In today’s highly competitive financial services market it’s an uphill battle to keep clients satisfied and win new business. But there is one, somewhat secret, weapon that many organizations have yet to tap into when it comes to gaining a strategic advantage in retaining and winning clients – exemplary customer experience.
At the recent CXFS show in Boston, Jeff Winter, Vice President, Marketing and Communications at Pitney Bowes Software and Data, shared his insights on how to build a winning customer experience strategy. While different communications platforms, such as websites, text, and virtual assistants are essential to customer experience, what is at the heart of a winning solution is the data that informs and empowers those communications.
Using data from a jointly sponsored CMO Council and Pitney Bowes survey, Winter highlighted the communications channels that financial services organizations must have to connect with customers from all different generations. As you would expect when dealing with customers from Gen Z to the Silent Generation, a blend of digital and physical tools is necessary. In fact, 5 percent of Boomers will only interact with their financial services provider in person and 10 percent of Gen Z will only interact via digital tools.
As you would expect the majority of customers will interact with their bank or financial services provider via a mixture of communications channels. These include, in-person, via phone, via the website and via text message. In addition to these ‘expected’ channels, customers also included social media and video platforms as potential method of interaction.
But the question still remains as to how to optimize those communications channels so that each interaction delivers a positive experience. After all, as Winter illustrated in his talk at CXFS 2019 there’s a fine line between an interaction that is personalized and builds brand loyalty and one that is creepy.
The key to a seamless customer experience is the ability to leverage data about the customer across platforms – from web site to phone and from text interaction to in-person visit – that reduces frustration and builds loyalty. According to the joint PB and CMO Council survey, a majority (59 percent) of customers are amenable to having personal data shared with their financial services provider as long as they get to determine how it is used. And as the survey shows, that with 84 percent of customers experiencing frustration when they have to repeat vital information when they are moved between platforms, this is where a data-powered omnichannel platform is essential to meeting the customer’s expectations in their moment of need.
To financial services companies that can meet the customer on their platform of choice and with the right information, their reward is loyalty, growth, and a clear path to profitability. Right now, with no generation giving any omnichannel engagement an ‘A’ grade, there’s still much work to be done. However, with the right partner that can provide high quality data solutions and is a champion at breaking down silos the rewards are readily at hand.