2012 has not been a friendly year so far for many industries, and certainly not for the financial services industry. A glooming economy, along with the crisis in the eurozone - and beyond - has lowered consumer confidence significantly.
Furthermore, the consumer is increasingly showing a multi-channel behavior when interacting with banks, whether it concerns handling personal finances, requesting financial information or simply communicating.
However, according to joint research by BT and Avaya ("Youbiquity Finance"), consumers want a more personalized service from their banks at the same time (see below).
Although digital media are increasingly being used by consumers for retail financial services, the research shows that 64% choose the bank branch as their channel of choice for the future. But things are changing fast as you can see in the image.
Understanding the customer: integration, automation and human interaction
The research also says banks need to differentiate themselves by aiming for better customer satisfaction and making it easier for consumers to interact with them.
Furthermore, the growth of mobile banking and new digital channels necessitates banks to focus even more on the individual preferences of customers. Although the bank branch is still key, "the agent (increasingly) comes to the internet with consumers wanting web-chat, cobrowsing, video-chat, etc.", BT and Avaya state, concluding that "integration is a must".
Customer satisfaction and ease of interaction/transaction is an individual matter, with big differences depending on, for instance, the age groups and region, as you can see in the image.
Automated scenarios with a human touch
Understanding and serving the multi-channel consumer is the way forward to banks that want to make the difference.
The challenge is to make all online tools, interactive channels, the agents, branches and all other partners in the banking ecosystem work together to provide the consumer a smooth and consistent experience, regardless of his behavior and preferences.
It's virtually impossible to achieve this without having smart cross-channel or event-driven scenarios whereby interactive CRM and integrated communication solutions work together, while the scenarios leave room for human interactions and the involvement of the agent when this is necessary.
Selligent enables businesses to set up automated scenarios and processes whereby manual interaction is possible.
Get Selligent's Interactive Marketing Solutions brochure or request a free demo to learn how Selligent enables you to combine human interaction and automated processes.
Contact us if you would like to learn how your business can benefit from Selligent's long and proven track record in the financial services industry.