The digital/human interaction balance has never been more important

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As 2021 rapidly approaches, it is clear that the COVID-19 pandemic is going to forge on, and many of the behaviors developed throughout the disease’s run will last even longer. As a result, digital means of operation and communication are what will continue to drive society forward.

For example, according to Accenture, 50% of consumers now interact with their financial institutions' mobile apps or websites at least once a week, compared with 32% two years ago.

It’s no secret that more and more transactions are moving to digital channels — something that has been accelerated by COVID-19. That said, understanding how customers are using these channels is critical to ensure they can both complete their desired transactions in a simple and easy way, and have the confidence that their financial needs are being met effectively. Finding the optimal balance between digital and human interactions for each customer will drive both efficiency and loyalty.

For example, when customers open a new digital account, the ability to provide a channel where they can be assisted in real time, and have their feedback translated across other channels in real time (as applicable) provides the bank with the advantage to address concerns quickly and keep up the implementation of processes that are working well.

Additionally, it’s important to understand how new digital users are feeling about using these channels as more become available. A win should be when customers find digital channels easy to use and less-time consuming than "human" interactions. Those types of interactions should be fulfilled digitally, where those requiring a higher level of advice and guidance may be routed to a human. This is a way to generate higher customer satisfaction at a lower cost.

Research shows that companies that deliver good customer experience have 1.5 times more engaged employees than companies with poor customer experience.

Employees are an untapped source of wisdom about the customer experience. They know what’s working and what’s not, and frequently have line of sight to the underlying policies and procedures that may be causing friction. The ability to mine employee insights and understand pain points and successes will allow organizations to provide additional resources and care for their employees, which in turn will allow those same employees to care for their customers.

There is a wealth of data available to financial institutions today —
the power lies in bringing it together in a way that drives action and uncovers opportunities.

For example, the combination of behavioral, operational and feedback signals provides context for specific interactions, and can be used to intervene in places where customers may be struggling. These insights can also be used to tailor messaging. As an example, a highly satisfied customer with different types of bank accounts (personal and business) at one particular bank could be sent a promotional offer, where a customer in the same segment who is unsatisfied could receive a proactive intervention.

Financial institutions are in a unique position to embrace the digital world, and understanding where the customer is and how to bring their feedback to life is where institutions are going to see the most return.

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