It’s safe to say that the last couple of years haven’t been easy on the economy – or your customers. Facing a global pandemic, disrupted supply chains, labor shortages, and inflation, businesses are dealing with all sorts of unprecedented challenges. As a result, customers are tightening their purse strings. They likely won’t cut back on the essentials for day-to-day living, but they’ll certainly rethink how much they contribute to a 401K plan, investments, and equities. They may even shift their dollars to institutions that promise more monetary stability.
So, how can financial services companies retain their loyalty and, ultimately, their business in these uncertain times? Similar to their experiences with brands in other leading industries, customers expect financial experiences to address their needs seamlessly regardless of the channel or point of interaction. While digital transformation initiatives are underway for many mid-size to large firms, the pandemic heightened the demand for hyper-customized, hyper-connected communications across the entire customer journey.
Meeting customers’ expectations post-pandemic
Many financial services firms were already well into their digital transformation initiatives pre-pandemic, but the global crisis pushed the pace. In fact, companies across all sectors amplified their digital transformation initiatives. It was viewed as a major differentiator, allowing brands to say they’ve “gone digital” to accommodate their audiences’ needs. And since big-time brands like Amazon, Starbucks, Netflix, etc. have conditioned customers to expect custom outreach at every turn, other companies have no choice but to keep up.
All that said, customers want brands to do more than simply “go digital.” They’re looking for speed, relevance, convenience, friendliness, service, etc., according to a PWC survey. Those who get it right prioritize technologies that deliver these benefits versus those that adopt technology for the sake of looking good. Even if the majority of your customer touchpoints are digital, customers still want more relevance and human connection than ever before.
Customers also seek brands that simplify their decision-making and transactions, which means that businesses need to understand the moments that matter along the entire customer journey. Whether it’s your website, welcome kits, product recommendations, e-mail campaigns, etc., they better be tailored to each and every customer. Digital transformation technology such as O’Neil’s OneSuite CCM & CX platform enables this level of customization – and fuels all of the benefits that come with it. Improved sales and upselling, customer advocacy, and, of course, customer loyalty are all up for grabs.
If you’re looking beyond the pandemic, it’s critical to invest in operationally efficient platforms with the capabilities needed to elevate customer engagement. Omni-channel communications, customer personas, data analytics, and automation are all required for success. They allow your organization to deliver a concierge-like experience – without a significant level of human effort.
Strong partners expedite digital transformation efforts
It’s estimated that COVID-19 sped up digital transformation strategies by several years – and that many of these changes are here to stay. The digital-first, omni-channel customer experience has planted its roots in the CCM landscape.
As your company looks to the future, think about how you’ll utilize technology to better understand customer goals, collect data, automate processes and evolve the customer experience. While some organizations prioritize tech over talent (or vice versa) to achieve the desired vision, your top concern should be finding the right solution(s) to create the right customer outcomes.
To find the ideal solution or platform, many companies need to look outside of their own organizations for support. Scaling CCM capabilities was – and continues to be – a big challenge for any company navigating the aftereffects of the pandemic. Businesses are outsourcing their digital transformation needs to organizations that focus on this work day in and day out. And it’s paying off. Many companies have emerged from the chaos and calamity stronger than ever.
By investing in digital transformation with a customer-first mindset, and investing in the right tools and partners, companies can boost loyalty with less time and cost. During times when nearly everything is digital, the answer to cultivating customer loyalty lies in, yes, digital transformation.
As the leader in CCM/CXM, O’Neil can advise you on digital solutions that align with your business strategies and priorities. Contact us for a free 15-minute consult or to preview our ONEsuite CCM platform.