
A strong customer experience is the key factor in establishing customer loyalty – and loyal customers buy more, stay longer, and tell others. Those institutions that are successful are the ones that elevate the customer experience to the same level of importance as revenue generation and efficiency.
The correlation between industry leaders in customer experience metrics and financial performance metrics of revenue growth and efficiency has never been clearer. Across major banking markets of Europe, North America and Australia, NCR research has shown that leaders in both growth and efficiency also garner the highest consumer satisfaction and experience scores. And this is no coincidence.
The right technology for the job
Here at NCR, we're proud to sit at the heart of our customers' retail banking operations, thanks to our CxBanking platform that connects consumers and businesses with financial institutions. Meanwhile, our consumer channel solutions across digital banking, branch transformation, and self-service reinvention enable banks to meet consumers at every touchpoint and deliver a truly omni-channel experience.
We are grateful that our customers recognize this differentiation, which has helped make us the global leader in ATM self-service for over 30 years. Our digital banking platform is used by nearly 14 million customers across 800 financial institutions, and our branch transformation solutions have pioneered new customer engagement models for more than 300 customers globally.
But providing the best possible customer experience doesn't stop at the ATM, branch or mobile banking device. Growing revenue and delivering efficiency depends on using technology in the right ways. This includes eliminating legacy systems and channel silos; collecting, sharing and using data effectively; processing transactions across any channel using modern and open technologies in real time; all stages of check and image processing; and comprehensive security and fraud detection.
Our enterprise software applications help to lower the cost per transaction and re-invent channel operations and create a truly unified consumer experience. This is the heart of our CxBanking platform and how we connect consumers with financial institutions around the world every day.
A holistic approach to service
The leaders in retail banking take into account the bigger picture. This means they do not think about their channels solely from a technology and operations standpoint, and financial metrics are not their only concern.
Instead, they recognize that designing products, services and processes that keep the customer in mind at all stages will deepen consumer relationships, leading to both increased revenue and improved efficiency.
Success comes when the best possible customer experience is delivered across all channels, underpinned by flexible, proven technology to deliver the best possible customer service. Tomorrow's leaders in banking are streamlining their operations, while also choosing partners and platforms that are simplified and capable of unifying interactions and operational systems across all channels.
Planning for the future of banking is no easy task. There are almost as many opinions as there are people and companies voicing them and no two financial institutions will follow the exact same path. However, if you can put your customer at the heart of your plans, and build your infrastructure to respond as they change, you will be taking the very best first step.