Holistically reinventing customer service

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Reinventing customer service, holistically 

Meeting modern customers’ high expectations within financial services

Through each digital or human touchpoint a customer encounters when interacting with financial-service providers, they form perceptions and loyalty to a brand. So, a well-designed interaction strategy is key to retaining customers … but what exactly does optimal interaction look like to the modern consumer?

Many financial institutions are finding they’re not tuned in to current customer expectations. They’re also struggling with saturated markets, mounting pressure from regulations and other factors, all underpinned by a real sense of urgency to elevate their customer-service strategies.

To champion customer interaction, end-to-end transformation is needed within the organisation itself, and is eased by adopting a holistic, four-stage framework. Transformation success means you’re not just meeting customers’ rising expectations – you’re exceeding them.

Reinventing Customer Service, Holistically

Market watch: The battle for the customer

By identifying obstacles the financial services industry is facing, we can move towards solutions that lock in customer loyalty. Here are the biggest mountains to climb:

 

  • Saturated markets and limited customer bases
    Saturated markets, modest future organic market growth and limited opportunities to increase customer bases are requiring more focused strategies in order to keep customers engaged and lower cost bases. The major growth drivers should come from cultivating and expanding current client relationships, and enhancing operational efficiency to fortify profit margins. Customer interaction strategies are pivotal in achieving both.

 

  • Great expectations for great interactions
    Customers’ expectations are rising as they interact with new, more agile competitors in the financial markets – but other sectors and industries are also upping the stakes, with hyper-personalised service and custom products and experiences. Customers are looking to their financial-service providers to replicate the kind of service they receive elsewhere, and align it with their personal needs. And they now have a broad choice of providers to fulfil those expectations through unique and holistic experiences.

 

  • Outside forces dialling up complexity and volume
    Tighter regulations and financial markets spell greater complexity in customer interactions and volatility in interaction volumes. Being able to cope with such significant and changing external factors is paramount for financial institutions.

Transformation: Adapting for next-level customer interactions

Customer interaction is now recognised as a value and growth driver, no longer merely a cost centre. It’s crucial for building customer loyalty, revenue and a competitive edge, and justifies a change in strategy to put the customer’s journey and desires first. The following stages make up a solid framework for a financial institution to effect that strategic change, from vision to execution.

 

  1. Vision: Designing a path to value and growth
    Treating customer interactions as strategic revenue generators requires a more data-driven, customer-centric and, ultimately, more profitable approach. Invest in customer interaction with long-term relationships, profitability and success in mind, being very clear about who your target customers are. Define specific and measurable statements that serve as a foundation for future design choices.

  2. Experience design: For connection and personalisation
    Financial institutions are moving away from product or service orientation, and are integrating capabilities that place the customer’s needs, preferences and experiences at the core of their operations. Experiences are designed to create unique customer journeys and nurture lifelong customer relationships, from start to finish, through connection and personalisation.

    Get ahead with experience design by mapping the customer journey, drawing on valuable resources, like multidisciplinary teams and new technology solutions. Deep-dive into your target customer segments and their reasons for contacting you, as well as all touchpoints and interactions that matter most to them.

  3. Operating model: Prioritise people, process and technology
    Operating models are also transforming, with influence from new technologies, such as GenAI. Financial institutions are using data and analytics to optimise channels, and connecting customer journeys for a consistent, seamless, tailored experience. Optimising front-line support, self-service channels or other elements – no longer suffices. A more integrated approach focuses on using the right channel, not every channel. This calls for a comprehensive design that considers what roles are played by the people, processes and technology in your organisation. Teams may be restructured, processes may need to be realigned or optimised, (de-)centralisation and moving customer-service teams may be required, and technological support may need to change.

  4.  Execution: Customer service, transformed
    Finally, it’s time to move from concept to practice by identifying, prioritising and executing a set of strategic initiatives. Deloitte can help conduct thorough baseline assessments. This helps illuminate where you are, and uncovers areas for improvement and opportunities for innovation. We assist in identifying and selecting the most valuable improvements that will align with business objectives, using a three-lens approach to evaluate each initiative’s desirability, feasibility and viability.

    Depending on the initiatives, we can then bring together multidisciplinary teams to help execute, backed by our expertise in customer strategy, operating-model design, technology, ops management and analytics, people strategy and/or customer services. We also ensure you don’t lose sight of managing key aspects of the transformation: governance, agile delivery, change management and progress/results monitoring.

    With this end-to-end transformation framework, the new vision of customer interaction can be realised and bring cost savings and a competitive edge. If the modern consumer wants consistency, quality and personalisation along their journey, financial institutions must be willing to adapt to bring that vision to life.
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