Customers are now using digital and mobile technologies to engage with organisations around the clock, and to get immediate responses to their requests. They expect banking services to work the same way.
In response to these consumer demands, organisations are investing heavily in digital solutions, from SMS banking services to on-the-move banking apps. In the near future, we may also have video banking, where consumers can talk to their financial advisors on smartphones, PCs or tablets from the comfort of their own homes.
While online banking is now almost ubiquitous, mobile is gaining ground rapidly. Mobile transactions overtook PC-based transactions for the first time in 2015. In addition, the number of UK consumers using mobile banking services increased by a staggering 941% between 2010 and 2015, according to recent industry research.
The numbers from individual organisations back up the trend. RBS and NatWest have 91% of their customer base registered for internet banking, while Lloyds has 2.7 million customers registered for mobile banking services. Meanwhile, Barclays has 1,980 log-ins a minute to its mobile banking app.
Good, but good enough?
While it’s clear that organisations are investing heavily in their online and mobile channels, satisfaction levels are still not high enough. This is largely due to friction that still exists in the digital customer journey. Some existing customers, for example, are not recognised by their financial services providers when they apply for a new product or service, requiring them to provide their information again.
One of the biggest issues for customers are so called ‘breaks’ in the digital process. This happens when customers begin an application online, and are then asked to send in physical documents or receive paperwork at home to sign and return. This can lead to unhappy and frustrated customers and as many as 85% drop out of digital banking processes before completing them (compared to just 15% in the branch), according to McKinsey research. Some of these customers may end up at the contact centre or branch, but others will go to competitors who offer the seamless digital experience that they expect.
Maximising the digital opportunity
Increasing digital conversion could be much easier, simpler and less expensive than you think. For example, instead of sending paper documents, customers might be given the option to submit their information electronically, making the process much faster and easier for them and for you. Over time, you may move to introduce completely digital journeys, with no manual touch points at all.
One way to align customer expectation with reality is the introduction of innovative pre-qualification solutions. Potential customers are able to provide minimal details and get a strong indication if they are likely to be approved for a credit card – and what their limit would be. In this way, customers can reduce the risk of being turned down after a lengthy application, and they can protect their credit scores too.
Above all, the journey to an effective, successful digital environment starts with an in-depth analysis of customer pain points at every stage of the journey. Once you understand where your customers are running into brick walls, you can begin to streamline the process, maximising online conversion and increasing competitive advantage.
It’s all about listening to your customers, and making the journey as smooth as possible.