Banks that invest in ensuring a consistent customer experience across all channels may be wasting their money, according to an analysis by CEB TowerGroup.
So what do we mean by a "consistent customer experience" anyway? In the past with batch processing and no real time transactions customers could get a different view of their accounts from different systems. This clearly isn't acceptable.
It is quite different however to have the facility to undertake a full range of transactions across all channels and I'm not sure that this has ever been what customers have demanded or expect. From the description of "consistent customer experience" however
this seems to be what is being suggested.
Customers want to be able to do what they need to in a way that is convenient to them. That's not the same as having a consistent customer experience or is it?
I think this research is extremely timely. To paraphrase a line I used in a white paper on multi-channel banking in 2011, trying to deliver a multi-channel experience across all channels and processes is like eating an elephant in one bite. Banks need to
break it down into small pieces. They also need to be more focussed on value. Why are they enabling a specific customer journey to be multi-channel?
Mortgage applications are a great example of a process ripe for multi-channel enablement. They are high value transactions which run over a period of weeks. We know customers will want advice and to be able to track the progress of their application. They
may want to do this on the phone, in a branch or over the internet. That means that multi-channel enabling long running sales processes like this is very sensible. Not only will a mortgage sale be made – but a relationship will be deepened. Buying a house
could not be more important to a customer. Providing a good experience at this time is critical. So in this case, the cost of multi-channel would be justifiable.
However, a bank should not multi-channel enable a process when the benefits case doesn’t stack up. Multi-channel enabling low value sales and transactions will increase costs for a bank without providing a meaningful return. Nor should multi-channel strategies
distract from the fact that most customer needs should be fulfilled with a single touch. Most non-sales transactions and many sales process should not require to be multi-channel enabled at all. Instead banks should focus on making it easier for a customer
to complete their transaction without needing to move channels.
Multi-channel banking is still an important goal for banks – but it should be implemented judiciously, where it will add value.
Point well stated. While most types of transaction should be performed in one go, without hopping from one channel to another (letting the aspect of two factor, two channel authentication aside for a moment), at least it should be possible to get a consistent
and current view on the status of the customers current account - regardless of the channel chosen. That's not asking too much in the 21st century ...
This resonates well with the concluding remark of my blog post titled "Jumping On The Omnichannel Bandwagon" published almost two years ago:
"We believe that 100% multichannel support ... is neither necessary nor practical".
Competitive (base + bonus)London, UK
© Finextra Research 2013