2019 will bring about change for financial institutions and other businesses alike, with an overriding theme of using technology in a more sophisticated, customer-centric way. Until recently, data and technology have often felt like solutions to business challenges. However, customer information and digital interactions open up a myriad of new challenges and potential pitfalls. As a result, 2019 will be defined by businesses becoming more sophisticated in their use of these tools to truly engage with customers in a valuable way.
Channel is Important, But Experience is More Important
In an effort to deliver a better customer experience, most organizations have focused on increasing their digital offerings, including things like chatbots, helpful dashboards and more robust self-service options customers can complete online. Due to this increased focus on the digital space, many companies look at all of those interactions through a digital lens.
However, looking at things through this narrow view fails to see the complexity of the customer journey and, more importantly, the value each digital (or other) interaction brings to the customer. As a result, some companies have accidentally adopted the view that “digital is better” without understanding each interaction, and the benefit each one brings to the customer. Moving into this year, organizations should analyze each interaction, regardless of channel, and understand both where it fits into the customer journey and what value it brings to the overall customer experience.
Less Busy Work, More Improvement
Automation will become an increasingly important element for financial institutions and other businesses alike to improve their processes. Simply put, automation saves time. Marketers, directors and executives will look to online tools to help streamline more mundane, repetitive tasks their employees have been responsible for in the past.
In the wake of automation, these same employees will be asked to turn their attention to more strategic initiatives, especially in using their know-how to improve customer experience and add value to the customer in creative new ways. On the whole, automation will create a work environment increasingly focused on high-level, strategic improvement and creative thought centered around the customer journey.
Data Management for Large Organizations
With an increasing amount of data available due to automation, organizations have practically unlimited amounts of data at their fingertips, but usually lack the human capital and expertise to make sense of it. A practical solution is to seek out third party data experts. Rather than hiring data scientists, who are expensive and in high demand, organizations may to better to utilize data consultants to help them prioritize, analyze and act on the data they have available.
Analytics for Small Businesses
Analytics tools are becoming increasingly accessible to small businesses. Initially, the proliferation of advanced data analytics felt like something expensive, arduous and only fiscally feasible for large corporations with vast amounts of data and resources. However, this is changing thanks to analytics technology being scaled down and simplified. Now, small and medium sized businesses can take advantage of free services like Google Analytics, or other relatively inexpensive platforms. Starting small and looking for simple pieces, like sources of web-based traffic, can help organizations find valuable nuggets of information to build and improve upon, increasing their sophistication as they go.