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Financial Services

Beyond the pandemic: What’s next for the financial services industry?

Katie Leask
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June 29, 2021
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Read Time: 6min

Are you ready to deliver exceptional CX experiences within the FinServ sector? Download our Fate of Finance report for an in-depth look at what the future holds, according to twelve digital leaders from global banking, financial services, and insurance businesses.

Financial services: digital transformation

The global pandemic forced many banking, financial services, and insurance companies to wake up and acknowledge the requirement for a digital-first strategy. As the world shut down, customers went online, and this shift in user behavior brought with it new techniques and technologies.

So how can financial services and insurance businesses keep up with such monumental change? Simple: by optimizing their efforts towards changing customer behaviors and by building agility and innovation into everything they do using customer data.

Let’s take a closer look…

Keep up with changing customer behaviors 

While online banking was previously hindered by customer hesitation and a lack of attractive solutions, the pandemic helped break down those barriers. As things continue to move online, brands need to focus on building seamless customer journeys to keep their customers loyal and engaged.

Not sure how to keep up with your customers’ rising CX-pectations? Here are some key steps you should take: 

1. Make sure your site looks the part

Never underestimate the power of appearance. Building a brand that’s fresh, current, and relatable is key to attracting new users and retaining old customers. So make sure your site gives a great first impression; avoid pop-ups and revolving carousels, include clear CTAs, and ensure value props are prominent.

2. Invest in your UX

The CX game has changed, with customers used to intuitive and easy-to-use sites like Uber and Apple. So prioritize creating a seamless digital user experience that’s as friction-free as possible, and this starts with analyzing your UX.

3. Help your customers find what they need

Analyze your customer journeys and improve the discoverability of your most engaging and helpful content. The easier your customers can navigate your site, the better the user experience and more likely they are to do business with you.

4. Make your site accessible to everyone

Ensure your site follows the most up-to-date accessibility guidelines to cater to those with impairments. 

5. Ensure cross-channel consistency

The experience the customer has with your brand should be the same across all channels to build trust and increase brand awareness. So make sure your brand looks the same and that you’re talking to your customers in the same way across your website, on social, and your customer service.

6. Create mobile-friendly experiences

Our 2021 Digital Experience Benchmark Report found that 40% of traffic to financial services sites comes from mobile, so make sure you offer a seamless mobile journey. This aligns with Google’s latest emphasis on a mobile-only world, too. 

Build agility, innovation, and momentum with data

The industry is changing. So you’ll need to collect, analyze, and take action on customer data to set yourself apart as a top contender in the financial services and insurance space.

But having so much digital data about your customers isn’t without difficulty.

“We are generating more data than we did in the history of HSBC on a weekly, probably daily basis. But, they all still sit in disparate places,” says Suresh Balaji, Regional Head of Marketing at HSBC. “This has created lots of new data silos and we don’t have enough people to help. We need to have the talent to manage this data for better commercial outcomes.”

As a business, how can you keep up with all of this customer data? Here are two things you should prioritize to get you started.

1. Conduct a data audit

“The first step is to find out what’s there, understand how it’s connected, and then design a plan to connect that together,” says Mark Miller, Head of Customer Experience at Wunderman Thompson. With all your data talking and working together, you can send more targeted offers and advice for a better customer experience.

2. Leverage AI: 

Experience analytics platforms, like Contentsquare, use AI to automatically surface your biggest opportunities in seconds by alerting you of anomalies and issues if KPIs dip below estimated levels. It’s faster than having an analyst crunch your data and gives you a smarter to-do list.

Once you’ve analyzed your data and begun to use AI to surface opportunities quickly, here are three ways you can start using your customer data to improve your business:

1. Prioritize innovation: Lean on data to estimate the impact of projects to ensure you’re spending time on projects that will drive the biggest business results.

2. Get stakeholder buy-in: Data isn’t just helpful for understanding which projects to prioritize, it can also help you gain stakeholder buy-in. After all, it’s hard to argue with the cold hard truth of data.

3. Perfect your personalization: Customer data lets you build personalized experiences that help build lasting relationships with your customers. Why? Because consumers are more likely to shop with brands that provide personalized offers and product recommendations catered to their needs.

But above all else, make sure you’re listening to what your customers are telling you with in-depth web analytics.

The importance of web analytics for financial services

Every click, scroll, tap, and swipe your customer makes contains a wealth of knowledge about how they want to navigate your site. So make sure you analyze and act upon website analytics as much as possible.

“You really need to pay attention to what your clients are doing and their behavior, so you can try to understand how you can help them. The brands that are the most innovative and agile understand that it’s critical to create great experiences for people, by reducing frustration and building seamless experiences that make customers happy to do their transactions online,” says Lucie Buisson, Contentsquare’s Chief Product Officer.

So, what does the future of FinServ look like?

Last year, unemployment and uncertainty were at an all-time high, so many individuals decided to remain with their existing financial institutions instead of shopping around for better deals or services. 

But with the world returning slowly to normal, it’s crunch time. You need to identify what your key audience segments want and need from your business and where your digital experience doesn’t live up to their expectations. 

Your future-proof customer experience strategy can be simplified into three steps; attract, engage and retain. Here’s what to prioritize for each step…

Attract new customers 

Until recently, a major perk of many banks was access to frequent flyer programs. Following the pandemic, customers may be more hesitant to pay for a card when they haven’t stepped foot on a plane in over a year. 

This means companies need to reassess their benefits packages and offer cutting-edge perks their customers really want – like cashback and partnerships with leading eCommerce brands, delayed payments, and extra points on customer’s everyday purchases.

To remain competitive, brands need to ensure their perks remain aligned with the modern customers’ needs and wants. The old ways simply won’t cut it.

Engage your existing customers

To engage existing customers, you need to offer them a seamless, error-free, and intuitive digital experience. This could be through internal projects such as measuring call center volume to understand which parts of your website are causing people to call because they can’t find the right information. 

It also means using Voice of Customer data to find and fix your customers’ biggest pain points. Fabienne Le Scornet, the CMO of FLOA Bank, a French financial services company, and his team use very precise website measurement tools, like Contentsquare, alongside first-party customer data with voice of customer (VoC) data to get a thorough picture of the on-site experience.

“We have a system of continuous alerts and analysis of results that we share. We then compare these analyses with the voice of the customer collected at the end of completed journeys to identify areas of friction and therefore subsequent optimizations,” he stated.

By combining CX and VoC data, FLOA Bank can easily identify friction points and prioritize customer-voiced needs and wants. The result? A better digital CX for their users and, ultimately, the ability to maximize their profits.

Retain your customers

Incentives and perks are a great way to get customers through the door, but any other company can offer a better rate or special offer than yours tomorrow. What they can’t offer overnight is a better customer experience.

So you must inspire lasting loyalty through your user experience.

Think of Apple; they’re not cheap and they never offer discounts, but they have some of the most fiercely loyal customers. And what keeps them coming back? The intuitive, easy-to-use, and top-of-the-line experience their technology provides.

If you’re looking to prioritize customer loyalty, then start by putting CX at the forefront of every business decision. Building a digital customer experience that not only meets but exceeds your customers’ expectations will ensure your users have no reason to do business elsewhere.

Ready to invest in your digital CX?

Talk to a member of our team today to learn how Contentsquare’s digital experience analytics platform can help your organization meet and exceed your FinServ customers’ expectations, every single day. We’d love to help you do the same.

Author

Katie Leask

Katie is Contentsquare’s Global Content Manager. With five years of content experience both agency and client-side, she knows a thing or two about creating content that drives traffic and converts. She enjoys reading, red wine, and going to bed early. She’s also pretty fond of rooftops and is rarely seen without freshly painted nails.