The banking industry remains challenging. The breadth of competitive products continues to grow, with many new payments and prepaid players entering the market looking to take business from banks, like Google and now Wal-Mart teaming with American Express. Additionally, the regulatory landscape and public perception is as tough as it has ever been. An Accenture Banking 2016 report says that banks are “faced with a daunting array of market, regulatory, customer, cost and operational challenges” and many “are struggling to post even moderate growth.”
So how can banks increase their share of wallet with each of their customers? Bain & Company recently said, “Earning loyalty requires both eliminating sources of dissatisfaction and delivering experiences that delight.” The goal is to create customer loyalty, “Because loyal customers buy more, stay longer and refer valuable new customers, the stakes are high for banks to deliver the right experience for the interactions that most matter to customers, using the most cost-effective channel that will earn their loyalty.”
Technology solutions that improve customer interactions may be one of the best approaches to bettering customer experiences and creating a competitive advantage.
“Many banks are looking at new technology solutions that promise to improve the customer experience and build customer loyalty so that banks can increase their share of wallet with existing customers,” says Ido Ophir, head of products at Personetics– a pioneer in predictive virtual assistant solutions. “Banks are equally concerned however with controlling costs, so any improvement needs to help banks on both sides of the issue. Predictive technology solutions are proving to be a viable next step for banks to mitigate service costs, improve the customer experience and boost revenues.”
One of the newest approaches is to leverage technology which anticipates customer needs. Personetics predictive virtual assistant does just that. If the customer clicks the Personetics help button within the online or mobile banking environments, the user is presented with a personalized message and three of the most likely reasons for their contact. Personetics uses information from current and previous interactions and crowd behavior to present the most likely options to answer the question or solve the problem. Customers can always choose to talk or type their question at anytime too. The result is that problems are solved more quickly and customers are happier with their banking experience. Additionally, because interactions avoid call centers and other live help channels, the cost per contact is minimal. Actual user data shows that more than 40% look for assistance on specific charges, with less than five percent being referred to a live agent. “At $4 to $10 per live call, savings add up quickly,” says Ophir.
One of the biggest benefits of predictive technology is that it can recommend new products and services at the exact moment the customer is most likely to say yes – at the moment of truth. For example, when someone is looking at a recent overdraft fee, a bank may want to recommend ways for the customer to avoid fees in the future, like signing up for overdraft fee protection services. “It’s about making your customer’s life easier and keeping them more informed while trimming your bank’s operational costs and generating new revenue,” says Ophir. When relevant products and services are recommended at the right time, and the user is given an easy way to sign up, acceptance rates can be impressive. Personetics user data shows that customers accept timely recommendations 55% of the time.
Some typical recommendations include:
- Sign up for e-statements
- Use direct deposit instead of manual deposits
- Use bill pay to pay recurring charges
- Sign up for overdraft protection
- Sign up for account activity alerts
- Use P2P to send money to friends
- Learn about remote deposit capture
- Offer complementary services (auto loans)
Today, banking services and products are largely commoditized, but providing a personalized customer experience can be a rare point of differentiation. “If you exceed your customers’ expectations when they reach out to you, the bank builds loyalty,” says Ophir. “Loyalty and trust compel people to want to do more business with their banks. We believe that Personetics Digital Banker will help banks improve customer satisfaction and grow business immediately, and over the next decade.”