The biggest revolution in banking since the ATM

BrandPost By Monica Hovsepian
Mar 23, 2021
Financial Services Industry

How omnichannel drives success for retail banks

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Credit: Shutterstock

The days of “wait and see” are over for retail banking. The digital transformation journey has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and retail banks will be judged by the experiences they provide to new and existing customers. Now is the time for financial institutions to truly embrace omnichannel banking and deliver optimal experiences to their customers.

Jim Marous, CEO of the Digital Banking Report, analyzed the banking industry on OpenText’s behalf to assess its ability to respond to and capitalize on the growing need for a personalized customer experience.

“Organizations need to have a central source of data and insights that can drive a positive customer experience,” says Marous. “This experience must be personalized, fast and seamless for the consumer, showing that the financial institution wants to make their life easy.”

The good news is that more financial organizations than ever realize that. Our survey results showed that digital banking transformation is a top priority in 2021 for 75 percent of organizations; and 51 percent of respondents named improving customer experience as a top priority.  These issues are related, and a well-executed digital experience platform (DXP) can make both possible.

Digital experience is about more than digital channels

There’s a danger, though. Simply providing a digital channel to connect with your customers isn’t enough. While it’s true that some interactions—especially more complex inquiries—may continue to require face-to-face engagements in a branch, customers now expect to be able to manage all their banking needs through their channel of choice.

And preference is what customers value: they want to be able to do what they want, when they want, where they want and how they want. They have come to expect that in other aspects of their lives, says Marous: “Financial institutions need to provide digital experiences that are similar to Amazon, Netflix, Apple and fintech firms, where engagement is intuitive and contextual.”

The strength of a DXP lies in its ability to deliver a consistent, connected and continuous experience across all channels. However, when asked if their firm currently uses an omnichannel approach to measure customer satisfaction, 88 percent said either “no” or “don’t know”.

Beware generic customer experiences

Unfortunately, generic customer experiences in retail banking are all too common. Simply greeting the customer by name on a communication—be it post or email or text—doesn’t enhance the experience much. If the communication itself is identical to 10,000 others and doesn’t speak to an individual’s financial journey, needs and concerns, that customer might decide to look elsewhere.

Worst of all, you might not discover that until it’s too late. Because customer information tends to be strictly siloed in many financial institutions, it can be hard to appreciate the customer’s whole range of needs and address them. This can lead to what, in our “Banking Transformed” report, Marous calls “hidden defection”—when a customer opens new accounts or services at another institution while keeping their account(s) with you.

Digital alternatives to almost any traditional financial product and service are now available from non-traditional players, and your more agile competitors might offer these as well. While defection might start with only a savings account or a credit card, that relationship can grow until you lose the customer entirely.

Digital Experience Platform: The future of retail banking

In the past, retail banking often relied on the friction—the difficulty—involved in changing institutions and dealing with multiple institutions. That won’t work anymore. The key now is to understand and measure the entire customer experience, from end to end, and to evaluate satisfaction at every point. Using a pre-existing customer experience tech stack, you can apply strong customer journey analytics to measure engagement and satisfaction at any point in the customer journey. Doing this enables you to figure out how and when to engage with customers and get feedback on crucial points in that journey.

Just as customers demand an omnichannel approach, retail banking needs a DXP solution that supports and enables omnichannel experiences.

OpenText’s DXP for Retail Banking gives banks the tools they need to create superior digital experiences that help win and keep customers. See more here.

Monica Hovsepian is the Global Senior Industry Strategist, Financial Services at OpenText.