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Enticing new blood into the banking industry

A YouGov survey, which came out earlier last month, gave a startling insight into UK students’ attitudes towards a career in banking. With just two percent stating that they consider working for a bank, the impact this could have on an industry that relies on attracting the very brightest talent in the future provides cause for concern.

It’s easy to understand why young people are refusing to see the potential of a career within the financial services given the unremitting bad media coverage. Taking the PPI debacle as a key example, this cost the UK around £7.5 billion in compensation following an unprecedented number of complaints from unhappy customers. This, combined with weekly headlines criticising bankers’ bonuses, has undoubtedly left the banking sector’s reputation in tatters with a deep-seated mistrust for those working in the industry.

Banks are in dire need of an image overhaul in order to regain that much-needed customer trust. The digital customer service solutions that the majority of financial services have in place have contributed to this. They have created a distance between companies and customers which needs to be broken down in order to rebuild their customers’ lost faith. By rebuilding the personal relationship young people have with their bank they will see it as something they identify with rather than despise. This will take a considerable effort from banks at a time when they are moving into non-human customer service channels just when they need to make themselves more human.

A key way to go about repairing this relationship is through offering customers a personalised service that is directly tailored to their needs and wants. Recent technological developments mean that that real-time decisioning has come along leaps and bounds. It holds significant potential for getting the very best out of customer interactions. Decisioning allows financial organisations to quickly and dynamically react in real-time to something that has happened during a customer interaction. It enables financial organisations to guide customer facing staff through the next-best-actions required to achieve optimal outcome of the situation.

To truly optimise and gain measurable value from each and every customer interaction it’s essential to have the right IT systems in place. Next Best Action (NBA) decisioning allows financial organisations to maximise the entire customer lifecycle. Furthermore by leveraging data analytics, financial organisations can appropriately tailor their interactions to the needs of the customer, ensuring the customer is at the very heart of their approach.

Decisioning needs to be implemented as part of an organisation’s overall architecture and continues to work out NBAs throughout the whole of a customer interaction, not just at the very beginning. It dynamically responds to any new information that is captured and then uses it to adapt to changes and customise responses according to these changes. Banks using this capability are able to generate millions of decision points every day. They use rule-based processes, self-learning adaptive models and real-time customer knowledge that enable NBAs to be generated, helping staff to better understand their customer and proactively offer them help.

We have seen this capability used to its best advantage in non-banking sectors. To take a key example, Amazon has long been using decisioning processes to help increase customer satisfaction and drive sales, using up-selling and cross-selling techniques. For example, when a customer is making a purchase the company leverages data insights to identify similar purchases made in the past by other customers to elicit interest in products they may not have originally noticed. Financial organisations can follow this pattern. Compiling customer data allows them to enhance the customer experience by identifying new products they might be interested in or proactively offering help with any issues they might be facing.

By embracing proactive care and implementing dynamic decisioning solutions, financial organisations are able to personalise their customer interactions. This will go a long way in re-establishing the evident lack of trust that customers have towards banks. As their reputations start to be repaired the sector will become more appealing to young people deciding which career path to take, bringing a new generation of bright individuals into the industry and helping to encourage vital growth.

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