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Financial services shouldn't 'go digital' at the expense of customer experience

Published on 13 Oct 2020

Who could have predicted that 2020 would be the year of rapid digital adoption? The pandemic has accelerated digital transformation in most industries and for customers,  the need to continue thriving has meant a sudden, possibly unwelcome, adoption of digital ways of working, interacting and living. 

In the rush to achieve business continuity, it would be understandable if the focus was purely on ‘going digital’. But, now that we understand more about the post-COVID landscape, companies need to be cautious about narrowly pursuing digital when there is a risk of negatively impacting the overall customer experience. 

Aim to create a positive customer experience in financial services, not just a digital one. 

In fact, research in financial services shows that the “foremost factor affecting customer satisfaction is issue resolution on the first contact with agents.”

As an example, a bank may have accelerated the building of functionality into its mobile banking app – putting thousands of hours into providing the ability to continue banking without having to visit a branch, as well as creating a positive customer experience for this channel. 

But, if a customer were to call into the bank’s call center and get passed from person to person, the brilliance of the mobile app becomes secondary to the negative experience.

Eliminate bad customer service across all customer journeys

With the initial rush to retain customers through the pandemic now slowing down to a more measured approach – how should financial services companies ensure that bad customer service is eliminated across the board? 

Step 1 – Revise your customer journeys

The events of 2020 will have undoubtedly changed the way customers interact with companies. 

So, haul out the pre-2020 customer journeys and update both the digital and physical interactions to get a realistic view of the current customer experience. 

Step 2 – Get all touchpoints to a minimum standard

Update all customer touchpoints to remove any remnants of rushed decisions, workarounds and hotfixes. Successfully moving a process to digital is not the end goal. The end goal is a great CX. 

Step 3 – Relook channel integrations

No one likes having to explain their query over and over again. 

Review integrations and handoffs to ensure a seamless transfer when customers switch channels.

Step 4 – Identify quick wins and long term projects to eliminate a negative CX

Not all projects are equal. It helps to identify quick-win projects that remove the risk of bad customer experience.  But, other projects need a long-term approach to raise the level of CX across all customer journeys. 

Financial services customers now have more options than ever before. Fintechs, Big Tech, and new entrants are working hard to entice customers away from traditional financial services providers. 

Ensuring a positive customer experience across the full customer journey is vital to retain, or even win back, financial services customers

James Hall

James Hall

Commercial Director, UK

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