How often do you physically visit the bank? While hundreds of millions of Americans do still visit the bank every year to cash or deposit paychecks, withdraw funds, and change bills to lower or higher denominations, the number of bank branches has declined year over year, even before the COVID-19 pandemic. With the recent concerns over the cleanliness of cash and social distancing, more people are avoiding cash. All this indicates there may be a reason to think the brick and mortar branches will continue to decrease. Cash transactions are likely to remain, but it seems likely that online banking will continue to grow. The emerging “new normal” will shape the customer experience for banks even after COVID. Where digital channels dominate, the need for physical locations decreases, but doesn’t entirely disappear.
As Mark Smith shared in this CustomerThink article, “banks should strive to achieve an always-on customer experience that meets customers where they want to be met, and fully integrate branch networks with all the other digital channels now available to customers.” How can banks do this? Customer journey management.
Understanding the Customer Experience for Banks
For banks, using customer data to impact decision making and strategy has been commonplace for decades. What has changed is how customers expect their banking institutions to adapt in real-time. To meet this demand, the customer experience for banks needs to change. This process starts with journey exploration, one of the five key use cases behind journey management. By looking at your current state customer journey with a powerful journey analytics tool like Kitewheel, you can discover hidden journey paths within your business. To do this, you need to listen to how customers behave on the web, in-app, and in-branch.
What might this look like? First, you have to get your data in order. This means connecting the channels that your customers use to interact with you. Then listen to and sync that data across the business. By doing this, your analysts can see how customers interact with your bank holistically. You will be able to see how many customers visit branches, but also how their visits are timed alongside ATM, mobile banking, and other interactions. With this real-time data, you can begin to create a more accurate map of the customer journey at your business. With data connected and analyzed, you can now begin to make decisions to change the experience for individual customers.
Real-Time Decisioning Enables Personalization
Today, many banks rely on direct mail, digital advertisement, and email to reach their customers with offers. Why is this disconnected from mobile banking and branch visit experiences? Because data exists in silos. This fact limits banks, making campaigns based on customer persona one of the only viable tactics. If you have connected your data, a new level of decisioning becomes possible. When you listen to customers as they act, you can identify problems and where your services can help. This creates a better experience for each customer.
The goal is for your brand to make decisions at the individual level. Consider a customer who always pays their credit card, but always three or four days late. If this payment always happens on the day of a regularly recurring deposit from an employer, then the right decision might be to reach out to change their payment date with a push notification in the mobile app. Alternatively, a customer who always pays on time and whose credit has been slowly improving could be an ideal prospect for a credit limit expansion. Whatever the exact scenario, real-time data can empower decisions that improve the banking customer experience.
Journey Automation For Dynamic Experiences
Once you’ve made decisions, it’s time to act. With automated journeys, you can change customers’ experiences at the appropriate time. Take the late payment example from the previous section. This customer often missed payments, but always paid eventually. An automated push notification after the next missed payment lets the customer know you are paying attention. If they do not click on the push notification, that can be a trigger to send a follow-up email and to prompt the teller to ask them about the situation the next time they visit a branch. Whatever the customer does or does not respond to can then be used to personalize future experiences.
In marketing or sales, often leads can be crossed between the many offerings within the same bank. This is because customers who are potential home buyers may also be checking account holders or potential credit card users and student loan borrowers. Creating a cohesive experience that serves all parts of the business is possible with journey automation. If a customer comes to your website looking for home loan information, but then navigates to look at personal loans, information from both interactions can be used to impact future interactions. In this situation, you can then create a pop up on the website, asking what their goals for borrowing are. If they are starting a business or wishing to go to college, intelligent decisioning can then help them reach the appropriate resource.
The Customer Experience for Banks: A Good Investment
This brief overview of how customer journey management can impact the customer experience for banks is just the beginning. Do you want to learn more? If you do, you should read our Customer Journey Maturity Model. It’s full of advice on how to climb the journey maturity pyramid. It’s full of tips on how to build data connections, understand your customer journey, and build better experiences. Make the customer experience at your business the best it can be.