Customer Experience Management Transforming Financial Industry to the Next Level

CXM for Financial Services
Over the past few years, the financial industry has been observing a trend of investing in Customer Experience Management (CXM) Systems. This trend can be attributed to the fact that many institutions are trying to keep up with the ever-changing digital landscape. Moreover, companies are understanding the impact of effective & personalized communications for better customer experience in banking and financial sectors.  

From the rise of modern technologies and channels like smartphones and social media to the growing demands for speed and responsiveness of Millennials born in a digital world, the way financial institutions communicate with customers is going to transform forever. To be in the race, emerging financial services must adapt to these new customer expectations and quickly undertake digital adoption of transactional communication. 

These transformations impact every touchpoint of customer service for financial services, from the platforms and processes to customer servicing staff. Since these frequent changes have become the new reality, financial institutions must find a way to evolve their current communication system into agile, omnichannel & fast-moving digital publishing platforms and achieve the most out of their investments. 

Content v/s Transformation: Who is the King?

It is a good question to ask, whether ‘Transformation’ is beating ‘Content’ to become the new king of the business jungle. Businesses have grasped the importance of delivering quality content to their customers; however, they are still lacking in the way they communicate or share that content with their customers. 

The demands of Gen X and Millennial customers are turning out to be completely different from earlier generations. Financial institutions have moved beyond phone and print into the web, social media, kiosks, mobile, and SMS for sharing digital documents. These digital communication channels are critical touch points for enhancing engagement. They not just deliver one-way communications but also help in fully engaging with customers. 

Following is how customer communication has evolved over time:

The image explains how customer preference has been changed depending on generation. Millennials prefer an omni-channel approach when it comes to customer communication. Digital documents are preferred these days over traditional hard copies

We all know that for an exceedingly long time there has been a common perception that content has been at the center of customer communications for IT and marketing alike; after all, Content was the King!

However, this also points to the fact that industries focus on creating quality content but don’t focus on how to communicate that content effectively. The lack of two-way, 720-degree interactions leaves a big dent in the overall CX.  

While digital commotions are still taking place across the financial services industry, one thing has become crystal- clear, customers want information in the way they want & when they choose to receive it. For this to happen the financial industry needs to transform the way they do communication. 

So, while content is still important and core to any solution, it’s become even more important to have a flexible ability to transform and evolve content. Industries must accept that the ability to change customer communications on the fly for each customer is a new reality. It’s no longer related to what you must communicate and what channel you want to utilize; today banks need to use whatever channel, message, or frequency every customer desires. 

So, it is high time now that institutions crown ‘Transformation’ as the new King! 

Challenges to Implementing Digital-first Approach!

It is super easy to say that ‘Transformation’ is the new king. But we all know that changing the existing working model is like climbing ‘Mount Everest’! 

The communication flexibility that a customer desires is not always easy to achieve, here’s why: 

  • Most of the customer communications are siloed in different departments in accordance with the existing system. 
  • The communication process often depends on different desktop publishing tools which may or may not be capable of internal communication. 

Another challenge that financial services tackle is the deficiency of communication channel integration: They operate by having separate departments, one for print communications, another for web, and others for social, mobile, and marketing. The probability of consistent messaging and a harmonious customer experience, let alone a journey is simply impossible. 

Reevaluating Your Path to Better Customer Experience

While many financial services institutions are adopting Customer Experience Management platforms, it’s unclear if they’ve achieved the full value from those systems. If your institution has a CXM platform in place, you need to ask the following questions: 

  • Has your institution synchronized publishing processes and operations to compete with a change-centric digital world of communication?  
  • Is your institution able to achieve a 720-degree view of customers?  
  • Is your institution able to set up digital adoption of transactional communications? 
  • Are your communications tailored to each customer and providing consistent & personalized messaging based on preferences across mobile, social, print, and web?  

For many financial firms, the answer to these questions is still No! 

CXM: It’s all about the ROI! 

Cost savings have always been the core result of digital adoption and certainly the basis of any business case to make the investment in a modern CXM platform. Having the power to natively manage documents and generate within a variety of digital and print formats helps in cutting costs and dependencies on existing print-centric operations. Through CXM platforms, most organizations have observed their print operations improved by consolidating the print outputs, adding the ability to households, and optimizing postage by sorting and bundling functionality. But these are only the first steps toward true digital publishing. 

Separate teams and multiple CXM instances still exist within banks and financial organizations to address the demands of different businesses. 

Let’s pick up the Baby Boomer v/s Gen X/Millennial argument…… 

Print volumes remain the same whereas the overall volume across different channels is dramatically going up. Sharing a PDF via e-mail or having the ability to share a single document on demand may satisfy Baby Boomers’ call for digital but it falls extremely short of Gen X and Millennial expectations. The modern generation prefers multichannel engagement combined with end-to-end integrity.  

Did you know? 

As per the annual ‘Retail Banking Voice of the Customer Survey,’ the Millennials have a lower customer experience index, by as much as 8 percentage points as compared to the other age groups regardless of region. 

Putting aside the costing part for a moment, let’s rethink what CXM was supposed to mean to the customer experiences in the financial industry. Rising wallet share, dropping call volumes, and improving customer acquisition and retention—were all the major goals for digital communications.  

Judging by the current scenario, CXM is becoming a cornerstone to providing a positive and engaging customer experience. The question is, is your institution prepared to become truly digital-ready?  

What are the Key Enablers for CXM Transformation?

Most financial institutions already have the tools required to run their show smoothly. However, the point is unlocking their system’s full potential and realizing the ROI that is expected to be achieved from CXM enablement. It’s about having a bird’s eye view of every department and reconsidering your strategic divisions. The solution lies in how you operationally manage and execute the day-to-day management of change, here are some key points to consider: 

Make an Effective Communication Strategy

  • Create a strategy to communicate consistently across every touchpoint of customer engagement such as web, mobile, branch, mail, phone, social media, paper, etc. 
  • Analyze the preferred delivery methods and interests of each customer. 
  • Display your understanding of each individual customer and the experience they desire. 
  • Make sure your cross-selling efforts to increase wallet share are fine-tuned and on target. 

Align your operating model with a strong Digital Communication Strategy

  • Combine your print and online teams into one unified department that is clear about the fact that the measure of success is your ability to switch channels and content interchangeably and constantly 
  • Break down your silos, get rid of legacy costs, and focus on strategies that offer services that support customer communications across the organization. 

Ensure your teams are organized for an integrated channel view so your communications are consistent throughout the complete spectrum of customer engagement.

Reduce Legacy Systems and integrate the remaining

  • Understand that making a digital platform does not mean creating a single platform. The overall approach should be hybrid to address the complex and constantly changing concerns of the digital domain. 
  • Foster, an operating principle to decrease maintenance and fulfillment costs. 
  • Combine different systems for statements, correspondence, and notices to generate significant postal savings, maintenance savings, and single platform efficiencies. 
  • Examine every department and analyze all your processes to maximize an integrated effort that crosses every channel. 

Final Words

With a fully-stacked, digital-enabled CXM, your institution will achieve three major advantages: 

  1. Enhanced customer experience & satisfaction 
  2. Higher revenue 
  3. Reduced costs 

The reduced costs and higher revenue can pay for upgrading your digital capabilities. For example, removing inefficiencies will generate cost savings which can be utilized to pay for transforming your existing system. 

Given the circumstances, providing personalized experiences is the key to driving business growth these days and you can definitely consider an efficient CXM facilitating the same. 

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