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Skinny and cuddly? How can your omni-channel experience be lean and customer-centric?

As we leave the Christmas season behind, my mind has turned to the inevitable thought of dieting. It is sad and depressing. As ever, I want to eat more and still obtain the perfect physique (which is a long way off!). It is the same in the omnichannel world. Gartner has estimated that by 2017, 50% of consumer product investments will be redirected to customer experience innovations. Banks want to be cuddly and give great customer service, but at the same time, they need to be leaner, faster and more efficient than ever.

For many banks, the implication of giving a better customer experience can be heavy salary and facilities costs as customer services operations balloon. And arguably, it doesn't always give the best customer service. In fact, in my personal experience, I have seen examples of this, with web-chat deployed in a way that confused online customers. Implemented incorrectly, the offer of web-chat to the wrong customers, at the wrong time, resulted in lengthy conversations that could have been handled much faster over the phone. This depresses customer satisfaction and destroys value.

However, there is good news on the horizon. Technology has created the equivalent to a delicious calorie-free cake for your New Year! Using digital technologies, from robotic process automation to neural networks, it is possible to create lean process which support the delivery of customer experience. Forrester have stated that intelligent agents and artificial intelligence are two of their top five technologies for the next five years. As an example, new technologies will enable sentiment analysis to determine how a customer feels and automatically recommend the next chat message for an advisor or an avatar to send - improving the quality and speed of a customer interaction.

Adoption of such technologies is picking up speed in other industries. H&M, Pizza Hut and Domino's have all successfully deployed chatbots – albeit within careful defined limits. These kinds of innovations offer the opportunity to create a better experience for customers and improved operating costs for providers. I suspect we will start to see much more of this in banking as another loop in the omnichannel continuum gets closed.

So, now you've finished this blog, leave me a comment – I guarantee doing so will help you to burn off calories! Happy New Year. 


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Alex Bray

Alex Bray

AVP, Omni-Channel Acquisition & Servicing


Member since

05 Feb 2011



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This post is from a series of posts in the group:

Innovation in Financial Services

A discussion of trends in innovation management within financial institutions, and the key processes, technology and cultural shifts driving innovation.

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