As a company that builds customer engagement platforms from a mobile-first perspective, we were curious to know how Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance (BFSI) companies are coping up with the age of digital transformation. We wanted to know about their challenges, strategies, and the KPIs (key performance indicators) they measure to gauge customer experience. To find out we invited industry leaders from Banking, Insurance, Fintech, and Brokerage companies to share their perspectives on these topics.
We are delighted to share excerpts of the discussion with you.
Here’s what you will learn
Do the above topics interest you? Keep reading for some valuable insights.
A report by HDFC bank revealed that more than 50% of transactions by its customers are now being done digitally. This is because consumers’ ethos to avail banking and financial services through a website or an app is changing. Gone are the days when we had to visit a bank for purposes such as transferring money. Online transactions have not just become safer but also trustworthy, fast, and seamless.
The BFSI sector recognizes the business impact of digital transformation, which explains why some of the oldest banking institutions in India and digitally-native fintech companies are working alongside each other to offer the best digital customer experience services to the customers. An insurance arm of a private bank, for example, has digitized most of its offline processes and is now on its way to digitize every touchpoint of the customer lifecycle—right from the underwriting process to the dispatching process.
Your customers prefer swift and convenient service. They will not think twice before moving to your competitor if they are not satisfied with the experience. It is, therefore, important that you find ways to make the customer experience your priority.
Could you have imagined one of the oldest public sector banks, SBI launching a mobile app (YONO) to service customers, until a decade ago? Today, SBI not just has a one-stop solution app for its banking and lifestyle segment, but its insurance arm is also developing an app to resolve customer queries faster and more efficiently.
Digital transformation has also helped companies to get more leads. A brokerage firm, for example, has started getting leads up to a lakh per month from a mere thousand after they transitioned from offline to online space.
Another objective of digital transformation is to reduce the load & investment in Customer care teams for servicing non-value-add requests such as cheque book requests. This effort can then be focussed on cross-selling products and added to the company’s topline.
You see, the benefits of digital customer experience are aplenty. However, you must know the few common challenges that you might face in the journey and how you can overcome them.
Customers feel secure only when they see physical existence such as a branch, or find it useful when they have human interaction with the company. So, even if you digitize the processes, you will have to adopt a semi-digital or a Phygital (physical + digital) model to guide the customers throughout the lifecycle. The other challenge is that people still prefer the personal touch. So, no matter how sophisticated your digital assets are, winning the trust of the customers can be a challenge.
How to overcome it?: Build trust by educating your customers through various educational assets. You can also collaborate with the agents to educate and enable them to manage the leads better.
Stickiness is a huge problem for the BFSI sector. It’s common to see a customer logging in to e-commerce or an OTT app frequently, but they are unlikely to engage with an insurance app once they have purchased the policy. You may even create videos and educational assets, but it will not provide the instant gratification that the customers are accustomed to.
How to overcome it?: Continue to create engaging videos and other resources to engage with your customers. Engage the customer at every stage of the customer lifecycle - right from onboarding to advocacy by sending them relevant assets using automated workflows.
India is demographically and geographically vast. So, catering to a heterogeneous customer base can be quite a challenge. It would also be wrong to assume that most businesses come from the metro or tier 1 cities. The BFSI sector caters to tier 2 and tier 3 cities too. It is, therefore, a challenge to determine who the customers are and how you can reach out to them.
For example, a digital marketer of an insurance company explained how a drip marketing campaign runs on their customer base did not yield any positive results. They later realized that the online and offline customer base are poles apart.
How to overcome it?: Do smart segmentation of your customers while planning your next campaign, so you can send them relevant content on their preferred channels at the right time.
BFSI is a highly regulated industry. Sometimes you may have to change your complete customer journey process when the regulators change the rules. This can create a challenge for you while servicing your customers.
How to overcome it?: A leader from a fintech insurance company who wished not to be quoted, suggested working with the regulators closely, so you can offer better services to your customers and remain a step ahead of your competitors. An article from Forbes here explains a 5-step process for banks to avoid regulatory problems when managing their online presence.
One common metric that every leader on the roundtable agreed upon was to make the customer feel delighted and special.
Here are a few other things they suggested:
If your brand is a trustworthy name, it’s easier to capitalize on it. However, you still have to delight the customer through your offerings and support. No matter what marketing journeys you create or channels you use, your customer’s experience will be positive only when there is trust and transparency between both of you.
The customer journey does not end with customer acquisition. Your existing customers are your brand advocates. One review by them could either make or break your reputation. If the customer has to follow up with you repeatedly, it essentially means that you have not been able to address their problems effectively. Keep your existing customers happy by being empathetic and resolving their issues and processing their claims quickly.
Like Amazon that’s known for its customer-centric growth strategy, make customer obsession a part of your organization’s culture. Every department - right from customer service to HR and IT should have a customer-centric outlook. Every team in your organization should be well-integrated and customer-obsessed because better collaboration leads to a better customer experience.
Customer experience begins even before the customer is onboarded. As a leader on the roundtable said, every traffic they get on their website is a potential customer as they have taken efforts to come till there. So, ensure that the UX and UI of your website are equally good. Don’t just focus on having the best graphics on the website, make the entire navigation engaging and easy for them, so they remain on the website for a longer time. Here's more on how to treat your customers.
What should you do next?
We hope the insights from these leaders will help you to plan your digital customer experience journey better.
Before you head to the conference room to plan your next omnichannel strategies, here are a few insights that could help you:
Here are actionable resources we've curated for you!