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.