Customer Journey Personalization in the Financial Sector

In the financial sector we notice there is a serious race going on. The finish line? Meeting customer’s needs around personalized financial products and communication. If a financial organization accomplishes an excellent customer journey faster than its competitors, it wins. The reward is a genuinely happy customer, that feels engaged with the organization. The way forward for any financial organization is to know, recognize and acknowledge customers and offer personalized processes. Martijn Steffers, who has 23 years of experience in the financial sector, discusses what is needed to truly interact in a customer centric way.

Data lakes for personalized processes

For a long time, the financial sector directed their attention to collecting data, forming data lakes. The more digitized a company is, the more data usually is available. This raises the question: how do you utilize this data to improve personalized customer journeys? How do you ensure the data is used to make processes better, smarter, more convenient, cheaper and more customer-oriented? Most organizations seem to struggle with serving customers well throughout their customer journey; to know, recognize and acknowledge their individual needs, and make sure they do not have to submit the same information over and over again. The data is there to identify the customer and his reason for seeking contact. But how do you transform this to truly personalized processes? 

Direct the attention to customer journeys

Let’s focus on what is going on with customers in the financial sector. Generally, customers still find it difficult to get in touch with their bank or insurance company. Especially, when they already have had contact with the organization or when they have a more complicated question or request. Often they need to try hard to find a phone number or to free up time to call during opening hours. Generally, there is an alternative in place; however, when customers do fill out such an online form or send an email, they have no other choice than to await a reply. The follow-up usually takes place by phone, forcing the customer to again explain his situation. If there is a chatbot on the website, sometimes the customer is not recognized obligating him to clarify his question once more. In short, customers have many options to seek contact through various channels, but the connection between these channels is missing. Also, most customer questions are still handled manually by employees of the company. The world however is ready for the next step: loading communication tools with intelligence by connecting systems to personally answer questions and supporting employees with necessary information – offering a logical follow-up.

Utilizing data

Obviously, you need technological resources to properly convert data into personal customer journeys. However, it might be very difficult to take the necessary steps. This may be caused by a highly ambitious end goal (a truly customer centric solution), cumbersome actions to reach that goal, or the amount of time the transformation takes. We believe knowledge about the possibilities solves quite a bit of these challenges. Subjects such as low coding, straight-through processing, system orchestration, goal-orientation, and context-driven processes should be investigated to gain insight in opportunities. This know-how supports organizations to take steps towards utilizing data for personalized customer journeys. In addition, a sense of urgency encourages the organization to indeed move forward.

Sense of urgency

A sense of urgency generally calls for a cultural change to boost the digital transformation. Instead of only maintaining current processes, room must be made to commence change initiatives within the organization. Also, the mindset of employees should shift to one of change by focusing on an Agile working method including both the business and customers. Cultural change in the IT department is fundamental as well in order to involve the business and customers, facilitate change, take Agile steps towards desired developments and to continuously improve. This offers the much-needed assistance to the organization to not only digitize processes, but to give priority to customer journey personalization in financial processes too.

More about Agility in the financial sector

Customer journey solution summarized

To summarize, in order to win the race towards customer journey personalization, a combination of collecting data, insight in technological possibilities and a sense of urgency in the organization is necessary. When these three elements are in place, a tool is required to know, recognize, acknowledge and anticipate on customer’s personal needs and connect the dots between available data. The solution can be found in a low-coding intelligent automation platform that contains features such as straight-through processing, system orchestration, goal-orientation, and context-driven processes. It should be applied as an overlay to bring together data from various (legacy) systems and to make an Agile working method possible. Furthermore, it should boost cooperation, understanding, and validation between departments. This platform should contain the intelligence to offer relevant answers to either customers or employees and minimize the need for manually handling questions or requests. As a result, it can fully support true customer interaction by personalized customer journeys.

The Be Informed intelligent automation platform offers all this and more. It was used by insurance company AXA Sigorta as a strategic component for personalized and automated customer journeys.

Read more about the AXA Sigorta solution

What is up next? 

Today we discussed the customer personalization in processes for the financial sector. Next time we will focus on systems that reinforce each other: from tasks to processes.  Stay tuned by signing up below or follow us on LinkedInTwitter and Facebook to stay in the loop at all times.

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