Businesses face many hurdles when it comes to delivering a unified customer experience across all customer-facing touchpoints; from tellers at a bank, customer support, to the ease with which customers can engage online. It’s not uncommon for businesses to have disjointed departments or siloed information sources, which often results in an inconsistent customer experience across different channels.
As the customer-centric revolution in business takes place, it’s so important that organisations are placing the customer at the centre of what they do and how they operate. Providing a consistent and seamless experience across all channels is fundamental to advancing and standing out in the digital age.
Here are our four principles to delivering a superior customer experience.
1 Consistent Experiences
Giving your customers a choice in how they interact with your business is the first step in building out a customer experience with their needs at the forefront. But it’s critical that they have the same experience whether in a branch or your physical store as they do online. Interacting with customers in their preferred environment gives you the opportunity to engage them for longer and extract more meaningful data, however, if your offline/online experiences are not consistent then you will end up with frustrated customers looking for alternatives.
For example, it’s now the expectation that customers of a bank should be able to perform the same activities online as at a branch such as applying for a new credit card, reporting fraud, or adjusting a loan interest rate. If a customer begins filling out an online application on their computer or phone, that customer should be able to complete the application in-branch or on another platform without encountering friction. Being able to deliver seamless experiences and functions across all channels is the first step to a superior customer experience.
2 Map the Customer Journey
Understanding the customer journey is how organisations improve and stay ahead of the digital game. It is not enough these days to know your customers; organisations must also know when and how customers will want or need a product. This includes knowing the factors driving the customer to interact with the bank in-person or online. Having the right data that can explain the journey is incredibly powerful for the business.
According to a study by BAI “the goal is to learn how customers interact with a company, the good and the bad. The map documents the path potential customers can take. It generally involves three steps: how they realise they have a need, research possible services and make a buying decision. The map also includes how customers might navigate through a company’s website or mobile app, or what might happen when they visit a branch or reach out to the call center. It can also show how banks respond to customer requests, the documentation they’d need to supply and the approval process to open new accounts, loans or investment accounts.”
By mapping the customer’s journey, organisations can ensure consistent outcomes, identifying pain points, implement improvements, and establish opportunities to grow their business in the future.
3 Personalise Your Service
In the past people used to pop into their local neighbourhood branch, the manager used to know them by name and knew their whole family too. With the rise of the digital era, how do you replicate that feeling of familiarity with your customers through an online platform?
The right data and insights into each customer's preferences should amplify the potential to provide this experience to each customer. Using technology, banks can deliver content that is relevant and personalised to suit their lifestyle and current needs.
As an example, if a customer visits their bank’s website in search of information regarding personal loan rates, that institution can then provide them with related information during subsequent interactions. In addition to enabling personalised service, digital tools can facilitate human interaction through chat or video conferencing, allowing banks to maintain those human relationships that would replicate the familiarity and human feeling of the local branch manager.
4 Optimise Digital Account Opening
As consumers continue relying on online and mobile banking, institutions must prioritise the optimisation of digital account opening for new and existing customers. For many consumers, opening an online account is their first interaction with an institution—and it should be seamless.
A recent PYMNTS report shows that the number of customers opening new accounts online is expected to hit 19 per cent in 2020, up from 16 per cent in 2019. “However stay-at-home orders and social distancing protocols may increase that growth.
This presents an opportunity for banks to reduce friction in onboarding and provide consumers with online support to facilitate an expedited opening process and lower abandonment rates.