It’s no secret that consumers are looking for the most convenient service for them, and with such a wealth of options, banks need to be agile and ready to upgrade as behaviors shift.
Mobile banking apps are no longer enough. The way fintech is disrupting banking urges the industry to find new ways to engage their customers.
So, how can banks stay ahead?
Many fintech innovations have hit the banking industry like a bomb: start-ups offered more than digital-only banking and became riddled with customer centricity. To counter this traditional banks have started embracing communication in different channels as a way to communicate their values to their customers. The goal being to meet consumers where they are — even if it’s at the street corner.
Poland’s Idea Bank offers customers a mobile ATM to withdraw or deposit cash. Germany’s Fidor Bank allows customers to sign-on to its bank through Facebook. Do you feel like the pressure for innovative banking is on yet?
According to KPMG, 43% of the bank CEOs responding to its survey admitted they were concerned about their ability to keep up with the rapid changes in the industry. They know the next generation is demanding ultra-convenient service.
Recently, innovative banking think-tank sessions are investigating the future usage of IoT and blockchain. The goal is to bring banking to more customers through improved customer experience. Does that mean banks should open a new department for innovation?
Whether or not a bank has an innovation department, it’s important to have an innovative culture that’s encouraged across hierarchy. Keeping the conversation open with the experts is more than necessary.
Innovation should always consider what the customers want. Offering omnichannel solutions— like SMS, voice, notifications, email, chat, IoT and chatbots — is increasingly fundamental but must be how the customer prefers to communicate. Innovation is possible — while keeping the environment secure for everyone.
Customers’ expectations of the brands they do business with are higher than ever.
In the 2017 Global Consumer Pulse Report, consulting group Accenture found that 48% of consumers expect special treatment for being a good customer. Failure to deliver against these expectations can have catastrophic consequences. Of those surveyed who had terminated their relationship with a business, one third said it was because that business failed to deliver on personalization. And only 22% believed the service they received was personalized to their needs or personal circumstances.
The banking industry is used to relying on the idea that people will stay with the same bank for life but this is no longer case.
The average adult in Zimbabwe has used the same checking account for about 5 years. Drastic economic changes aside, the financial impact of poor service is quite visible. This change is even more true for the millennial generation and these are the new target market for customers. You want them on board. Keep in mind that this is a generation that is all about research. Not only do they compare prices and services before making a decision but they also take reviews into account.
More than 8 out of 10 millennials are open to the idea of switching banks, given the motivation to do so. More than 50% of millennials abandon brands every year, with 25% of those doing so after a single bad experience. Give them three bad experiences and 82% in this age range will switch.
A continual loss of customers is far from inevitable and could be avoided if banks and other financial services companies seek out and exploit all possible differentiators that create positive equity. Among these, banks might invest in their brand through marketing, or extend their offerings to allow more flexibility for customers. They might invest more in some aspect of their technology to improve responsiveness or other parts of the customer experience. At the top of the list, though, must be adopting and exploring all aspects of personalization.
Personalization can start small. Simply dropping “Dear Sir/Madam” from letters in favor of “Dear Mrs. Moyo” can do wonders in terms of the impression it creates. “The bank is talking to me, about my circumstances,” is the immediate effect. Little things can go a long way, but much larger measures will be necessary to keep up with the competition and achieve the results cited above. Adopting enterprise technology such as the mGate and enabling customer profiling helps make adoption less time-consuming by automating omnichannel communications.
Personalized services are imperative for the banking industry.
Banks can leverage automated and event based notifications on a wide range of messaging channels through omnichannel solutions, sharing notifications like anti-fraud alerts, balance statements, payment reminders and withdrawal notifications in a fast, convenient and secure way.
Banking and financial services cannot escape the effects of digital transformation, and they’re investing in technology to help facilitate their own and live up to a new paradigm. According to Gartner, the global banking industry will spend $519 billion on IT in 2018, up 4.1 percent year-over-year from $499 billion in 2017. The need to innovate to digitally transform spans both virtual and traditional banks. While brick-and-mortar banks must actively work toward digitization, online banks already operating via a digital model — even those natively built on digital platforms — must also modernize their communication strategies.
Keeping Pace through Enhanced Communication
Communication is key to customer experience, and customer experience is
paramount to overall business success. One way to ensure two-way, secure communication via platforms that customers know and love is by implementing omnichannel solutions. Omnichannel enables banks to reach their customers through various messaging platforms, delivering custom text messages and rich content over SMS, chat apps, voice, email, notifications, and Facebook. This custom streamlined communication improves the quality of service companies deliver to their target audiences. Seamless integration of communication helps ensure an easy, modern purchasing and consuming experience for a brand’s customer base. This enables online banks to capitalize on the on-demand nature of digital models and enables traditional banks to reach their target audiences in new, convenient ways. Taking brand-to-customer communication a (necessary) step further, one aspect of an omnichannel solution banks can use is application-to-person (A2P) SMS messaging — commonly referred to as “enterprise” or “professional SMS.” This allows for a direct conversation, authentication of users of online services and delivery of time-sensitive alerts.
Sending mobile messages from a business application to a mobile user enables banks to meet customers where they’re already actively messaging. According to Deloitte’s 2018 Banking Industry Outlook, mobile is rising to the fore in consumers’ banking habits and preferences. The mobile channel is steadily replacing the branch as the focal point of the banking experience, achieving engagement even beyond that of online banking.
Both traditional and online banks should capitalize on this shift to a mobile-centric world by creating a strong mobile offering. Offering constant access, and real-time customized communication and alerts, virtual banks are attractive to today’s always-on customer. Traditional banks can tap into the many benefits of virtual banks by leveraging omnichannel solutions and implementing A2P messaging, giving them the opportunity to keep on pace with the competition and enhance communication with their target audience.
While traditional and virtual banks serve specific purposes for their target audiences, both can be enhanced by adopting omnichannel solutions and A2P messaging. Adopting solutions that share personalized messages and are delivered at the
right time via the right channels will increase customer activity and communication effectiveness, ultimately bringing both online and traditional banks into the future.
There are several ways banks can use WhatsApp Business to connect with customers and enhance their customer experience.
1. DRIVE CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT
Banks can better engage with customers through real-time conversations and rich communications functionalities. Banks can immediately respond to enquiries by sending and receiving rich messages with high-resolution images, text, file and document sharing.
2. MAKE CONVERSATIONS PERSONAL
WhatsApp Business makes it simple for banks to personalize the content of messages for each customer. Personalization includes user attributes such as the customer’s name, user behavior (previous purchase orders for example) or location (country, city).
Today, personalization is key for any business communications. According to Business Insider, 47% of customers will leave a brand’s website if they don’t get customized product lists or information.
3. ENSURE MESSAGING SECURITY AND PRIVACY
Clients and customers want the highest level of security, especially when it comes to personal financial data or payment information. WhatsApp Business provides a safe and secure, yet convenient way for customers to chat with their preferred business or financial institution.
WhatsApp Business confirms customers are communicating with a verified business. The customer also approves the dialogue by opting-in before the communication with a specific business takes place. Customers can also be the first to initiate the contact and provide consent to interact.
4. MEASURE RESULTS AND IMPACT
WhatsApp Business is a highly measurable chat app that monitors in real-time whether someone is responding to your messages or writing back and engaging in the conversation. Banks can also receive status delivery and messages seen reports, helping to optimize future conversations even further.
How can banks effectively communicate with their clients?
Customer experience is a brand’s biggest asset today. To optimize it, messaging channels have become one of the most convenient and effective ways to communicate with a company or financial service. With WhatsApp for Business, enterprises can expand their customer-centric dialogue on a chat app their customers already trust and enjoy.
By leveraging WhatsApp Business, customers will have the option to receive important banking transaction alerts in real-time. For example, if a credit card has been compromised, the bank agent can reach out and notify the user immediately via chat app instead of over the phone in a secure environment.
Transactional inquiries: For everyday banking issues, instead of accessing a banking app, reaching out to a call center or visiting a local branch, clients can efficiently communicate over WhatsApp and enquire about everything from the status of a mortgage application, to the process of opening a bank account.
Customer support: Banks can also conveniently administrate support and time-efficient responses to new enquiries over WhatsApp Business, all within the app. This helps them avoid app development and the management of mobile sessions needed in the typical mobile bank application.