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2021 is the year to prioritize improving the digital customer experience. Here’s why.

2021 will be the year we learn from 2020, and banks will be no exception. Last year, digital services were put to the test. If they weren’t up to scratch customers went elsewhere and businesses missed out. 

The Pandemic has Accelerated the Rate of Digital Adoption

The rate of adoption of digital services, across generations in particular, was way above industry predictions. Therefore, a lot of digital customer engagements fell short of customer expectations. It was, in fact, the year video calls made us all feel in-person, remotely. Brands like Zoom boomed and underpinned the desire for human interactions in a new-normal, digital world. 

But how do you get that human touch? 

Time to Make Digital Investment Personal 

This is particularly pertinent to the banking sector where ~60% of operating expenses are associated with maintaining branch networks. This cost isn’t going to disappear – branches are still pivotal to the way banks do business and interact with their customers. However, the future of customer relationships is going to be a hybrid of digital and in-person services, with both feeling safe, secure, and personalized. 

When we reference personalization, we mean an experience that meets the needs of the customer and what is relevant to them at a particular moment. This is why real-time interactions and the management of this (i.e. RTIM) is critical to really meaningful engagements with customers digitally. 

Know your customers beyond their transactions

The traditional banking relationship that can be embodied in the character George Bailey in the classic movie ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’, is one where the bank representative is part of the local community and knows the people within it personally - beyond their transactions. Whether that’s remembering the name of their significant other, or congratulating them for a house move or new job, this relationship is built on the basis of unstructured and structured data.

Use your data intelligently and responsibly 

The way to stand out from the competition is in ‘how’ you’re using your data. Because while you might be able to use it to anticipate the next transaction, you could also use it to understand your customers.

Are you spending the time & resources on the right priorities for your customers?

Next to using your data intelligently, you also need to use it responsibly not only from a regulatory perspective but also from the perspective of your customer. Banks are still positioned as the data steward, which is a tremendous opportunity when data is used sensibly to deliver relevancy to customers without becoming creepy. 

How Should Banks Navigate 2021? 

The current ways in which we’re looking at customer relationships have their limitations. Break down the silos today. When it comes to what data to collect and how to utilize it, banks are in different stages of the journey towards transformation. 

Your customer’s behavior has been shifting and you need to respond adequately. Banks need to break down the data silos and get a holistic, 360º view of their customers by unifying and leveraging unstructured and structured data. When it comes to what data to collect and how to utilize it, banks are in different stages of the journey toward digital transformation. But there’s no playbook so to speak. 

So ask yourself: 

Where am I optimizing with my company today?

How have digital transformation efforts been paying off in digital acceleration? 


You can watch my full interview with Finextra here.




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