Business resilience and customer-centric experience are two of the biggest challenges most industries are facing since digitalization became part of our day-to-day routine. The economically active population is shifting the B2B decision making process to Millennials. On the other hand, from a B2C perspective Gen Z is starting to consider investing in their early 20s to take advantage of compound interest rates with the goal to become financially free in their late 30s.
These younger generations are no longer relying on traditional ways of generating income or expecting to have a “successful life” through the same path as their parents and grandparents. The reality is that the goals and purpose of life in our society are changing, people are valuing balance more than ever. Balance is no longer just having a university degree, a great full-time job, getting married, buying a house and retiring. Now the meaning of success looks significantly different compared to the priorities of our previous generations.
Why is this important for the Financial Services & Insurance Industry?
Because the values of their target audiences are diverse. The new generations are seeking simplicity in their daily chores so they can invest more time and energy into their passions, they understand that can be achieved through financial well being. We are transitioning from mass production and services to mass personalization at scale, this aspect of Digital Customer Experience must happen in Financial Services for firms to survive.
There is immense potential for Financial Services companies to provide financial well being education or coaching programs for their customers and prospects. Especially with the lessons the pandemics taught us, we can take as example the massive layoffs that happened globally (and continue happening), people can’t just stand to rely on one single source of income.
The recommendation nowadays is: FULL TIME JOB + SIDE HUSTLE + PASSIVE INCOME and furthermore, the side hustle should keep you creative while the passive income will make you money.
So, how can the industry take advantage of these insights and offer a portfolio that is aligned with these new priorities?
According to Forrester’s CX Index successful companies must deliver:
- CX Quality | Effectiveness + Ease + Emotion
- Customer Loyalty | Retention + Enrichment + Advocacy
In addition, the following was mentioned in a Gartner report for Banking and Investments Services by 2025:
“Demand for “whole product” solutions with embedded financial products will force half of all marketplace providers to bundle with one or more banking-as-a-service (BaaS) offerings. More than 50% of organizations will use a distributed cloud option at the location of their choice, enabling transformational business models...”
The Financial Services strategy for our new reality should consider: data privacy, cybersecurity, website and mobile apps, prices and fees, customer service, trusted investments and advisors, self-service, automation and digitization, as well as constant education for their customers.
7 Waves of Customer Experience Expected for Financial Services by 2025:
- Legacy Systems Integration: Unite existing core financial services systems and technology to work alongside emerging FinTech and future innovation. This is the thing that makes everything else possible.
- Differentiating Capabilities: Due to a higher cost of living crisis WW, encouraging users to embrace healthier financial habits is key. Make sure your customers are aware of your added value and expertise as a trusted financial advisor, rather than just appearing to sell them more.
- Hybrid Customer Service: Be prepared to offer value through self-service and personalization at scale, as well as in-person service when escalation is needed.
- AI Engines and Hyper-automation: Create models that align with existing measurable KPIs for = stakeholders across the business.
- Strategy for data privacy and cybersecurity: Include robust strategies for Data Risk Management and the Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability triad (CIA).
- Customer Portal Experience: Create a single source of truth for your customers but make sure your employees and advisors get the same benefits in order to extend that experience when they are in person.
- Green Banking: Your customers are informed and care what is behind the digital transformation processes. Commit to address your ESG target in a more sustainable way to reach net-zero carbon emissions.
Conscious Orchestration: A Harmonious Integration of People, Technology, Automation, and Emotion
Considering all the above, stakeholders in the Financial Services Industry must prioritize the investments in their digitalization strategy in order to achieve the customer and employee journey through hybrid channels. It is important that this hybrid approach considers the orchestration of current technology such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA), that most in the industry have already adopted, as well as the upcoming such as Open Source Software, Internet of Behaviors, AI and ML, Embedded Finances, Cloud Banking, Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), just to name a few.
As mentioned in the Financial Forrester report “The US Investment Firms Customer Experience Index Rankings, 2022”, emotion is more important than ease and effectiveness. Below, some interesting survey insights:
- 83% of investment firm clients are willing to switch to a brand that makes them feel more confident.
- Frustration is most likely to push clients away
- 41% of clients mentioned they will stay with a firm if they don’t feel disappointed, annoyed, unappreciated, and neglected.
Regardless of your business priorities and where you are in the Digital Transformation journey, before making major changes, keep in mind any investment you make in the company should focus on people (they are always behind the technology) not forgetting the emotional side of both, your employees and customers.
- Our world is changing fast. What helped our parents and grandparents thrive is almost impossible to apply in our current society.
- Millennials and Gen Z are informed, demanding, and digital native customers. They value products and services that are trustworthy, user-friendly, time-saving, and blend digital and direct customer service channels.
- It is essential that your organization is well evangelized with a clear digital transformation strategy and a clear vision from the C-suite. They must allow open communication and the space to collaborate between departments, with designated “Champions” that will guide during the journey.