Right now the financial sector is facing a major challenge.
It is axiomatic that digital engagement, adoption, and omni-channel mobility has become key in the sector. Thus, the goal to enhance the customer experience (CX) across digital channels will become central to innovation in this industry, as organisations are forced to respond to increased competition from new players.
Claire Rogers, Head of Digital Banking at ANZ, summed up this issue:
“The history of digital in banks is a service story, digital has been around 15 years, and its agenda and strategy was to take the costs out of all the other channels.”
For Rogers, innovation and an ample appetite to experiment with digital is now core to banking culture. “But ‘service’ is not a customer experience, and it’s not what drives people back,” she said.
Rogers made the remarks as a keynote address to a group of thought leaders drawn from a cross section of Sydney’s major financial service organisations.
The occasion was a luncheon hosted by OmniChannel Media in partnership with GMC Software, entitled ‘The Future of Customer Experience in the Era of Digital’.
Four major themes emerged from the discussion:
1. Banks Need to Invest in CX
Rogers suggested that big, expensive projects are no longer valid as a strategy.
She told the luncheon that continuous delivery with agile teams executing smaller parcels of work more often is the way forward.
“Our history has been to invest in building up front-of-house at the digital virtual branch and creating opportunities for customers to explore what ANZ is about and take pathways to allow them to become customers,” she said.
2. Agile is Key in Responding to the FinTech Revolution
“In this market you can’t set up a strategy and believe it will last five years,” Rogers noted.
By some estimates, FinTech disruptors will ‘eat’ 60% of the revenue generated by the traditional financial brands.
Speed and agility then, are key factors in responding to this challenge; customer expectations are quickly reset these days and strategy must be aligned with this accordingly.
This means eliminating friction points requires a ‘smoothing out’ of the buying process and existing onerous interface and identity procedures.
Collaboration was floated as one way to neutralise the impact new players may have on the well-established organisations.
3. Everyone Need to Be on Board the CX Train
The discussion agreed that risk averse, slow moving, and a managerial focus on short-term sales are characteristic of the culture within the financial sector. And all are a serious impediment to innovation.
Thus, momentum on new projects must be established quickly by bringing in the key stakeholders from the very beginning – security amongst them – Rogers argued.
Creating projects outside of an organisation’s larger IT fabric is “a good way to trigger its immune system,” a situation to be avoided.
Nick Dempsey of GMC Software suggested that the best way to achieve buy-in was to keep a focus on, “developing an understanding of customer priorities to define a seamless end-to-end experience.”
4. The CX Proof is in the Pudding
Rogers explained: “The power of digital gives you incredible insight into what is going on with the customer.”
“Provided you have a baseline measure before you make a change – you should be able to see what changes occur in the customer behaviour.”
With regard to CX innovation, the proof will always be in the pudding. The more investment, the more insight you will have to customer trends.
The group concluded that the sector has the resources to create greater intimacy between businesses and their customers.
This can be driven by innovative projects that change the customer’s perception of what a good customer experience really means.
The complexity of particular products and the traditional values of ‘managing’ a customer’s finance can no longer be taken for granted.
This is because the rise of FinTech is being deeply felt in every part of the financial sector.
This creates an urgent need for internal disruptors and CxOs to adapt to a mutual language of digital innovation.