IRS People First Initiative

Customer Experience in Financial Services and the Influence of Technology


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Gradually yet steadily, has taken over all aspects of our lives. And the financial services sector is no exception. Financial Services spanning investments, lending and management of assets are a fundamental part of fund management for individuals as well as corporations. One of the nuances of this sector is the volatility associated with it owing to factors such as prevailing market conditions, political scenarios, performance of stocks, taxation norms, etc. Since this condition is a given, companies dealing with such financial instruments need to glean reams of data before counselling clients on the right investment choice or the right kind of loan to choose, for instance.

With the advent of technologies like Machine Learning and AI, it is easier for financial consultants to make sense and configure the mammoth amounts of data that are available. In all of this, the customer has also become smarter in the bargain with easy access to ready information and real-time updates. Online tools are available these days that assist investors in making the right choice. Financial institutions therefore have no choice in this scenario but to embrace and to integrate it into every core offering and communication.

The customer armed with all this information has become more demanding as a result and expects better service and a secure and comforting experience while making such decisions. Financial Institutions and fund managers need to therefore adopt superior customer experience strategies that are in sync with the evolving customer.
The buzz word here is trust and to build trust, the company needs to showcase an image of positivity and transparency. Such qualities can be established only by engaging with your customer in an efficient manner in every opportunity.

Let us go through some of the key trends that are emerging in this sector in recent decades.

Personalizing Customer Service

With a burgeoning customer base demanding personalized and prompt responses, no surprise hence that companies are increasingly leveraging digital innovations such as big data analytics to deliver specific services relevant to their clients’ individual financial needs. Hyper-personalized experiences include virtual assistance and live chat as customized customer support options today. By using business intelligence and automation software, companies are also able to activate prompt troubleshooting for the smallest problems. Financial Institutions have also been actively employing Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies to bring back the personal connection that is integral to customer experience. AI technologies use software that interact directly with consumers to deliver personalized and relevant communication.

Prioritizing Security and Transparency

Ensuring the highest levels of security and transparency is crucial to building a successful customer experience, and financial institutions are walking the extra mile to offer first-rate information security considering the sensitive nature of the services they provide. With customers demanding stringent security features around their investments amidst the looming threat of hacks and data breaches, data encryption and layered verification processes have become the norm.

While security comes foremost, there’s no alternative to transparency in dealings either. This has prompted most financial institutions to share their security data and related features publicly in an effort to build trust with their customer and to work towards a positive experience.

The Omnichannel Mix

Mobile is undoubtedly among the most popular communication tools that are being used by financial institutions and is widely used in many areas of business including online and app-based transactions. As a part of their omnichannel approach, companies are engaging with customers across a variety of platforms including web, chat, email and phone. Paying bills on the go, applying for loans, or transferring funds from mobile phones or tablets are all directed towards a seamless customer service experience.

Banks and financial institutions know that in this digital era, no customer can be taken for granted. They have to in fact model their strategies around what a customer is looking for from them. And success will be determined by companies adopting an omnichannel strategy that seamlessly connects across multiple platforms that a customer is comfortable with, without any lag.

What Does the Future Hold?

As is increasingly influencing behavioral patterns of individuals, companies on their part are working harder on simplifying and refining the customer experience to suit these trends. There is a clear preference for omnichannel transactions and experimenting with new interactive features towards providing a wholesome customer experience. In a fiercely competitive environment, banks and financial institutions are therefore heavily investing in digital technologies to expand their market share and to keep up with the times. Amidst these exciting times the writing on the wall is clear – The Customer is King.

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