The need to be customer-centric isn’t new, but in today’s world there’s more pressure than ever to deliver exceptional experiences. For FinServ companies—whether traditional banks or their digitally-native competition—there’s more competition forcing innovation in the marketplace. And it’s having an effect: according to a survey from digital consulting firm Mobiquity, bank customers under 55 listed an easier to use app as a top reason to switch (35%), a number that’s approaching the top reason (getting better account terms was tops with 59%).
Creating great, customer-centric experiences means understanding who your customers are and being able to adjust to their needs and interests. That requires a multi-faceted approach combining different teams and technologies that all add up to making customers feel valued by your organization.
The pandemic made all of this more difficult to achieve and sustain over the last 18 months, but there are FinServ companies who are figuring out how to re-center their customers in a more digital world. In the 2021 US CX Index, Forrester found that Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, who jumped 15 spots in a year to take the top spot, “was the industry leader in quickly resolving problems and issues.”
In the absence of face-to-face meetings with advisors because of quarantine restrictions, interactions by video, phone, or SMS were lifelines for customers, becoming true “moments that matter.” How customers felt after these interactions was a large emotional driver for Morgan Stanley clients, as the firm was the leader in making its customers feel valued.
As COVID-19 shuttered in-person meetings, banks were forced to accelerate their digital transformation and adopt a truly omnichannel approach to the customer experience. One result of the switch from in-person to digital channels of engagement is that FinServ companies have more CX data than ever to analyze—if they can capitalize on it, they can help edge out the competition when it comes to customer-centric experiences.
Unlocking the Why Behind the What
An increase in digital customer interactions comes with an increase in unstructured data: all the call transcripts, text messages, and survey verbatims are full of valuable insights into the customer experience. Although companies can easily say what’s happening—i.e. call volumes are increasing on certain days or CSAT scores have decreased—it is harder to uncover the reasons behind what’s happening—unless you have the right strategies and technology to handle the unstructured data.
Without a strategy in place to handle unstructured data, companies rely on incomplete data sets. Survey verbatims, for example, are often relied on to gauge the customer experience at certain touch points. But research from McKinsey found that on average only 7% of the customer voice is being shared with CX leaders through survey. That same research also found that 93% of respondents relied on CSAT or other similar survey-based metrics as their main way of measuring CX performance.
As a result, companies end with a view of the customer experience that is limited, reactive, and unfocused.
To become more customer-centric, companies will need to address these issues. That means companies need to expand their CX measurement program by having a higher volume of customer feedback data, a broader set of data to pull from, and deeper insights into the data.
That trio (volume, breadth, and depth), when paired with velocity, is crucial for companies looking to translate the experiences of their customers into action that will improve future experiences—while it still matters. Waiting too long—especially in a regulated industry like FinServ—introduces risk and increases the likelihood of customers to become frustrated and potentially look elsewhere for products and services.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning will form the cornerstone of any CX strategy that wants to become more customer-centric through unstructured customer feedback data.
The Role of AI in FinServ CX
Artificial Intelligence is being widely adopted in the FinServ industry, with 94% of organizations turning to AI-enabled initiatives to improve the customer experience. These initiatives often fall on the interaction side, with chatbots and other customer-facing touch points leading the way, or in identifying fraudulent transactions.
But many banks are also struggling with scaling up AI across the organization to impact the entire customer journey. Only 5% of banks and 6% of insurers have deployed AI across multiple touch points, and that’s largely because of organizational resistance and the high cost of adoption.
When it comes to improving the customer experience, there’s more for AI to do than take over customer touch points from people.
Bringing AI in on the “backend” of the customer experience—the measurement and analysis side—offers new avenues for financial services companies looking to become more efficient, reduce risk, and to provide better products and services. Ultimately, the insights available through unstructured customer data can help support the people and technologies driving the customer experience, making both better at their jobs.
Stratifyd’s Financial Services Insights powered by Smart AI™, for example, allows companies to unify their experience, operational, and behavioral data to solve the most pressing business challenges, save money and time across teams, and build trust and loyalty with customers.
By unifying data in one platform and unlocking what’s hidden in unstructured customer data, companies can consolidate feedback and analyze an omni-channel view of customers to inform strategies and better understand customer experiences. It does so by automatically uncovering emerging issues as well as identifying top themes, sentiments, and emotions.
To keep up with the speed and volume of customer interactions in the post-Covid digital transformation of the FinServ industry, companies will need these insights across the entire customer journey.
Learn more about Stratifyd for Financial Services Insights here and learn what Smart AI can do to help improve your CX strategies.