Like every other domain, banking is increasingly looking at digital transformation as the foundation for resilient and profitable future operations. According to Gartner, the adoption of digital technologies is the most significant trend in the banking industry. Successful digital transformation stands on four pillars; customer experience (CX), technology, workforce reskilling, and process innovation. The last three pillars are the tools to enhance the ultimate customer experience. Banking chatbots are proving to be critical contributors to the elevated customer experience by enabling omnichannel banking. This article will examine how banking can benefit from enhanced CX through omnichannel digital banking. It will also discuss how banking chatbots can enable omnichannel digital experiences for growth.
What Is Omnichannel Digital Banking?
Today, most businesses have multiple platforms. While a customer might first interact with a company on their website or through social media, they might reach out on the phone or through a chat or video app. While business owners may have separate teams for each customer touchpoint, one of the most exciting business trends is the Omnichannel approach. The omnichannel strategy means that businesses can create uniform touchpoints for customer engagement and transactions regardless of digital channels. It also refers to the idea that companies should provide customers with a seamless experience as they move between channels.
What are the critical drivers of omnichannel digital banking?
Businesses must look beyond traditional communication channels and consider the customer's preferences and digital habits to build a truly "Omnichannel" customer service experience. Today's consumers want an engaging and immersive experience when transacting with brands, and they are willing to take their business elsewhere if a brand does not provide it.
Such changing preferences are why cross-channel engagement is the future of digital banking. Many banks are already scrambling to provide their customers with a seamless digital experience. Still, to be successful, they need to build a robust environment that can support a wide range of channels and interfaces to enable cross-channel customer journeys. Let us examine some of the critical drivers of omnichannel digital banking from customers’ and banks’ perspectives.
The Customer Point of View
Customer demands are evolving as technology evolves. Lifestyle changes also impact customer needs and expectations. These changing expectations are driving the new-age banking. Some of the critical factors of the customer experience are;
Ease of information access
Customers today expect a lot. They wish to access information quickly, compare different products, and have their questions answered instantly. And with technology taking over, they expect it to be available on their phone, on their computer, at their fingertips without any delays. It's no longer enough to have your information available at a physical bank location; it needs to be available on-demand on all the devices your customers use. The customers also expect the information to be relevant and understandable as today's banking products can be complicated.
Real-time updates and support
Today's customers want transparency, and they want to know what's going on at all times. They expect real-time, proactive updates and support through all the banking channels. With the advent of social media, customers increasingly demand real-time, proactive updates on their financial transactions and queries.
Customers have come to value relevant information that is tailored to their unique needs and requirements. Trying to find what they are looking for from a maze of options and data diminishes the experience and reduces the engagement. They need filtered information that is directly related to their queries and problems.
Privacy and security of information and transactions is another vital aspect of customer experience. With technology being all-pervasive and a massive amount of customer data being collected, customers value the trust banks can provide in their digital interactions.
Sustainably address customer experience demands.
Given the changing customer expectations, banks face a significant challenge in meeting the demand since many legacy systems that the banks use may not support these challenges. Banks are trying to address this by designing and deploying new technology solutions to serve customers more efficiently and effectively.
Optimize operational costs
While the banks must meet the increasing demands from customers, they can not do it at the cost of operational efficiencies. In a fast-changing business environment, banks need to remain agile and handle customer interaction consistently.
Obtain a competitive edge
Efficient customer experience and agility through automation are two critical areas that will provide banks with a competitive edge through digital transformation. It is not only essential to innovate but also essential that those innovations reach customers. The digital solutions that the banks choose play a vital role in such execution.
Ensure risk-free banking transactions
As the influx of data increases, it becomes challenging for banks to ensure that they mitigate the risks and frauds. The data comes from multiple channels across different time points, ensuring consistency and documentation accuracy creates a considerable challenge.
Why is Omnichannel important?
Customers are using multiple devices.
As digital technologies penetrate every sphere of life, the variety of devices to access banking services also increase. Having a shared computer per household was common earlier, but that's no longer the case. At the minimum, you can assume at least a couple of devices for every customer. According to Google research, 98% of Americans use multiple devices on the same day. Many customers start the journey online using the desktop web and then use mobile devices to complete transactions.
Omnichannel banking refers to a way of interacting with a customer where they can choose anytime, anywhere, and any device. The idea is to allow customers to determine both the physical channel and the communication channel convenient for them, whether in-person, over the phone, or on a website or a mobile app. The omnichannel idea is that the experience is consistent across all digital channels, regardless of the customer's channel. This idea includes each channel's benefits and the customer service and support provided through each of them.
Better Customer Experience
While there are challenges to creating a consistent omnichannel experience, it brings much value to the banks. The omnichannel experience provides an optimal strategy for banks to fulfill customer expectations while ensuring optimal operations and banking services. By being where the customer is when they want to avail of your services, banks can provide better customer acquisition and retention. The ease of access to information and transactional services ensure greater customer satisfaction.
Better Customer Insight
With an omnichannel approach, banks can better understand customer intent by leveraging multiple touchpoints to learn more about customer preferences and behavior. There are numerous ways such learning benefits banks. By having deep, data-driven insights into how each customer interacts across channels, banks can better personalize the experience. Customers appreciate information that is specifically relevant to them. Personalized experience increases engagement and loyalty, thus ensuring customer retention. However, by identifying specific products and offers for individual customers, banks can create further upsell and cross-sell opportunities, thus directly driving the growth.
How does Omnichannel Strategy Through Banking Chatbots Elevate Customer Experience?
Fortunately for banks, the evolving technology eases some of the pain of creating a practical omnichannel experience. While the web and mobile apps became pervasive long ago, the technology was still inadequate to leverage the plethora of other channels. However, with the increasing ease of integrations, as well as the advent of simplified ways to adopt Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) into routine banking operations, banks can now effectively meet the challenges of customer experience (CX). The omnichannel strategy is the crucial demonstrator of how the evolving technology can benefit banks.
Chatbots as primary drivers of omnichannel CX
While there are many components in the implementation of the omnichannel CX, chatbots are at the forefront. They ease the customers' pain of fighting unfriendly technologies and a vast amount of data to get the information by utilizing the natural conversational patterns through chat options. According to a KPMG study, over 32% of customers use 24/7 chat options to connect to their bank. In the background, though, they leverage the ML and AI algorithms to process and analyze a vast amount of data, gather and share insights, facilitate transactions, and ensure operational efficiency for the banks. By utilizing these technologies to offer an omnichannel experience, banks have reduced their costs by 30-40% in their middle and back-office operations.
Bank chatbots are versatile tools that provide touchpoints across various channels, including web, mobile, wearables, and even Automated Teller Machines (ATM). Without replicating individual development efforts, chatbots enable banks to reach out to customers using the most convenient and preferred channels. Banking chatbots can also handle complex tasks, including answering customer queries, providing information, and even recommending new products. The best part: they can do all of this while allowing a customer to interact with them in natural conversation patterns from any channel they choose.
They also leverage many communication channels, including phones, conversational interfaces, and other communication channels like WhatsApp, Slack, Team, and various other collaboration applications. Additionally, the chatbots enable a consistent experience across all these channels utilizing conversational AI capabilities to facilitate natural language and communication patterns.
Chatbots enable frictionless human-handoffs
There are times, however, when the customers prefer to talk to a human executive. The Google research indicates that customers switch between 2-4 screens and use voice & video calls with a person for transactions across the purchase journey. The banking chatbots also allow smooth hand-offs between these channels and even between the bank chatbot and human agents. The right omnichannel chatbots enable seamless interactions between digital and physical channels. Such hand-offs ensure that the conversation thread is unbroken so that the customers don't have to repeat their queries and information. As the continuing threads provide faster resolutions, the bots help banks increase customer satisfaction while also maintaining efficiencies for their internal operations.
Customers can leverage these bots to access information and perform various transactions depending upon the implementation. The transaction can vary from simple ones like transferring the money between accounts to complex ones like managing the loans and other financial products.
Chatbots enable personalization
Banks can further optimize the customer experience by learning more about them through interaction across mediums. The data collection from disparate channels allows bank chatbots to have a holistic customer view. Through such learning, banking chatbots provide a personalized experience for individual customers.
Another critical aspect is the global reach of banks. As banks spread their operations across countries and regions, they need to extend the core experience across this customer base. Banking chatbots enable banks to tweak their services and offerings while still allowing consistent experience across the world.
The omnichannel capabilities truly enable anytime, anywhere access to the customers. It also allows banks to proactively reach out to, educate, and inform customers in a manner that ensures effective RoI.
All these factors combined result in better customer experience and engagement. The customers value the omnichannel experience because it offers them speed, flexibility, reliability, transparency, and care for their banking interactions. By optimizing the customer journeys to consider their digital preferences and convenience, banks can make a difference where it matters. An omnichannel strategy puts the customer first.
To Sum Up
As customer experience is becoming the differentiating factor that provides a competitive edge to banks, banking chatbots with seamless omnichannel experience becomes increasingly critical. According to a KPMG study, over 41% of customers prioritize the CX for their buying decisions regarding banking. Companies with omnichannel experience are estimated to retain over 89% of their customers, against the 33% retention by those still not offering it.
These bank chatbots provide the banks with a way to grow through up-selling and cross-selling services and financial products through elevated customer experience. This growth results from a highly personalized digital banking experience that the omnichannel banking chatbots make possible.
With evolving ML and AI capabilities, and the rise of chatbot platforms, including no-code platforms like the one Haptik offers, it is relatively easy to roll out these enhanced capabilities. All you need is a futuristic strategy and an execution plan that aligns with that strategy.
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