Banks around the world are currently in the midst of one of the biggest transformations for decades, as they move towards digital banking and ensuring that they can provide the range of services today’s tech-savvy consumers expect.
Central to this for many institutions should be improving their omnichannel offerings. This term may mean different things to different people, but at its heart, it’s about ensuring that customers can always enjoy a consistent, high-quality experience, regardless of how they choose to interact with their bank.
An evolving understanding
Recent research from Inetco highlights how banks are developing a deeper understanding of what omnichannel involves and how they need to be incorporating it into their offerings.
Almost two-thirds of financial institutions surveyed by the company (63 per cent) strongly agree that omnichannel is about ensuring that consumers have a consistent interaction with their brand, regardless of channel. A further 23 per cent ‘somewhat agree’.
More than half of respondents (55 per cent) added that it needs to include seamless integration and customer transition between channels. However, just 17 per cent stated that mobile and online channels will serve different customer needs, so should be tailored accordingly.
A streamlined solution
“The transition from an individual channel focus to a seamless, cross-channel delivery strategy has required many financial institutions to re-think their business and operational processes,” Inetco stated.
Being able to provide the services customers want anywhere, at any time, is essential in order to ensure that their brand remains relevant in a rapidly-changing environment where non-traditional innovators are posing a significant threat to legacy institutions.
This means taking advantage of digital, mobile and social channels – which many consumers now opt for as their first choice for managing their finances due to their ease of use and opportunities for self-service.
Inetco added: “The mass migration of banking transactions to digital channels means financial institutions need to reevaluate their distribution models to be more convenient and consistent, delivering the ‘most wanted’ features across all channels.”
Delivering the best brand experience
In order to keep up with these changing customer expectations, omnichannel should now be considered the new normal for financial institutions. Crucially, Inetco notes that a successful approach to this isn’t just about customer retention – done correctly, it can strengthen a brand and open up new opportunities to generate revenue.
For instance, a key building block of a successful omnichannel strategy is the development of a ‘single view of the customer’ that collates all relevant information about an individual into one place.
Creating this will require investment in data management tools that can break down traditional silos in order to create better visibility. But at the same time, these initiatives can be used as part of wider analytics operations that can be used to spot trends and offer more personalised services.
Being able to provide users with offers more relevant to them can help financial institutions build a better identity as a provider that really understands and adapts to the needs of its customers. In an increasingly crowded marketplace, this kind of brand differentiation can make a big impact.