Meeting the omnichannel expectations of the modern banking customer
Today’s customers are fueling the fire of the omnichannel revolution. No longer simply delighted by omnichannel experiences, they now expect and demand them. This is especially true in their relationships with financial services institutions. In fact, banks have been among the flagbearers in bringing customers to multi-channel experiences. From in-person queries and services, banks have tirelessly expanded their touchpoints to include mobile, ATMs, online banking, and more.
But continuing to meet or exceed customer expectations in the omnichannel age is no easy feat. Banks often wrestle with legacy systems while customer journeys get remapped every day, as one new channel of communication or interaction after another makes its entry.
To stay relevant, sustain growth, and lead among competitors, banks must tackle the challenge of overcoming fragmented channels and closing the online/offline gap. Doing this requires orchestrating omnichannel experiences for the individual banking consumer, tracking the unique journey of each, and leveraging data-driven insights to anticipate and meet their ever-evolving needs.
The challenge—and value—of consolidated data
Like brands in other industries, banks are tracking the digital footprints of their customers to gather insights and optimize interactions. As customers’ digital identities multiply and overlap across platforms, it becomes crucial to create a unified view of each individual customer, one that is consistent across channels, campaigns, and devices. It’s the key to avoiding mistargeting, redundant communications, and inconsistent messaging , and the antithesis of seamless, individualized omnichannel customer experiences.
To achieve this unified view, banks must navigate an incredible variety—and volume—of customer data, structured and unstructured, demographic and transactional, behavioral and social, and much more. In addition, this constantly growing wealth of data often remains untapped or underused, due to both siloed data sources and an inadequate, mish-mashed data infrastructure that can’t meet the daunting new challenges.
A reliable data management solution should consolidate and integrate all of a bank’s customer data from the full range of its sources—from ATM and kiosk usage to browsing patterns—into a cohesive, comprehensive whole while consistently mapping the multiplying identities of today’s digital customers on an individual level.
What’s more, banks must recognize each and every individual customer, along with their portfolio of evolving attributes, across touchpoints. This means that when a credit card user clicks on a Facebook ad, for instance, the bank should be able to instantly identify that customer, recall their birthday, preferred loan options, and past campaign responses, and leverage all these consolidated insights to guide the next step in the customer’s individual banking journey.
Digital or omnichannel?
According to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), “digital-only” customers constituted 46 percent of the entire banking customer base in 2017, and 15 percent of them are now “mobile-first”—drawn to the smartphone as their primary banking touchpoint. The emergence of this new generation of customers has motivated banks to optimize their services and experiences across digital channels.
Like the regular omnichannel banking customer, the digital-only or mobile-first customer also expects a consistent, contextually relevant banking experience, one that picks up wherever, whenever the individual likes. The difference is that their journey usually occurs only within a particular cluster of digital touchpoints.
This helps bring home another point about omnichannel marketing—one that differs from an “always-on” approach to customer engagement. Instead of amplifying their presence across channels at all times, banks should be able to orchestrate omnichannel user journeys the way customers want them, and they must respond and adjust course in real time through the channels that matter.
As a bank enriches its digital omnichannel experiences, it also opens up new opportunities to reassess its in-person services and offerings; to leverage the digital behavior of more “traditional” customers to inform face-to-face exchanges; to develop innovative ways—in-store QR codes and voice assistants, for example—to augment their branch experiences, capture additional customer data, and extend valuable conversations.
The digital transformation of banking makes omnichannel marketing automation capabilities more valuable than ever. Combining data-driven insights, innovative strategies, and robust technologies to automate and augment their efforts, banks can meet their customers’ omnichannel banking expectations, deliver high-impact communications, create lasting connections, and fuel top-line growth.