The movement towards digital experiences in the financial services industry has been rapid. Not only has COVID made digital banking, digital payments, and digital investing more common, in many places it’s now the main way for consumers to interact with their finances. The US coin shortage may have pushed even more payments to the digital realm, but digital investing has also been impacted. COVID has driven a 72% increase in the use of digital investing platforms. How can you build better digital experiences? You must learn the lessons from both leading CX brands and top fintech firms and deliver investment as a service.
Digital Investing Needs Great CX
How do all-digital experiences perform in the financial services industry? Ultimately, successful customer journeys depend on delivering the experiences that your customers want to have. Forrester Research suggests that in-person experiences continue to rate higher, even as more people turn to mobile and online banking solutions. They suggest that the more positive emotions generated by in-person experiences remain the most impactful indicator of CX success. Despite the higher positivity of in-person interactions, convenience has driven over a fifth of all Americans to use neobanks and similar digital products.
With so many people willing to try digital investment, getting people in the door is easy. The challenge will be creating lasting loyalty. To remain relevant, traditional investing brands and fintech startups alike need to build digital experiences that feel personal, listen everywhere for customer interactions, and automate to respond and engage in real-time.
Digital Experiences That Feel Personal
How can you capture the knowledge and finesse of a knowledgeable financial planner, broker, or investment advisor in an app? It’s impossible to perfectly replicate an in-person experience, so your goal must be to design an experience that still acknowledges the customer as an individual. Brands like Navy Federal Credit Union and USAA, which also top the Forrester CX Banking Index, have built experiences like this for years. Online or on their mobile apps, they acknowledge their member’s individual situations and offer prompts to help make the experience better.
To make a digital experience feel personal, it has to feel like a conversation. In practice, this means the experience has to change as the customer provides more information. If a customer tells you they have a certain amount of funds to invest and certain goals, then your system should be able to steer them towards the best choice for their specific needs. If they hesitate, reassure them of their choice or direct them towards less risky options. The digital investing experiences you design must be customer-focused. When you help the customer accomplish their goals, your own success will naturally follow.
Listen Everywhere For Customer Interactions
Customers see your brand as a single unit, but often data is siloed by business unit. Even if different departments handle different product offerings, the customer doesn’t see that. They expect you to be able to resolve challenges across and between all parts of your brand. This means you need to be listening to all parts of the organization. Consider a client who signs up to look at stock market investing. After signing up, they might decide to explore their options for mutual funds instead. If you have a different team handling each of these, it can be easy for communications to be jumbled or too frequent. To get this right, you need a central hub for data resolution and decisioning, along with listening tools on the web, in-app, and in the call center.
For some neobanks and modern fintech, this isn’t a problem. With relatively fewer interaction locations, the experience is more contained. This is especially true if there is also a limited selection of products. To compete with digital investing tools, investment banks, and other firms must be able to listen across the business and connect data across channels.
Decide and React In Real-Time
Once you have data connected, understanding the customer takes priority. In a physical location, a customer might be able to have a conversation with an advisor, who is knowledgeable about many offerings and can easily direct the client to the right next step. For a digital experience, doing this requires centralized decisioning. Consider the customer exploring different wealth management and digital investing options. If they have told you their desired level of risk, their time to return, and the size of their potential investment, you can make better decisions about what services they should consider. Often, even if customers have their own information, they don’t know what to do with it. Deciding the best next action requires intelligent decisioning for this very reason.
Fintech experiences can be truly engaging, but because they are entirely online, it can be difficult to capture the depth and fluidity of human-to-human interaction. By using if-then logic, conditional trees, columnar tables, and other logical decisioning tools, your digital investing experience can select the correct message every time. By making these decisions in real-time, your brand will seem even smarter. But this isn’t the final step. Once you’ve made decisions, you need to automate and impact the customer’s experience.
Automate Fintech Experiences That Show You’re Listening
To make the digital investing experience more conversational, you need to use all the channels you have to communicate with the customer. If a customer has just logged out of their app, but needs to be updated about an urgent market change, use a push notification or email to reach out. Being able to decide this in real-time and with a channel-agnostic approach means that you aren’t limited by your channels, but instead empowered by them.
Similarly, sometimes the best thing to say is nothing at all. Knowing when to suppress communications can also show that you’re listening. Consider a customer who has a concern about a fee or about their rate of return. Resolving this concern should take precedence over a marketing email offering them new products. Automating communication, suppressing marketing, and understanding the right channels are all part of building better digital investing experiences.
Build Positive Emotions In Digital Investing
How do you capture the positive emotions of human-to-human interactions? By using the three steps above of listening, deciding, and acting. With the power of journey management, investment firms of any size can build great investment experiences in their digital investing tools.
If you want to learn more about how to advance your customer journey maturity, check out Kitewheel’s Customer Journey Maturity Model. It’s full of insight on how to connect your data, analyze your customer journey, strategize for journey orchestration, and automate the customer experience.