Personalized Digitalization – An Oxymoron or a Real Thing?

Financial institutions continue to invest in automation, analytics, AI, and digital technologies in an effort to provide more services, mitigate risk, increase efficiencies, drive revenue, and reduce costs.

But does it drive greater personalization and improved consumer experience or reduce it?

Consumers want their financial institutions to demonstrate that they understand them, and consumers want to be rewarded for their loyalty. Consumers want to receive outstanding service. But what does this mean in practical terms?

A recent bank consumer survey attempted to better understand what “personalization” meant to them. Here’s what some said.

1. “Bells and whistles great, but so what.”
2. “Keep my money safe and secure. That’s what banks are supposed to do.”
3. “Just make it easier to start new services and open accounts. Why is it so hard? Why do I have to go into the branch in this day and age?”
4. ‘It’s a pandemic. Branch hours were reduced. So now I have to do more virtually. So, make it easier for me. There’s so much technology for virtual meetings. Why do I have to make an appointment online to go into the branch? Why can’t I just make an appointment to meet online? Or just get in an online queue, no different than standing in line in the branch? My doctor can do it. Why can’t my banker?
5. “Why do I call a contact center, have to verify my identity in the system, then wait for a long time to get to a customer service rep, then have to verify again over the phone with the human. Why do I get verified twice? By the time I get to the customer service rep and actually get to the reason I called, 10 minutes have passed. Personalization means you respect my time as much as you respect your time.”
6. “Really all I want is for the time bank to try and get my item resolved as quickly as possible. Be efficient. That’s personalization to me. That’s how I pick an institution.”
7. “Personalization? Keep fraud and breaches from happening and don’t make mistakes with my money. This makes me trust you. This let’s me know you take my money seriously.”
8. “If you want to ‘personalize me’, make it easy for me to do all my transactions on my mobile device, on my laptop, on all my points of contact.”
9. “If personalization means getting more of my wallet, it doesn’t sound like personalization to me.”
10. “If I’m conducting my business digitally and have a challenge, make it easy for me to get interact with a human and get help. Don’t make me wrestle with a chatbot before it becomes apparent that this can’t help.”
11. “I’d like my financial institution to understand my needs and to treat me like they know me.”
12. “I’ve been a long-time customer of one bank. I’m leaving them. Why do I always see incentive programs offered to get new customers but in all my years at the bank, I never see an incentive or reward program as a loyal customer. They don’t care about me. I don’t care about them.”

The survey highlights that consumers want their digital experience to respect their time, get their issues resolved quickly, increase their ability to bank outside of the confines of the brick and mortar, increase their ability to get human help, recognize their loyalty, and personalize their experience.

Some financial services institutions are achieving these customer goals with their digitalization, some are not. Does your institution’s digital strategy include or align with these customer asks as well as meeting the institutional revenue and cost goals?

AscentBT can help your firm develop and execute a digital plan that will meet both the customer and institutions goals.

Harnessing Your Customer Data for ROI and Value Add

The Challenge

A US based financial market data provider had grown from $10M in revenue and roughly 30 products into a world-wide $60M revenue firm with over 100 product and services offerings. The company didn’t have an overall view of their customer inclusive of products and services provided, customer experience, operating needs, and sales data; exec management wasn’t able to provide accurate operating reports; and customers were experiencing significant customer service and data quality challenges.

The Solution

A customer profile system was implemented with a 360 view of the customer inclusive of the company’s overall products and services, the customers and their purchased products and services, contract terms, product and services operating and delivery detail, and integration into the customer points of contact (mobile, browser, etc.). Management dashboards were developed, automated intelligent customer operations alerts and next product to sell heuristics were implemented, and data analytics to develop customer retention and sales programs were implemented.

The Benefits

More precise and comprehensive executive management reports allowed for improved decision-making and investment decisions, cross sales by an average of 25% within each customer, customer service satisfaction increased and operating issues reduced, new revenue generating services and products were identified, regulatory compliance issues were mitigated, and company morale improved.

Contact Center Customer Experience

The Challenge

A super regional bank’s customers were complaining about contact center wait times, difficulty getting resolutions to their inquiries that were accurate or timely. Internal lines of business felt that they’re operating personnel were fulfilling the majority of the inquiry resolutions. Executive management felt the contact center was extremely expensive for the service provided and the contact center believed they were being unfairly measured.

The Solution

An end-to-end analysis of 6 months of customer inquiries was performed to understand the contact center services and the customer experience through the lifecycle of an inquiry inclusive of initial call to IVR to customer service rep to the relevant back – office operation to the resolution to the delivery of the resolution to the customer. The analysis measured the duration of each phase, the point at which the resolution occurred, the customer satisfaction, and evaluated the technology solutions, processes, and customer service reps roles and responsibilities. As a result of the analysis, the IVR menus were rewritten, inquiry resolutions were automated and moved earlier in the cycle, functions were automated, the customer service reps roles were redefined, operating dashboards were implemented, and the contact center revenue generation and cost were reevaluated.

The Benefits

Over 50% of the customer inquiries were resolved earlier in the inquiry lifecycle, inquiries making it to the back office for resolution were reduced by 25%, customer satisfaction increased 30%, and product cross sell revenues increased by 6% while the contact center operating cost remained flat.