I recently came across an article about Capital One acquiring design and user experience firm, Adaptive Path. This news, close on the heels of the bank bringing in ex-Google designer Dan Makoski as its vice president of design, got me thinking about the future of retail banking – what role will technology play? How will banks respond to changing customer expectations?
The growing use of digital channels for banking, particularly by Generations Y and Z, and their demand for intuitive, personalized interactions, are compelling banks to rethink their customer service efforts. In a bid to respond to these expectations, some banks have even introduced new roles such as Chief Data Officer and Chief Innovation Officer.
However, when it comes enhancing the customer experience, most traditional banks continue to be stymied by two fundamental challenges: being heavily transaction led, instead of customer centric, and operating in silos without an integrated set of offerings. These issues run counter to providing customers with an engaging, personalized, and seamless customer experience, which today is essential to running a profitable business.
For traditional banks to successfully transition to digital banking, they will need to develop a strategy that takes into account the following:
Superior user experience: With companies such as Amazon, Apple, and Uber spoiling us with intimate, intuitive, and personalized digital experiences, customers today have come to expect the same from any service they utilize. Banks need to focus on creating a user interface that is easy to use, personalized, and engaging across all digital touch points in order to provide a seamless and convenient user experience.
Intelligent use of data analytics: The key to providing personalized experiences – something that the aforementioned companies have got down to a science – is leveraging customer data effectively. Banks have access to a wealth of data on customers including demographics, financial preferences, and social media interactions. However, this information often resides in discrete content silos. By putting in place a comprehensive knowledge management strategy that combines enterprise wide governance with a strong knowledge management platform, companies can use the enormous data at their disposal to create timely, relevant, and highly personalized offers.
Augmenting the branch experience: While mobile and online banking is on the rise, branches and ATMs and not likely to disappear (as has been predicted) anytime soon. Customers continue to come in to branches for a variety of reasons ranging from the need to perform complex financial tasks such as taking out mortgages to wanting the personal interaction that is required when making risky financial decisions. Several banks have already made positive strides in this direction – from interactive walls that provide useful information about their banking products to remote expert advisors available via video links to ATMs that allow cardless transactions, there are a range of options to choose from, which can significantly enhance the user experience.
By deploying a comprehensive digital strategy that aligns business priorities with customer needs and making wise investments in technology, banks can transform the user experience, which in turn will result in long term customer satisfaction and loyalty, and ultimately better business.