Read about the value of an omnichannel CX in financial services and how to achieve it – starting with a culture change



It’s What Customers Expect

How Financial Services Companies Can Deliver An Omnichannel CX

The COVID-19 pandemic shifted so many digital transformation plans.  No-one could have foreseen such a dramatic change from customers, concerning their rapid migration to digital channels.

Delivering on the omnichannel CX promise prior to the pandemic was already a challenge.  Financial institutions are still expected to deliver communications to customers via their preferred channel, all the way from print to a range of digital options. This, while driving innovation and supporting industry-specific regulatory requirements in a very anxious market.

“79% of banking executives agree there is a need to dramatically reengineer the experiences that bring technology and people together in a more human-centric way.” (Accenture’s Banking Technology Vision 2020)

Now more than ever, financial services companies need a plan to deliver the omnichannel, seamless experience that customers expect. Organizations that fail to tune in to these new expectations risk losing customers to those that had the agility to adapt.

It’s challenging to satisfy the demands of modern consumers who have high expectations and a myriad of choices. This is especially true for communicators, who understand the value of an omnichannel CX strategy, but are not clear on how to get that strategy back on track.

The importance of a single view of customer communication

One of the most significant challenges faced by financial services companies wanting to provide an omnichannel CX to their customers is the fact that customer data resides in many disparate systems.

These systems are likely to be owned and maintained by different departments, and consequently do not talk to each other. This is understandable when you view data silos as a factor of a company structure, but it makes no sense at all from the customer’s perspective. Customers expect all communication from a single brand to look the same and have the same tone.  They don’t care that one side of the company doesn’t know what the other side is saying.

Siloed data leads to a fractured communication experience.

“If you’ve received multiple communications from a single brand that look and feel nothing alike, then you’ve had a  fractured communication experience.”

Omnichannel CX in Financial Services Starts With a Culture Change

It may surprise you that building a framework for omnichannel customer communications is not an exercise for the IT department. In fact, it’s more about culture than technology. A transformation framework alone will not achieve true omnichannel communication if not supported by strategic changes in culture.

Promote-Collaboration Promote Collaboration: 

Silos are created when departments deploy ad hoc data systems to achieve a departmental goal, without looking at the big picture.

Building a culture of collaboration means getting buy-in from all sides of the business into the importance of a single view of the customer, whilst understanding that a single customer may have different profiles and should be treated as such.

Single customer view vs single profile view Single Customer View vs Single Profile View:

Like other organizations, financial services providers need to work towards having a single view of all communication that is sent to a customer across various customer journeys.

But for banks and credit unions, a single person can have multiple customer profiles. It’s possible for a customer to be signed up for personal financial management products and services while using the same bank to manage business accounts.

It’s important that these profiles are not blended or merged, but rather kept separate so that the customer can manage their multiple profiles appropriately. For financial institutions, a single profile view is more valuable than a single customer view.

Change Measurements Change Measurements:

Organizational leaders must amend the way success is measured.  To achieve a data structure without silos requires a playing field without siloed agendas. For example, inter-departmental collaboration on future-facing projects is more valuable than reporting on what has been done in the past. Key measurements include collaboration and alignment.

Agile Roadmap Agile Roadmap:

Gone are the days of defining a 3-5 year roadmap and off you go. The digital landscape changes all the time, and to deal with this, the organization needs to be nimble and agile. This applies to the entire organization, not just the IT department.  The roadmap needs to be a living framework, rather than a static set of goals.

Customer CentricityCustomer Centricity:

The customer must be at the center of all digital transformation decisions. Cost reduction and operational efficiencies should be outcomes of your CX strategy rather than goals. The achievement of a truly omnichannel CX will result in cost and process efficiencies.

Now that the dust has settled on a significantly disruptive year, financial services companies need to get their digital transformation plans back on track and reshape the roadmap for an omnichannel CX in 2021.

To find out more, watch our webinar, hosted by American Banker, entitled: How to build a framework for omnichannel customer communications

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Mia Papanicolaou

General Manager at Aspire CCS

Mia heads up Aspire CCS in the US, working with companies to provide strategy and advice and is a regular speaker on digital customer communication, digital maturity and improving the customer experience.

Mia has been named as an email marketing influencer multiple times and is passionate about helping organizations improve their digital communication maturity.

Prior to joining Aspire CCS, she worked at Striata for 15 years in South Africa, the UK and then settled in the US as the COO of the company, after which she headed up consulting at Doxim Striata.