So you have decided to implement an omnichannel strategy at your financial institution – now what?
An omnichannel strategy is a series of tools, software, and methodologies. Together, they ensure clients are getting the best services in the ways they want to get them. Omnichannel strategies place the customer as the top priority, focusing on their needs first.
To achieve an omnichannel strategy at financial institutions, there are several key factors. This article will examine these factors to help you bring your omnichannel strategy to life.
Adopting a Customer-Centric Approach
The most basic and foundational component of omnichannel is making customers the main focus of the business.
In traditional finance settings, banks and other institutions have prioritized bank-centric business models. A bank-centric approach places the majority of its focus on transactions and the management of money.
However, this approach fails to account for the unique nature of each customer’s needs. Each customer is special and taking the time to understand the individuality of your customers is essential.
Omnichannel strategies favor customer-centric approaches for this reason. To be customer-centric, financial institutions must examine customer behavior and impressions.
Diversifying Channels and Analytics
When working with multiple channels of communication, having detailed analytics is crucial.
The goal is to provide seamless services and interactions across all channels. This enables your customers to communicate with your financial institutions in their preferred way.
Here are four key channels to utilize analytics for:
- Web: Web browsing includes any activity carried out on a computer or laptop. An example of a key analytic to track is on-site search queries. These provide valuable insights into which pain points or areas of confusion your customers are experiencing.
- Mobile: Almost everyone nowadays has a smartphone or similar mobile device. These devices contain tons of important information about your customers. This can include their locations and general demographics.
- Social: Social media has evolved in several major ways over recent years. Customers can now carry out many transactions simply by communicating through social platforms. Finding where your customers hang out virtually is key.
- Call Centers: Many customers now prefer digital interactions. However, others still prefer more traditional methods – like call centers. The key to success is to not overlook these more outdated channels.
Tracking separate analytics for each channel is a must. You want to provide a homogenous experience across the board. However, you also want to understand how each channel differs from the others. As such, you need a clear idea of what works best for each channel you offer.
Creating Customer Personas
Though each customer is unique, there are generally a few key categories they can be grouped in.
Categorizing and segmenting customers in this way is known as creating customer personas. Personas help financial institutions understand the types of customers they attract. Plus, they shed light on how these customers do business.
Omnichannel strategies aim to remove the guesswork associated with meeting customer needs. Customer personas allow institutions to understand their clientele at a much deeper level. This enables institutions to provide the proper services and support through all channels.
Personalizing Customer Interactions with AI
Artificial intelligence, or AI, is rapidly proving its usefulness for improving customer satisfaction.
AI can be used to create intuitive, responsive, and personalized interfaces for customers. This is especially important when striving to create a customer-centric strategy.
Here are some key use cases for AI in an omnichannel strategy:
- Chatbots: A highly popular use of AI is through chatbots. These bots can help customers navigate your site easily. They are also often programmed to answer frequently asked questions.
- Automation: AI can automate many essential processes. This includes generating case numbers for customers experiencing technical issues.
- Shopping Assistants: Virtual shopping assistants are similar to chatbots. The main difference is they focus entirely on helping customers make a purchase. They may provide personalized advice and recommendations. This helps the customer to determine which products or services best fit their needs.
Leveraging AI is key for successfully implementing an omnichannel strategy.
Final Thoughts: Build a Robust System of Support
Successful omnichannel strategies view all the factors discussed as a cohesive whole.
Everything from adopting a customer-centric approach to leveraging AI will ensure the success of your strategy. No one step or task is more important than the rest. Each factor helps to ensure the optimization and unification of all channels.
To bring an omnichannel strategy to life, you must build a robust system of support. The factors and tactics discussed in this article do exactly this. Employing these factors will improve the experience of your customers.
As the financial industry embraces digitization, easing the transition for customers is critical. Omnichannel strategies will be the key to finding professional prosperity moving forward.
Written by Mani Raposo, Chief Operating Officer for CPQi North America.