Music, movies, photography, transportation, communications and publishing are all industries that continue to experience massive disruption brought on by the advent of technology. iTunes made CDs obsolete. Netflix turned Blockbuster into nostalgia. Digital photography created an archaic brand in Kodak. And did you ever hear of Uber? You get the point – innovate or risk obsolesce, no matter how strong your brand. This week Fortune Magazine predicted that the next major industry ripe for disruption is banking. The surprising thing is that this is coming from the inside, from Rob Alexander, CIO at Capital One.
Alexander asserted, “Banking is the most ripe industry for disruption,” he explained at Fortune Brainstorm Tech in Aspen. “The winners will be the ones that become a technology business and not remain as an old school banking company.” Alexander predicts that banks will increasingly utilise customer data to improve customer interaction.
As a leading cloud-based software company in the consumer engagement space for over 40 years, we know about disruption and we know about customer interaction. From our experience we have a few words of advice for the banking industry to help navigate the coming changes that will be forced upon them.
- Enable customers to help themselves. Customer satisfaction is higher in a DIY model. We are much more forgiving of ourselves when we make a mistake than when a customer service representative does. 72 percent of customers prefer self-service over picking up the phone and 91 percent would use self-service if it was available according to IBM Retail Research.
- Support experience continuity. Customers hate having to repeat themselves, so don’t force them to do so. Aspect’s “Context Cookies” enables personalised service by allowing customers to pick up an incomplete service transaction at a different time, on a different channel while keeping the context of their interaction intact.
- Make service mobile and social. Cell phones have moved from being a convenience to being a part of the consumer. A complete mobile customer experience must leverage all channels all the time, available on any mobile device. The vast majority (70 percent) of consumers would rather text than talk. Social is not the channel for every banking interaction but the attractiveness of social for brands and consumers is in its inherent simplicity as a communication channel and ability to gain interest from a larger audience.
- Consider live interactive video technology. Aspect’s Mike Bourke recently wrote a blog on how Video-enabled ATMs and Kiosks are slowly replacing tellers and other bank branch personnel. With web-based video technology such as WebRTC, universal bankers located in any branch office could serve the needs of customers in another branch minimising the effect of unpredictable variations in traffic, blending labour across the portfolio of all branches.
Not every company can navigate change as effectively and as disruptively as Apple and Netflix have, but a strategy focused on the customer experience will go a long ways to ensuring your brand survives the banking disruption.