Delivering richer real-time experiences in Banking

November 3, 2017
The same dynamics that have rewritten the rules for virtually every type of commercial relationship are also reshaping the banking industry – and banks are under growing pressure to deliver the rich, relevant, and personalized experiences across every channel and point of interaction.

The fundamental shift toward a more customer-centric paradigm in banking is the topic of a recent Q&A with IDC analyst Jerry Silva. As Silva notes, more than 90% of millennials are active online and mobile banking users. However, more than half still prefer to complete some types of transactions (such as opening an account or applying for a loan) at brick-and-mortar branches.

In other words, customers view banking as an omni-channel relationship, and banks must master the ability to tailor each interaction to the customer’s expectation and achieve intimacy at scale. Nevertheless, many banks struggle to keep pace with the growing expectations of today’s customers, and Silva discusses the obstacles they face in delivering a compelling and personalized experience, including:

  • No single view of the customer – Silva points out that in many banks, customer data is scattered across the organization. Different lines of business within the bank have their own systems and data sources that focus on their specific slice of the business. Creating a single, unified view of the customer across every line of business and point of interaction is one of banking’s primary challenges.
  • A lack of appropriate analytics – Without the “analytics architecture” that can tap into the multiple sets of data on a customer’s history, needs, and preferences, banks lack the insight into customer motivations that can help them shape and refine their engagement strategy. As Silva puts it, banks “must use analytics that look across the customer's relationships, products, and life cycle, ideally combining that institutional knowledge with information from external sources to create a more comprehensive understanding of the customer's desires.”
  • The inability to coordinate interactions and promotions across channels -In many banks, the departments and teams responsible for each channel tend to operate independently. One line of business isn’t always aware of how the others are interacting with the customer. This disjointed approach sends the message that the bank isn’t concerned enough about the customer’s experience to smooth out the gaps and create the seamless consistency that customers deserve and expect.

Silva also touches on the strategies and technologies that innovative banking intuitions are deploying to help them continue to thrive in the omni-channel era. He highlights how advanced AI can sort through the wealth of data on the customer to help demonstrate greater intimacy and pinpoint the potential offers that customers are more likely to notice and respond to. He looks at tactics banks can employ to create a more integrated view of the customer across all lines of business and how outside data sources can add nuance to that view. He discusses how banks that are planning for an omni-channel future need the capability to engage with customers in real-time. And finally, he points out that doing all of this for one customer is difficult enough. Doing it across an entire customer base is the real challenge.

Banks that can deliver this “intimacy at scale” will have a clear competitive advantage in a world where customers call the shots. This Q&A offers a wealth of insights into how banks can begin to develop the strategies and marshal the resources they’ll need to keep pace with the customer’s ever-evolving expectations.

To learn more, download the IDC Financial Insights brief.

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