Digital transformation has long been in the agendas of all the major banking strategies. It is not hard to see why – customers are eager to operate in the digital world, and they tend to fulfill their needs there. They also expect banks to follow in their footsteps. Because of that, more and more financial institutions focus on providing customers with better services through technology. However, in the digital world consumers still look for support allowing them to pursue their goals. Can banks provide it?
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Customer in the center of attention
2020 caused a rapid change in customers’ preferred channels. As the restrictions were introduced, users had to switch to digital and mobile banking. At this stage remote customer service has become crucial along with limited access to the physical contact channels branches used to be.
Even though banks have long expected their customers to go digital, such a rapid transformation has surprised many of them. It forced the financial institutions to go from product-oriented to customer-oriented perspective. Working on an omnichannel approach has suddenly become a priority. It was a simple answer to customers’ expectations, as they wanted to be provided with the same quality of services in every channel. However, this involves providing an added value not only for the products, but also for services.
Remote customer service on the rise
While the importance of branches was significantly limited, digital banking started to play a pivotal role as a touchpoint connecting banks and their customers. In 2020 banks recorded a sudden rise in users’ activities in digital channels. According to Capital Performance Group, that value grew by 10 to 30% in online banking and by 20 to 80% in electronic banking1. That is the reason why we can now observe a drop in the numbers of visitors in banks’ branches. From a customer’s perspective, a support is still crucial, even though the branches have lost their positions as transaction centers.
The growth has indirectly caused a sharp rise in the frequency of contacts between customers and contact centers. Thus, they have to evolve. The key factor in this evolution was providing the users with sufficient support while maintaining the same experiences they used to encounter while visiting bank branches2.
How do customers use remote communication channels?
Currently, banks can use remote communication channels to create personal connections with their customers. Modern communication technologies have significantly developed in the last few years, allowing them to support users in the digital world. They gradually become a base for sales, onboarding, service and retention processes. What is more, as new generations of customers enter the market, digital communication channels such as chats and social medias have grown in importance. As a result, thanks to innovative technologies each generation of users can now contact their bank in a channel of choice.
Traditional contact channels, such as a phone call, are still desirable among some target audiences. There are, however, many differences between different age groups. Those include:
- 90% of people around the age of 25 communicates via digital channels. Only 10% of them prefers to use voice calls. Social media and mobile apps are the backbone of their activities3.
- Among people age 25-35 84% of customers use digital channels. Those customers prefer to use email, mobile apps and chat4.
- Group aged 35-54 is phigital – their representatives use both digital and traditional channels. 51% of those customers prefer to use voice channel, while email is the most popular means of communication among digital channels.
- People aged 54 and above prefers traditional contact channels, with voice calls being the channel of choice of 90% of them.
Each of those groups is characterized by a will to acquire information in their preferred channels on a similar level. That is why omnichannel is constantly growing in importance – the communication must be consistent regardless of the channel.
End-to-end processes (comprehensive processes aimed at transaction completion) are an important part of omnichannel strategy. The fulfillment of customers’ needs in the channels of their choice is the key to good CX. Thus, one should avoid situations in which customers is forced to switch to other means of communication. It is a vital part of customer-centric approach in the age of digital transformation.
Remote channels more important for maintaining customer relationships
Customer service in remote channels will be one of the crucial elements in further development of banking – and it will have the greatest impact on customer experience. The role of service centers themselves will also change responding to the introduction of CX management.
By 2025, 40% of organizations engaged in customer service will transform into profit centers, becoming, in fact, the leaders of customer engagement5. In the same time proactive (outgoing) interactions with users will exceed the number of the reactive (incoming) ones. That is why a creation of new customer service model combining active approach, automation and expert customer service will be vital for further operations.
In the next few years, over 80% of organizations engaged customer service will abandon native mobile apps and switch to messages to ensure better customer service. By 2025, it will be correlated with a dynamic growth of conversational channels and new target audiences that are yet to enter the market of banking services6. On the other hand, the number of digital interactions with customer service is to increase by 40%. Thus, we can already notice that pandemic has created a new trend that will become the part of banks forever7.
Customer support – more than a competitive advantage
As the variety of services is becoming something more than just a competitive advantage, leaders of service and support have to rethink their approach to customers. The expectations of target audiences are constantly growing and each interaction is a chance to improve loyalty and alleviate disloyalty.
Last year was a year of dynamic changes. The need for adjustments and coherent experiences in every channel has intensified. Those factors are a part of switch to digital banking, and it will require an agile technology. Innovative solutions, such as LiveBank Communication Hub, can allow for efficient support during customer journey.
1Capital Performance Group, Why Contact Centers Are a Key Part of a Human+Digital Banking Strategy, https://capitalperform.com/why-contact-centers-are-a-key-part-of-a-humandigital-banking-strategy/
3Dimension Data 2019, Global CX Benchmarking Report.
5Gartner, Top Customer Service and Support Predictions for 2021 and Beyond, https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/top-customer-service-and-support-predictions-for-2021-and-beyond/
7Forrester Research, Predictions 2021: It’s All About Empathy, Digital, And Virtualizing Customer Care, https://go.forrester.com/blogs/customer-service-predictions-2021/