Be Design-led and Data-informed
Competition is tougher than ever in the banking industry. Customers are more knowledgeable, demanding, and powerful. Customer experience is key to business success. However, providing delightful customer experiences is easier said than done.
Banks across Middle East and Africa are striving to deliver distinctive customer experiences, offer high-quality services, and stay relevant to customers. There is no silver bullet to do that. However, there are certain areas to focus on to deliver great customer experiences.
Research by Digitopia and Union of Arab Banks (UAB) suggests that there is high awareness on customer experience at management level. However, there is room to deliver better experiences especially by focusing on being omnichannel and applying advanced analytics.
Be Omnichannel: design for simplicity, convenience, and significance
While being functional, usable, and convenient are important value propositions, an excellent customer experience extends further to offering significant interactions. Providing a superior customer experience often starts by identifying key customer journeys. For many financial institutions, there is a set journeys that contribute extensively to customer satisfaction; be it opening an account, applying for a loan, taking out a mortgage, monitoring credit card transactions, making a money transfer etc. Empathising with customers through in-depth research and factual data are key to understanding the customers’ needs and behaviour for each journey. Moreover, an omnichannel approach is required to customise interactions on one channel based on the customer’s previous interactions in other channels.
Crafting personally significant solutions requires working agile in teams with members of diverse skills, e.g. business owners, data analysts, researchers, user experience designers, and user interface designers.
Apply advanced analytics: use data to be insightful and relevant
A good understanding of customer behaviour requires advanced analytical capabilities built on a rich and correct database.
Advanced analytical capabilities include being able to personalise offerings and interactions, using real-time data for immediate action, and running prescriptive analyses to surprise customers. The more real-time and granular a company gets, the more competitive advantage it gains. Leveraging data for customer experience breeds significant business value. It helps lowering costs-to-serve, increasing sales, and establishing long-term customer relationships.
Overall, design capabilities and data analytics metrics aligned with strategy are important pillars of customer-focused business and significant levers of staying relevant. By understanding different components of customer experience, assessing the maturity of the enterprise at each component, and drafting a roadmap for improvements are key steps to reduce any gaps between customers and the company; and closing the gaps will result in delighted customers, happier employees, and better business performance.
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