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How Finance Service Providers Can Respond to Changing Needs of Customers? Based on various research reports and consumer surveys, these are the things to adapt to meet changing customer needs

By Abhijit Pal

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"Finance is a complex business offering a variety of services "Unifying the different areas of the organization, where the organization is required to manage discrete parts of the customer experience can be a challenge. From a bank's perspective, savings accounts, loans, and credit cards, etc each has its own system within the organization. However, customers don't think in "systems" they think in terms of convenience and ease-of-use.

The digital revolution is changing the daily lives of all consumers. This is more evident in the way people are engaging with financial service providers. Retail banking may be on the bleeding edge of the financial sector in the transition to digital, but insurance, wealth management, and SMB banking are moving along a similar path. The presence of an advisor or agent has somewhat mitigated the rush to digital for these businesses, but every facet of the industry faces the same push.

The pace of change has caught the industry flat-footed. Designing a homepage that is consistent with the company's brand image and customer experience is one thing. However "delivering on the promise of relevant personalized content, convenience and ease-of-use," "calls for a radical change, "with speed to match the ever-changing customer expectations.

Some of the interesting trends from a recent market study indicate that customers know the value of data and will trade it for a return. They are willing to exchange personal data for new, customized benefits. Providers offering real value for data can earn increased trust and loyalty. Many customers are looking upon Google and WhatsApp for financial transactions for sheer convenience. Customers expect their data to be leveraged into personalized advice and benefits, tailored to their life stage, financial goals and personal needs.

Customers expect ease and accessibility, high-quality customer service, financial guidance basis my profile, personalized offers, hi-tech and high touch and trust.

Based on various research reports and consumer surveys, below are some of the pointers to adapt to meet changing customer needs.

Create a people-first experience

Financial providers need to have accessibility over their customer journey – including their buying behaviour, preferred channel of communication, the information they access before they initiate a conversation and the typical questions they raise, all these data once mapped can help to optimize the customer journey.

Engage High-value Interactions at the First Touch Point

Engaging customers through live-chat-technology as a first touch point gives invaluable insight into how to best serve them and is convenient for both agent and user.

Perfect High-touch Customer Experience

Tools such as co-browsing make it possible to work alongside the customer through interactive navigation and highlight features, whether they are on your website or mobile platforms.

Consider a Digital Platform Approach

Financial providers should expand their interactions with consumers across channels. They should seek to create and integrate the digital ecosystem and standardize on a digital platform that is flexible, agile and easy to maintain.

Seek Opportunities in Data

Since customers are ready and willing to exchange their data, financial providers can capitalize. Solid identity security practices build a baseline of trust, from which firms can explore data monetization opportunities.

Personalize the Offerings

In a data-driven enterprise, financial providers can offer personalized products. By using advanced analytics, they can match customers' life stage or immediate financial needs with tailored, curated services.

Simplify the Customer Journey—Both Within and Across Channels

With the rise of omnichannel, cross-channel functionality is essential for financial customers—who may begin a transaction on one device and finish on another. Seamlessness is key to focus on customers' interaction, not the channel.

Bricks + Clicks

Even in an increasingly digital arena, the branch network can play a critical role in building trust and credibility, providing financial advice, offering convenience and easing the transition to digital channels.

Customers are in control—get used to it.

Abhijit Pal

Business Head, India and South Asia, Liferay

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