Shaping the Future of Customer Communications in the Financial Sector

As financial institutions are being driven forward through digital transformation and ever-evolving customer expectations, they must be careful to not lose sight of the fundamental value and critical need for timely and meaningful communications with customers. Dimitrios Kyprianou explores how modern customer communications management (CCM) systems can enable regulated businesses to keep pace with those demands.

In an increasingly diverse and competitive marketplace, customer experience is the new battleground for improving market share, especially in the modern digital age. In fact, 79% of banking, insurance, and FinTech CEOs believe customer expectations are shaped by hyper-relevant, real-time and dynamic experience encountered across the industry[1].

The path by which customers choose to engage with financial organisations is complex. Customers want to interact on their terms, at times and channels at their convenience, all of which can change on a daily basis for a given type of interaction. Such a lack of a linear path of communications is driving organisations to rethink how they manage customer communications across the touchpoints and consistency is key.

The complexities of tackling these challenges, together with meeting the expectations of often varied target audiences – often containing multiple generations and diverse age groups, each with different comfort levels with technology – poses a significant obstacle for modern organisations.

It is little surprise, therefore, that maintaining communication with customers across a myriad of channels – both digital and offline – has grown in importance as financial institutions vie for the attention of consumers. The emergence of advanced technologies, from chatbots to artificial intelligence, amongst others, has enabled institutions to build better communications models and, in turn, better customer experiences to attract new customers and retain existing ones.

The emergence of advanced technologies, from chatbots to artificial intelligence, amongst others, has enabled institutions to build better communications models and, in turn, better customer experiences to attract new customers and retain existing ones.

However, the growing array of technologies and communications channels available has also created its own set of challenges – particularly for the highly-regulated financial sector.

The communication conundrum

For financial corporations, convoluted IT frameworks and legacy IT systems often fail to provide the adequate delivery infrastructure to support cloud-based services like AI and data analytics, which play a vital role in providing individualised communications across mobile, digital, social media and print technologies.

Equally, complexity in business and operational silos often hinder the sharing of information, limiting the ability to deliver the right message to the right channel at the right time.

Increased regulation in the application of data across the enterprise has, not surprisingly heightened the senses and therefore policies associated with risk amongst the regulated communities we serve. In some cases, this creates friction against the ability to promptly deal with the needs of the customer.

A cohesive eco-system

What this means is today’s financial organisations must now not only interact with customers in the most appropriate way, but also ensure all communications, regardless of medium, deliver a seamless brand experience, and remain compliant. As a result, there has become a real requirement for financial organisations to maintain a cohesive eco-system that can map, predict and react to customer journeys in a flexible manner.

A cohesive eco-system together with agile cross-functional operating units can propel finance companies firmly into the delivery of genuine positive customer experience.

Such systems provide the foundation to support the design, management and delivery of individualised communications, on-demand across the entire customer journey, as a layer that augments the legacy infrastructure.

A cohesive eco-system together with agile cross-functional operating units can propel finance companies firmly into the delivery of genuine positive customer experience.

Modern CCM technologies coupled with the right know-how and expertise leverages advanced journey mapping techniques, using relevant, existing data to generate highly engaging, personalised messages. Furthermore, these real-time, omnichannel communications allow customers to move seamlessly between different channels and devices.

The benefits to migrating to a cohesive CCM eco-system are well-defined. What’s more, leading-edge CCM platforms can integrate seamlessly with legacy systems, streamline processes and eliminate operational silos. At the same time, they make operations more efficient, reduce costs and lower the risk of non-compliance, while providing consistency in messaging and brand image.

By unifying all communications across the entire customer journey, all communications to and from customers can be visible to those who need access to them, effectively breaking down operational silos between different departments within an organisation.

Disparate messaging and branding that gets delivered between digital and traditional media, as well as different departments is also eliminated, making for a more unified communications experience for consumers. All this combined, means all departments, be that marketing, customer services or IT and operations, work together towards a common goal: delivering seamless customer experience.

For customers, a more unified communications experience is delivered, as contrasting messaging and branding that gets distributed via digital and traditional media, as well as different departments is also eliminated.

For businesses in the financial services industry, customer experience is likely to still reign supreme as we move into 2020. Against a backdrop of technological change, banks and financial institutions are likely to respond by using innovative technologies and new communications models to build better customer experiences, attract new customers and retain existing ones.

[1] https://www.accenture.com/_acnmedia/pdf-65/accenture-banking-as-a-living-business-2017.pdf

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