The omnichannel customer experience is changing how Retail Banks do business.
Interview with Antoine Hemon-Laurens
Product Marketing Director – Mobile Expert
In what ways is the modern day consumer mobile purchase journey changing the balance of power?
Today’s consumer mobile purchase journey evolves rapidly, with customer expectations now being driven by new emerging technologies. Whereas enterprises could before dictate how and when to engage with customers, the power now lies in the hands of people. More than 80% of prospects will first start to discover products and services online (via web or mobile). They will develop knowledge through countless media interactions, such as social networks, peer recommendations and forums before making decisions. Unlike before, enterprise agents and sales representatives are no longer expected to only know their product features but they are expected to give advice as well. Mobile solutions come as another consumer tool to access information on the move. They can instantly check and validate facts to reach decisions faster. They can purchase from their devices or trigger other call-to-actions. Mobility offers other key benefits to enterprises. They can leverage a consumer’s context in real time, such as location, time, status, etc, delivering personalized content through targeted instant-push notifications, showing offers or relevant information. It is expected that consumer power will continue to rise with the IoT (Internet of Things) and connected devices like smartwatches becoming more and more popular.
Seamless and consistent messaging across media? Or should we be more mobile-focused in a changing era?
Even if statistics tend to demonstrate that mobile devices are the prime access channel to information, customers value a consistent experience throughout their engagement journey. In other words, customers may start to engage online, then meet someone at a branch to complete their request on a mobile device. In this example, customers expect to continue the process on a different communication channel from where they were last. They do not want to waste time supplying information they have already provided. A mobile-optimized interface in most cases remains the key to success. It helps enterprises to speed up processes and stay in touch with customers at all times. However, enterprises’ new challenge is to be able to manage and deliver this seamless and consistent experience for all their products and services on all communication channels. As technology fragmentation explodes, it becomes harder and harder.
What is the present and future of the omnichannel experience?
As alluded to above, the omnichannel customer experience can be differentiated from multichannel management in the sense that it delivers a seamless and consistent experience across all communication channels, which the latter does not provide. Omnichannel enablement is the cornerstone of leading enterprise strategy to undergo digital transformation. These enterprises map their customers’ journey for each of their key business processes. Some of them revisit and challenge the ways things have been done to date; they then redesign business processes, streamlining the customer experience while leveraging new technologies. For instance, companies like DBS would assign 250 customer experience improvement projects to their top 250 executives to improve customer satisfaction, brand loyalty and sales.
What is the place for traditional banks at a time when customer service has increasingly turned into self-service?
Traditional banks are challenged by new incumbents like Fintechs. In a recent report, up of 60% of banks’ revenue could go to these new players in the next decade, McKinsey says. The Fintech industry has received more than $20bn of investment in the last few years and some services like Ant Financial in China seem to have gained momentum. In addition, new technologies such as the Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and Bots are also looming. Peer-to-peer cryptocurrency Bitcoin’s value was at a record high only a few weeks ago. Artificial Intelligence coupled with bots already provides a great replacement for some low-value tasks today. Some banks already use these technologies to reduce the workload on back-offices & call centres. These technologies will take more and more space as algorithms further develop, and more data is collected. It will most certainly impact banks’ traditional workforce, forcing executive teams to adapt their organization’s size and skills set. However, the banking industry is heavily regulated, and traditional banks have mastered ways to adapt to these constraints. I see traditional banks investing in innovation hubs, fintechs and joint ventures to help them speed up digital transformation and stay at the top of their game.
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