The past two years have driven more and more customers into the digital space, including late adopters who may be less tech-savvy than other customers. With this in mind, your digital offerings have increased in importance, and your financial institution should focus on competitive advantages to differentiate your brand. Consider the following approaches to help guide your digital strategy:
Create Moments that Matter
When most financial institutions think of making customers feel special, they think of interpersonal interactions — giving a warm smile at a branch location, or hearing out a customer’s issue over the phone. However, these types of warm and fuzzy moments are just as important in digital realms. Consider the ways your financial institution tries to create special interpersonal moments. During security alerts, remind customers that you want to protect their wellbeing at all costs. If they have a CD, remind them how much they’ve saved through higher interest rates, and how that can help them buy something they want. With more and more interactions happening online or via mobile, giving context to the interactions and services your financial institution provides can make all the difference.
Building for Growth
Growth and change are the only constants in the digital world, and this is true for financial institutions as customers seek out experiences to help them better navigate their finances.
- Create an omnichannel approach: Omni-channel interfaces are the new expectation for an increasingly tech-savvy consumer base. If they conduct an activity on their phone, they expect it to be documented when they go into a branch. Or, if they make a call over the phone, they want that experience to be accounted for the next time they log in on their laptop. Financial institutions need to make sure that they have an omnichannel infrastructure created to allow for growth in their approach and to make sure high customer satisfaction translates to all channels and the way they interact.
- Seeking partnerships with FinTech: FinTech offers innovation and a new way of thinking about personal finance for consumers, and is often able to focus on creative technology without the restrictions and legal requirements financial institutions need to prioritize. As such, partnerships between the two parties are a great fit, with creative new technology meeting an existing customer base and regulatory adherence. Financial institutions should consider solicitation and evaluation of FinTech companies as a major part of their strategy to effectively “outsource” new competitive advantages via partnerships.
- Establishing an open structure to build upon: Rather than focusing on an IT structure that is internally managed, financial institutions should work toward standardized, open formats that can be manipulated by a wide variety of parties. Creating a structure that allows for plug-and-play changes, vendors to potentially work on in the future and easy debugging is an important piece of groundwork to lay for the future and creating an agile IT infrastructure.
The Universal Banker
We’ve talked about the universal banker many times before — namely, the idea that a financial institution representative should be a jack-of-all-trades associate, able to take any task or request a customer throws their direction. This singular entity being able to solve a variety of requests results in higher customer satisfaction, and the same should apply to your digital strategy as well. Online chat representatives and phone associates should be able to help customers without having to transfer to a different department. Similarly, online interfaces should provide ample resources so that any task, from getting a loan to making a deposit, should happen seamlessly.