The last two years have seemed interminable and over time many changes have been influenced by the pandemic, which included going digital for practically every business. Remote and hybrid work and meetings have become the norm rather than the exception. Today, even as the pandemic’s impact is coming down slowly, some trends will be permanent.
This overwhelming transition to remote work has forced businesses to re-evaluate their digital infrastructure. The cloud being a natural pivot and platform for accelerating digital transformation initiatives, has seen huge adoption rates. A November 2021 report by research firm Gartner estimated that end-user spending on public cloud services in India is forecast to touch $7.3 billion in 2022, an increase of 29.6% from 2021.
With more employees working remotely, automation has become the key to unlocking excellent customer experience by offering digital services in the FSI industry. In the coming years, automation will remain the bedrock for this sector, however, financial services firms must concurrently look within and digitise internally whilst launching digital offerings for their customers.
For automation to be successful, organisations must approach its capability through a 360-degree view across their entire enterprise and not solely one line of business or department. Once it is set in place, this can lead to optimal employee engagement, exceptional customer experience and improvement in operational efficiencies.
With digital first businesses and more customers increasingly buying and preferring digital platforms, it is imperative for financial services firms to ensure that their employees have the required tools, applications, systems and skills to perform their day-to-day jobs. As more businesses go digital, industry specific technical skills will be a top priority in recruiting employees in the financial services industry.
Creating effective digital experiences
While customer experience has remained a top priority for the financial services industry for the past five years, the importance of delivering an excellent experience has increased due to technology embedded into customers’ everyday lives.
For example, today, most banks resolve a significant percentage of customer queries effectively by using AI-enabled chatbots. Almost all banking transactions can be done from an official app of a bank. It is also possible to open a banking account or open an insurance policy from the comfort of your home. A majority of Indians have not visited a bank’s branch for more than three years now, as everything can be done online. Thanks to the digital revolution and ease of use enabled by digital channels, today’s customers demand and expect exceptional service from everyone they engage with. This means allowing customers to engage when they want to, where they want to, and through the channel they choose – seamlessly and consistently.
Leveraging the power of data
The only way for the sector to gain insight into consumer habits and behaviours is through automation and the use of data. Once that occurs, banks can enable personalised services and offering with a better understanding of consumers’ wants and needs throughout their entire customer lifecycle. Financial services organisations must ensure they are optimising and automating processes across the enterprise in order to engage with their employees and customers.
It is a known fact that the amount of data created, captured, copied and consumed in the world has increased, and will continue to increase. What this means for the FSI is that more customer data is to be collected, analysed and utilised, compliantly and securely, and with consent. With data analysis rated as the fourth most important skill for this sector, organisations must provide enough insights into consumer habits and behaviours for employees to deliver optimal engagements every time.
Delivering optimal customer experience does not solely depend on automation or frontline customer service agents, it’s a combination of the two and how they’re used to complement each other. This idea comes back to the financial sector’s ability to humanise the digital experience through personalised recommendations to employees during customer interactions.
Monica Hovsepian is the head of worldwide Financial Services Industry (FSI) strategy at OpenText