Decoding Banking for Millennials: Customer Experience Seals the Deal

By Virender Jeet, SVP- Technologies, Newgen Software

Since its advent in the 15th Century, banking has been one of the most indispensable industries. Way of  life has changed and so has society, but everyone still needs a safe place to store their money, and in all probability will always need one. However, that which does not evolve, does not survive, and banks are pretty much testimony to this.

Banking started to evolve in the 18th Century, and has lived up to expectations since then. From automated branches to branchless, banking has come a long way and continues to rise up to the occasion every time the need for evolution arises. With the customer base becoming increasingly millennial-dominated, the focus has now shifted to customer experience and ensuring a completely digital experience. The generation in question, looks forward to holistic customer experience that addresses their needs at every single touch point through the process.

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When your customers are Millennials, speed is of essence

Often considered to be the generation that believes patience is nothing more than a virtue, time is of essence when it comes to keeping them. Making them stand in endless queues, or putting them on a phone call that takes hours together to connect to a customer care executive, are some of the sure shot ways to ensure they abandon your brand. Brand loyalty is phasing out, and customers now a days would switch in no time. What's worse is that chances are extremely high they'd find a replacement when it comes to just about any service they avail.

This is a generation that can get most material things delivered at their doorstep at nothing more than the press of a button. When it comes to banking, they expect a similar experience. Be it account opening, applying for a loan, or requesting a credit card, a customer experience that is comfortable can keep this generation coming back.

Finding customers is easy, keeping them hooked not so much

Dishing out an experience that is able to retain customers, and maybe even lure in new ones, requires a multipronged approach when it comes to online account opening. It begins with ensuring a cross-channel experience, which seamlessly integrates experience across various channels, be it social, mobile, web, or even at the branch. All interactions encompassing the account opening process, from lead response to funds deposition, must constitute a single unified experience across channels.

Opening an account online is not a single-transaction process. Even though it is a process that needs to be completed within few minutes for an ideal customer experience, it requires a tight integration from application to closure. It is a life cycle, and end-to-end process management is crucial to prevent any cases of abandonment. Another base which needs to be covered when it comes to preventing abandonment is exception-handling.

These scenarios may arise due to incomplete documents, inadequate qualification, or inaccurate data. While you can automate most of these into business rules, certain situations demand expert intervention and swift decision making. This is when SMEs need to be involved quickly, and provided with all the contextual information so as to enable fast, consistent and correct decision making. Empowering knowledge workers with contextual information, at the right time comes in handy when such situations arise.

Millennial or not, customer remains king

Often, in spite of investing heavily in building online capabilities and on promotional and operational aspects to get their online initiatives going, banks still lose customers. This is not to say that customers do not prefer digital channels when it comes to opening an account. Why, then, do customers switch over in spite of robust online capabilities? The preferences of banks' customers are clearly inclined towards digital interactions, provided the experience is holistic. However, most prospects expect a personal touch to their interactions with the bank, and it’s crucial to address their emotional and psychological needs for safety, trust and care.

Contextualizing customer touch points is as important as any other step within the process. Once the context has been created, and the customer information and the relevant documents have beenincorporated into the context, the system should then continue to store them and make them available throughout the process. By keeping the customer informed through contextually sensitive information, their need for a psychological and emotional connect with the bank can be fulfilled

True to form, banks have gone all out to meet expectations, and are working hard to figure out exactly what it takes to keep their newfound customers. Whether or not they'll find the key to this, however, remains to be seen.

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