Taking up the CX challenge: How traditional banks are lifting their game

  • Posted on June 21, 2022
  • Estimated reading time 5 minutes

Despite the increasing presence of digital-only competitors, for a long time not much changed in the traditional banking system. Many incumbent banks still have static product and service offerings, limited personalization and little tailoring to individuals’ circumstances.

While some self-service is now available via banking apps and online platforms, functionality often breaks down when service needs get more complex. For anything beyond payments and transfers, many customers still have to call a contact centre or visit a branch. Few are able to engage with their banks seamlessly through their channel of choice to suit their circumstances.

But now, we’re seeing real signs of traditional banks responding to customers’ needs and developing breakthrough digital capabilities to improve the mainstream customer experience. Banks know consumers are looking for financial institutions they can trust. And a big part of gaining that trust is investing in new experiences that respect peoples’ time and offer frictionless interactions.

This last point is critical. Customers don’t want to have to fill in lots of forms with the same information multiple times, particularly if they have already provided it once.

They also expect banks to know – as an entry-level capability – who they are and what they need. The ask is for engaging, personalised interactions in the same way that Amazon and Netflix recommend products and entertainment based on the information a customer is prepared to share and the preferences demonstrated by their previous behaviours and choices.

Finally, banks are starting to respond to this imperative.

Exceptional CX delivering impressive results
Avanade is seeing more and more incumbents upping the ante when it comes to:

  • Improving self-service functionality by providing channels of choice
    Banks are enhancing online services using sophisticated virtual agents to transact on a customer’s behalf – without someone having to call up a contact centre and wait in a queue. Banking customers can now purchase a product, or service an existing product, via digital and self-serve channels. This is allowing people to interact with their banks 24/7 365 days a year – anytime, anywhere. In our experience, banks that implement this type of capability uplift benefit from:
    • 2X increase in CX by integrating chat functionality into self-service platforms
    • 20-30% increase in customer retention
    • 30% reduction in operating expenses
  • Customising and personalising services
    Leading banks now have a unified, 360-degree view of their customers across multiple business units. This ensures bank interactions come from an informed place. Communications, online engagement and proactive suggestions all reference who the customer is and what products and services they already have with the institution. When Avanade helped a leading APAC bank to integrate new technologies into the core of its business to accelerate approval and improve the customer experience, our client benefited from a:
    • 15-18% revenue uplift
    • 50% reduction in end-to-end lending cycle times
    • 65% increase in loans processed
    • 10% growth in current accounts and savings accounts
  • Making all banking interactions simple and easy
    Banks are moving to smart, pre-populated forms and ‘tell-us-once’ functionality. They are also using customer insights to become increasingly proactive and provide more value. Rather than customers having to chase up their relationship managers every time interest rates change to see what’s happening with their mortgage or savings account, banks can now pre-empt this by proactively offering customers the best product to meet their needs in the new rate regime.

    No customer will be excited about interest rate rises on their mortgage. But banks shouldn’t shy away from this issue. The more a rate rise is hidden in the details or not talked about, the less customers trust their bank. They need clear, honest and appropriate advice about rate rises. Understanding individual circumstances is essential to helping banks provide this information.

    Banks moving in this direction find they now have:
    • 34% faster loan closing times, thanks to improved sales effectiveness
    • 22% greater staff efficiency, with automation making employees’ lives easier by reducing manual effort

Time to accelerate value through quick wins and strategic initiatives
Whether it’s spinning up sophisticated virtual agents, automating workflows, improving data quality or mining insights, banks need to identify and deploy solutions that deliver immediate value by both solving customer pain points and delivering beyond their expectations.

Microsoft is scaling its capabilities around digitisation, cognitive automation, process intelligence, and AI using platforms such as Power Platform, Minit, Dynamics 365 and its Data & AI solutions, banks have a unique opportunity to maximise on their investments and deliver rapid value whilst re-imagining operations and processes.

We see banks short term priorities are to:

  1. Quickly identify opportunities to extract value – take a business led approach coupled with process intelligence to rapidly identify high value use cases that reduce costs, increase revenue, improve experience, improve productivity or reduce average handling times.
  2. Harness intelligence – maximise the potential of automation by removing paper-based processing with digitisation and using apps enhanced by integrated data and intelligence.
  3. Test and iterate at speed to scale – Rapidly develop pilots and test to suit your business and customer needs before scaling across the organisation.

As leading banks rise to the CX challenge and radically improve experience, the market will split. Those investing in a frictionless, human-centric service will leap ahead, building loyalty as they do.

Is there any specific area of customer experience your bank wants to improve? If you’re already at the top of your game, what’s the secret to your bank’s customer experience success? Let us know on our socials.

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