Customer engagement requires disruptive thinking, not just disruptive tech
By Benjamin Cher August 23, 2016
- Seamless omnichannel experience and cross-channel data analytics needed
- Must hit sweet spot between knowing your customers and maintaining privacy
BANKING and communications providers today are faced with challenges in retaining customers, with disruptive startups nipping away at their market share. The laser focus on customer experience has led to personalisation on an individual level quite unlike anything before.
In the old days, companies used to profile clients into different segments and provide offers accordingly. That’s no longer good enough.
“Every consumer is looking for personalised service and not to be in just some generic group,” says Sherie Ng (pic above), strategic regions managing director of NICE Systems.
“The consumers of today are highly empowered with information and choices, and delivering a unique customer experience is no easy feat,” she tells Digital News Asia (DNA) via email.
“In a recent joint study published by NICE and Boston Consulting Group, the majority of consumers surveyed wanted a personalised banking experience, with 69% of respondents willing to provide personal information in exchange for more tailored financial services,” she adds.
NICE Systems is an Israel-based data analytics company that specialises in structured and unstructured data.
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Financial institutions are moving in the right direction: Many are re-designing their engagement touchpoints with their clients.
“Resources are being shifted away from building physical branches to more digital engagement touchpoints like mobile apps and interactive ATMs (automated teller machines),” says Ng.
“Today, interaction centres (which were traditionally contact centres) support all channels of communication – voice, email, chat, and IVR (interactive voice response),” she adds.
Business are investing quite a bit into these ‘digital touchpoints’ with technologies such as biometrics, voice recognition, robotics and automation, analytics, artificial intelligence (chatbots and virtual assistance), and virtualisation.
However, these disruptive technologies must still enable a personalised and seamless experience, warns Ng.
“As such, the next big step will be to introduce cross-channel analytics and automation that truly provides a holistic view of the entire customer journey across its entire lifecycle, and to empower employees with real-time information to act intelligently.
“This will ensure not only multi-touchpoint engagement, but also a seamless omnichannel experience for every client,” she adds.
Disruptive technologies are just one part of the equation; the other critical factor is disruptive thinking.
“Gone are the days when you select your strategy, and just hunker down and move,” says Ng.
“Instead, we are increasingly seeing a new thinking where our clients look to ‘Dream Big, Start Small and Move Fast.’
“We are living in disruptive times – and the change in mindset with disruptive thinking is key to winning the battle of this new customer experience frontier,” she adds.
The new era of KYC
This disruptive thinking extends to the KYC or know-your-customer aspect, according to Ng.
KYC is high on the senior executive agenda because of its complexity and cost; the dynamically changing and intensifying regulatory requirements; the limitations of today’s systems; the increasing load and burden on compliance teams; and the frustrations of the financial institutions’ sales and front-line teams, she says.
“With the attention that senior management has been paying on KYC, this is an opportune time to introduce some disruptive thinking into the KYC process,” she advises.
The concerns and benefits are:
- Reputational protection, as it ensures that the bank is doing business with the right customers. However, this must not be a one-off affair done during on-boarding, but instead must be done on a regular basis throughout the life-cycle.
- As technology that provides a seamless experience across touchpoints (online or in-person) is so easily available today, customers have come to expect this. As such, the adoption of these technologies that provide compliance is key to winning the customer.
- The introduction of a scalable and flexible rules-based engine provides an organisation with a centralised, controlled environment to ensure consistent rules can be further tailored with respect to regulatory jurisdictions or dynamically changing requirements for field administration compliance checks.
“KYC is not just a compliance process but a valuable programme that contributes to risk management and customer insights,” says Ng.
Hitting that sweet spot
Hitting that sweet spot for customer experience requires companies to make use of something they have had all along: Data.
“Today, financial institutions and communications providers are sitting on a mountain of customer data,” says Ng. “However, these organisations often live in a state of ‘big messy data’.”
They need to structure this data into highly valuable data by looking into cross-channel analytics.
This would “empower the organisation with ‘analytics-driven decisioning’ – an environment for institutions to leverage data and build intimate relationships with their clients,” Ng declares.
“For instance, a client of ours in the financial services industry implemented our ‘Direct Voice of Customers’ solution, and managed to elevate customer experience, reduce cost, and increase revenue – all in just one month.
“With the visibility provided by the system, our client was able to immediately reach out to dissatisfied customers, and attempt a retention effort on a real-time basis – as a result, it was able to salvage more than 80% with such real-time analytic capabilities,” she claims.
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