DigitalPR With Celestine Achi: Quality Banking and Insurance Experience for the Omni-Channel Consumer: The 7 Strategic Steps That Should be Considered

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Quality Banking and Insurance Experience for the Omni-Channel Consumer: The 7 Strategic Steps That Should be Considered

Friday, August 14, 2015

This is undoubtedly the era of digital disruptions. An era that is characterized by the word ‘digital’ and having technology race more driven by the omni-channel consumer than the large organizations. Digital disruptors are serving custom­ers with better experiences and in order to com­pete effectively, established organizations must focus on the customer and optimize each experience, at every touch point across the customer journey.

As customers shift more purchase-related activities online, retail banks must overhaul former store-centric practices to meet the challenges of a digital marketplace. A trend to watch is the emergence of technology startups and companies, armed with smart people, deep pockets and big data and aiming to reinvent the financial services; threatening the traditional business models, ether real or imagined.

I have often tried to imagine what banking might be like if it were created from scratch with digital in mind. While digital immigrants may be tempted to wish this away, they will be doing so at the risk of their enterprise as the digital economy takes its place in the digital era with digital smart tools and strategies. However, below should be the smart takeaways for financial institutions desirous of positioning their brands in a digital economy.

Think Like Start-Ups: With the digital disruptions comes the opportunity for financial institutions to think like startups, focusing on both the customer experience and engagement. Banks and insurance firms need to engage a new generation of consumers, one built around digital natives and expect frictionless experiences, near real-time accountability, and continuity across digital and branch experiences and one that considers the customer journeys through the purchase decision.

The digital age and its disruptive antecedent have created a huge gap between the expectations of today’s consumer and the experience banks and insurance firms are able to deliver. The expectation of near instant gratification and resolution and a seamless purchase sign up and circle now seem to cut across the Generation Y, X and Alphas. Understanding that almost everyone today begins their journey as a digital consumer is a viable step towards embracing the opportunities this presents. Even tapping into social networks can help speed the application process.

Be a Media Creator: Your Audience. Your Story. Connect with your audience by evolving your content marketing strategy. In the developed nations, smart banks are starting to use social media trends to provide visitors to their landing pages online with more relevant content without having to dig into that person’s credit history. Digitizing the purchase processes is now a must and offers the banks and insurance firms an opportunity to creating a better experience for the customer.

Be “App’ified’: Think about “app’ifying” your services not products. Paying credit card bills online isn’t so much a transaction as opportunities for helping a customer manage their budget. That’s what apps need to focus on and that is a focal point on consumer engagement and empowerment. Recognize the need to be part of an open ecosystem with APIs that pull in information as well as send out. Across all of that, banks and insurance firms need to develop a non-stop marketing engine that’s constantly figuring out the next best action a customer will take and providing content for that.
Convert Social Engagement Into a Sales Funnel: We have always known that in the world of digital, content is king and there is a growing battle between visual content and amplification is no longer the end-goal of social media marketing but conversion in terms of sales and perception.

Be Part of an Open System: Recognize the need to be part of an open ecosystem with APIs that pull in information as well as send out. People most responded to the idea of how to look at financial institutions differently. Planning in many financial services businesses lacks a coherent strategy. Too often, digitizing processes is about reducing costs to serve. This is a mindset issue, and it’s about looking at opportunity not just productivity. The issue is that most banks and insurance firms are organized by products rather than organized by customers.

Prioritize Digital Investments: There is increasingly an overwhelming global concern on how to prioritize digital investments. People are wondering if social media is going to be a serious driver of value, for example, and aren’t clear whether it’s worth the investment. What’s missing is a strategic framework to help make those decisions: which segments do companies want to go after, what do they know about what really matters to those segments, what is it going to take to deliver a distinctive digital experience, where’s the value creation of that, and what does that imply for investment priorities. Without a clear answer to those questions, a company is going to have a hard time prioritizing – and getting value from – their digital investments.

Target the underbanked: As digital disruption continues at an unprecedented pace, there will also be an increasing drive towards digital in a way that will impact targeted campaign of segmented audience, competition, branch optimization, delivery, marketing and service usage

Identify Pain Points: There is more than ever an urgent need for banks and insurance firm to have the right digital solutions in place, thoughtfully built with today’s omni-channel consumer in mind. To improve the customer journey, banks and insurance firms must identify pain points and eliminate friction and what actions consumers may take when encountering these obstacles. I once got so disappointed with GTB’s mobile banking platform when I transferred a particular sum to my wallet. My account was debited but my wallet only got credited after 30 full days and several engagements with the Bank. Now for me, that actually ended my relationship with GTB mobile banking.

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