Guest post by Sean Daly, Director of Partnerships, SaleMove
Over the last decade, financial technology, or “fintech”, has completely changed the financial services industry. While fintech innovations provide companies with convenience and outreach potential from the perspective of the financial institution, they are only useful if the customer feels comfortable interfacing with its framework (i.e. customer experience). Fintech has felt the challenges of customer experience, and here we’ll quickly go through a couple of those challenges along with some ways you can solve them.
The Differentiation Challenge
In order to understand the differentiation challenge in financial services, let’s point to the auto industry as an example. In the early days of modern manufacturing, the focus was put on mass production. Over the years with more competition, the priority began to shift from mass production to mass customization.
A good example is the Ford Model T; More than 15 million of them were built from 1908-1927. Apart from a few design modifications, Ford produced the same exact car 15 million times. As more and more competitors entered the market, the car became commoditized, which made differentiation extremely difficult. In reaction, automakers began providing a more personalized and customized auto experience. Flash forward to today and think about how many customizations are available on any new automobile. You can even design your own car online and have it delivered to your door. The focus switched from mass production to mass customization and personalization.
With a physical product like a car, the buying experience ends when the physical product is in the customer’s hands and they drive it away. In financial services, where there is no physical product, the customer will reflect back on the buying itself as the product. In financial services, the experience is the product.
The Touchpoint Challenge
Customers place a particularly high priority on trust and convenience. According to a recent survey sponsored by Zendesk, 62% of customers buy more when they have a good buying experience, but even more (64%) stopped buying when they had a bad customer experience. This is even more so in financial services because they are handling your money!
Today’s customer has infinite touch points, and they react badly and quickly to poor experiences. With social media, people can share their negative thoughts about a bad interaction with their circles within minutes (remember the United Airlines incident?), and it’s no secret that customers are much more likely to share bad experiences than good ones.
Let’s look at some ways you can solve these customer experience challenges:
● Map the customer journey to provide a consistent and relevant experience. If you haven’t mapped the customer journey on your website yet, read this HBR article to get started.
● Build personalized online experiences around customer segments to improve relevance. For example, Caribou coffee does this by remembering the customer’s preferences and then displays targeted flavors and products according to past activity. Netflix also serves as a good example with their profile personalization, which allows different profiles to share the same account. Financial services companies can do the same by personalizing experiences with Guided Selling products like SmartAssistant.
● Connect online with offline to build a comprehensive view of your customer. There are two ways financial services businesses can do this, either by heavily tracking their customer through analytics software on and offline, or connecting the two seamlessly. With new technologies like chat, video chat, and CoBrowsing, online interactions can be made to feel personal and authentic, similar to face-to-face experiences. We call this “creating the in-person customer experience online.
If you’re interested in learning more about CoBrowsing or considering to purchase a technology solution like it, check out this article:
Sean Daly is Director of Partnerships at SaleMove. A four-time Finovate Best of Show winner, SaleMove was founded in 2012 and is headquartered in New York City. The company most recently demonstrated its Engagement Platform and OmniBrowse solution at FinovateSpring 2017. Dan Michaeli is CEO.