Customer experience has emerged as the linchpin of success in financial services. Beyond mere transactions, it embodies the holistic journey a customer undertakes with their financial institution. With the advent of digital banking, the rise of fintech operatives, and the integration of social platforms, this landscape is undergoing a profound transformation. The traditional paradigms of banking are evolving, necessitating a reimagining of how financial institutions connect with and serve their clientele.
The digital revolution has catalysed this shift, empowering customers with unprecedented access to their finances. Fintech disruptors have injected innovation, offering a spectrum of services that transcend conventional banking. Meanwhile, social platforms have emerged as vibrant hubs of connection and communication.
In this convergence, the financial industry finds itself at a crossroads of opportunity and challenge. The imperative now lies in not just providing seamless transactions, but in crafting immersive, personalised experiences that resonate with all customers, not just the new generation. This demands a deep understanding of how technology, fintech, and social integration can harmonise to deliver a superlative customer journey as digital and social converge in an uncertain landscape.
Banking in pressured times
In times of economic instability and shifting living costs, maintaining strong customer engagement is pivotal for both banks and fintechs.
Building trust is central to customer engagement, especially during financial stress. Transparent and secure communication channels allow institutions to address customer concerns and bolster confidence in their commitment to financial well-being. Providing proactive, tailored experiences is also emphasised. Leveraging data insights enables institutions to offer personalised solutions and recommendations aligned with each individual circumstance.
Additionally, creating seamless omnichannel experiences is crucial for customer accessibility. Offering interactions through preferred communication channels ensures convenience and ease of access. Staying at the forefront of innovation is equally important. Adopting cutting-edge communication methods, such as AI-driven chatbots and video banking, allows institutions to remain adaptable and responsive to evolving customer preferences and needs. By integrating these strategies, banks and fintechs can weather economic challenges, establish trust, and deliver personalised experiences that drive long-term growth and success.
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The ‘Everything App’
We are all hyper aware of Musk’s current plan to turn X (formerly Twitter) into a ‘Super App’ is on the cards – a development that is difficult to ignore. But he wouldn’t be the first. Fintech Revolut has already been nicknamed a UK ‘Super App’ for pioneering a borderless financial playground that enables users to access multiple services within the app.
While the concept of an ‘everything app’ is promising, it also proves to be a formidable puzzle to solve. There are many merchants that provide a simple UI and responsive communications are essentially delivering exceptional CX within their owned apps. At this point, striking the right balance between core banking functions and partnerships to deliver bespoke lifestyle services becomes a strategic imperative. Nonetheless, one crucial element remains unchanged at the heart of this transformation: the need for effective customer engagement.
Effective customer engagement: Shifting from traditional to digital
We know how important it is to provide the right channels for banks to connect with their diverse customer base seamlessly. The challenge, particularly with younger audiences transitioning from underage customers to fully-fledged clients, lies in tailoring communication strategies. Gen Zs desire personalised banking, and over 80% surveyed want to solve even more complex tasks using digital channels. Traditional methods like emails may no longer be the most effective channel; instead, a shift towards platforms like Instagram, and eventually, towards higher-security channels, is imperative.
It isn’t by chance that neobanks have led the UK banking satisfaction rankings for the last two years. These banks are built with customer engagement in mind, meaning traditional banks are reacting to the market and heavily investing in their customer service to meet new industry demands. UK customers want far more personalised mobile banking experiences that make it easy for them to get real-time support – anywhere.
Our own survey found that 93% of customers want their bank to “know me and my banking needs, but just 33% feel their bank delivers this. The key to success will be balancing an excellent customer experience with ensuring high levels of security. Customers are willing to explore new channels and experiences – and openly welcome the increased ease of interactions.
Banking giants and neobanks also must remain cognizant of older generations. Census 2021 results show that the number of people aged 65 years and over increased from 9.2 million in 2011 to over 11 million in 2021 This significant generation is increasing in numbers but operates differently. They may not have access to social platforms or even email, so meeting customers where they’re at – via the most appropriate channels – should be front and centre.
Luckily the technology already exists to enable effective multichannel communication with CPaaS, so banks can have meaningful conversations with customers. And, just as importantly, they can move these conversations seamlessly across channels- SMS, rich messaging apps, email, voice/video calling, and chatbots – in real time.
Alejandro Murcia is Head of Global Financial Services Vertical, Sinch