Banks and credit unions can create a virtuous cycle of continuous quality improvements (CQI) for the customer experience (CX) if they focus on three key components—customer needs, data integration and network connectivity. Continuously working to better understand customer needs and taking positive action in response to those needs is the first step to set a virtuous cycle in motion. Technology can fuel the cycle and reduce the intervals between significant improvements to CX.
Harnessing data for growth
Traditional customer feedback to improve CX came from manager-customer conversations and surveys. While directly soliciting and responding to feedback remains important, technology can also deliver actionable insights to strategically and systematically enhance the CX —with little or no customer effort.
Competitive pressure forces financial institutions to improve the CX by investing in digital capabilities. People, processes and systems are all being integrated in an ecosystem that can yield analytics for actionable insights. This evolution is gaining momentum; according to a recent industry survey1, data ranked number one among respondents’ priorities for 2019 banking trends.
Personalizing products and service delivery as part of an improved customer acquisition and retention experience creates monetization opportunities. Successful banks and credit unions better target customers or members throughout their digital journey to offer the right product or service at the right time. Banking interactions on digital devices are increasing, driving growth in the data being captured and analyzed in real time. The insights this data provides into buying behaviors have significant monetization opportunity and are becoming a source of competitive advantage – hence the buildout of data lakes and warehousing by larger financial institutions to store and connect big data.
Some select data-driven objectives for financial institutions include1:
Transforming the network
New technologies are enabling financial institutions to monetize engagement within CX. Legacy infrastructure can inhibit institutions from capturing, analyzing and acting on new data in real time to truly enhance the CX. If data integration is the fuel in a virtuous cycle to enhance CX, then infrastructure is the racetrack.
Massive amounts of data are traversing banking networks to support data analytics and business intelligence. To enable a frictionless CX and monetize opportunities, data must flow seamlessly between headquarters, branches and third parties. Not having enough bandwidth for data-intensive applications—such as online account opening, digital payments, online loan applications and ITMs—can result in high bounce rates, high opportunity costs and a negative CX.
Technology can enable banks to bridge the gap between the digital and physical CX. Advanced WiFi and analytics solutions can be part of a strategy to transform branches into digital showrooms by tailoring CX to each customer.
Financial institutions of all types and sizes realize enhancing digital CX channels is critical to future success.
Securing the network
Of course, speed without safety is reckless. Securing sensitive data—both at rest and in transit—is mandatory to protect personally identifiable information (PII) and meet other regulatory requirements; ultimately, network security protects an institution’s reputation and bottom line.
Rapid digital evolution creates potential vulnerabilities. The financial industry is being targeted with new and complex cyber-attacks—including DDoS attacks, data exfiltration and ransomware incursions. In response, industry ecosystems are expanding to include technology partners that have already integrated security directly into network solutions such as managed network security, hybrid networking and wavelength services.
Financial institutions who support CX strategies with the right technology enable new monetization opportunities, market expansion and sustainable growth. Data integration must be a priority, as well as a flexible and secure network in order to meet customer needs. Once you’ve set a virtuous cycle of CQI for CX in motion, you can then delight customers and enjoy growing returns on your investments.
1Kony DBX, 2019 Retail Banking Trends and Predictions report, 2018.
JP González heads Product and Vertical Marketing for Windstream Enterprise, creating go-to-market strategies, positioning solutions and crafting foundational messaging. JP’s background in telecommunications dates back to 1998 and includes various product management, corporate strategy, finance and sales roles at Windstream, Level 3 Communications, Qwest Corporation and MCI. He received an MBA from Rice University and a Master of Telecommunications degree from the University of Denver. He brings donuts to the office on Fridays, using them as a pretext to write about random topics.
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