Investing in Omnichannel Communications in Banks and Credit Unions Is Critical

by | Mar 9, 2021

Banks and credit unions must invest in omnichannel

2021 promises to be a year like no other for banks and credit unions. Emerging from the uncertainty and disruption of 2020, the strategy for this year needs to be one of consolidating changes made last year and preparing for a return to some semblance of business normality.

Consequently, banks and credit unions need to carefully consider their investment strategy for 2021.

Should the primary investment be in-branch services and expansion or in the implementation of technology that enables online services and digital communication?

The answer, of course, is both.

To thrive in the future, banks and credit unions need to see physical and digital channels as interdependent or symbiotic. This means investing in omnichannel communications, rather than prioritizing either physical or digital channels.

Are mid-tier banks at risk of losing customers?

2020 Would have been about just ‘getting things working’ and staying afloat unless the bank was already following a well-established digital strategy. Instead, mid-tier banks with a historically strong branch network had to pivot quickly to providing services remotely and communicating with customers digitally.  But the acceleration of digital adoption played right into the hands of the fintech sector, which had already adopted highly sophisticated digital processes as well as those of non-traditional providers of banking services driven by big tech, such as Apply Pay and Google Pay.

This means the investments most mid-tier banks make now, will determine whether they survive the longtail fallout of the global shift in how customers bank. Today, customers want to interact with their financial service providers through the channel of their choice and at a time convenient to them.

Therefore, a key strategy is to invest in omnichannel communication capabilities.

What should credit unions and community banks do to remain relevant and competitive today?

Credit unions and community banks which rely on personal service and community presence for competitive advantage must find a balance between high touch and high tech.

While COVID-19 may have accelerated the move to digital services and communication, these businesses need to retain their local advantage while still supporting their customers’/members’ digital requirements and removing unnecessary costs. This is not an easy strategy for any business to execute.

Customers/members want omnichannel communication from banks and credit unions.

It’s a fact that people of all ages are now more willing to adopt digital channels so they can do their shopping, banking and bill payments online. So, to make the process as simple and convenient as possible for new and experienced users, banks and credit unions need to spend their investment dollars wisely.

What does omnichannel communications mean?  

Omnichannel communications is about enabling a consistent customer communication experience and content across all engagement channels, both digital (email, web, text, mobile app) and physical (branch, service center, mail). A successful omnichannel communications strategy means customers receive consistent messaging regardless of the communication channel they prefer and can seamlessly switch between channels without fracturing the experience. 

To create the same friendly experience across all customer/member engagement channels, banks and credit unions should invest in the following 3 areas:  

1. Create a seamless, omnichannel customer experience across customer journeys

There’s a good chance that customer journeys were disrupted during the pandemic, especially those that previously relied on branch or service center interactions. Top priority was replacing those touch points quickly, which meant a lower priority for managing the customer/member experience.

Now is the time to invest in creating a seamless customer experience no matter what channel customers/members choose to engage on, even when they switch channels halfway through an interaction.

Customers/members expect omnichannel communication; banks and credit unions need to deliver.

Mapping your customer journeys, and identifying all the related touchpoints, will highlight gaps in your customer communications management.  It also helps to identify friction in the customer/member experience, which needs to be resolved.

Engage with Doxim’s strategic consulting and advisory services to map your customer journeys and define your communication investment strategy.  

2. Accurate and useable data to enable hyper-personalized communication experiences

Access to accurate and useable data is the foundation for creating an omnichannel customer/member experience.

Having the tools and technology that gather or analyze data is an investment into the insight required to make strategic communication decisions, such as.

  • What channels customers/members are using to meet their everyday financial needs
  • How customers/members are engaging when they need product information, financial advice or support

But for many, the task of integrating multiple systems that hold disparate data is a huge challenge. Fortunately, there are smart ways in which to leverage your data without massive investment.

Find out how Doxim can help your bank or credit union gather and leverage customer/member data to create omnichannel communication experiences.  

3. Technology that can boost digital capabilities and promote omnichannel communication.

Investing in omnichannel communications doesn’t necessarily require a large capital outlay, expensive consulting fees and a year-long project plan. But some investment is required if banks and credit unions are to fortify their digital position while still retaining their physical presence and value in the community.

In order to compete with large banks and big tech, mid-tier banks and credit unions need to, not only build their digital capabilities but also have a strategy to market these services to customers and prospects.

This can be achieved by engaging with the right customer communication management technology partner. A customer communications management platform is an essential part of providing the kind of omnichannel experience that customers/members now expect.

Doxim’s CCM platform enables banks and credit unions to deliver omnichannel communications that engage customers/members throughout the entire lifecycle.  

And finally, an all-inclusive CCM platform is not only a smart investment, but will have a positive effect on operating costs, providing a fast ROI on the initial setup of the solution.

Find out how Doxim’s CCM platform has reduced costs and improved efficiencies for financial service providers in “The Business Case for a Comprehensive Customer Communications Management Platform”.  DOWNLOAD THE WHITE PAPER

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A collection of blog posts and articles written by our team of customer communications and engagement experts at Doxim, providing you with direct access to the latest trends and proven strategies that increase engagement, helping you make the most of your customer communications.

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