Did you know that two-thirds of consumers say most companies they engage with need to improve their customer experience?
Across all industries, brands are under tremendous pressure to deliver rewarding, memorable, and seamless experiences. It’s the constant challenge – and it won’t change in 2023 or the years to follow. Thus, it’s critical for financial services and healthcare companies to focus any customer communications management (CCM) efforts on technology that enhances every single touchpoint, across the entire customer journey.
With that said, it’s easy to get lost when chasing every shiny trend and tool that promises improvement. So where should you focus your time – and budgets – heading in the New Year? Here are some thoughts from the industry’s top CCM experts.
1. Don’t slow down digitalization
Despite the pandemic and economic uncertainty, roughly 65% of brands say they are increasing CX spending in 2023. They know that smooth digital experiences are the key to increased engagement. Customers have embraced the convenience, ease and customization features brought by digital technology. Companies that halt their digital journeys – or can’t support them financially – will be at a competitive disadvantage, showing they can’t support customers’ needs.
If you’re concerned about spending in 2023, just remember that even small improvements along the digital transformation journey can make a big impact. And don’t forget – your customers have money concerns, too. Down economies create new needs and opportunities, especially in the areas of healthcare and financial services. Addressing their top concerns and needs can ensure their loyalty for the years to come.
2. Enhance customization with every touchpoint
Tailoring your communications to your customers’ preferences is no longer optional. It’s an expectation. According to a recent McKinsey study, 71% of consumers expect companies to deliver personalized interactions.
In 2023, banks and healthcare organizations will increasingly utilize customer data to deliver a higher level of customization. This will likely include targeted product recommendations, predicting future needs based on behaviors, and delivering hyper-relevant content that offers solutions for pain points. Placing their first names in the subject line or greeting line of an email won’t be enough to satisfy their desire for communications that truly speak to them.
The key driver for customized communications is the collection of insights and development of “live personas” (i.e. detailed customer profiles). O’Neil’s turnkey CCM and CX platform, ONEsuite, allows companies to gather a complete 360-degree view of every customer. This perspective captures everything from demographics, including age, gender, location, occupation, etc., to psychological and socioeconomic factors.
For healthcare providers and payers, ONEsuite can be especially helpful in understanding Social Determinants of Health (SDoH), which are the conditions in the places where people live, learn, work and play that affect a wide range of health and quality-of-life risks and outcomes. Recognizing these inequities and addressing them within CCM campaigns may drive better engagement and trust, showing your audience you understand their needs.
Financial institutions can also collect data across every step of the customer journey – including calls, emails, print letters, social media, or apps – and integrate these data points into future campaigns.
3. Omnichannel experiences
It was a top trend for us in 2022 and remains on our list for 2023. Business leaders can’t overlook the importance of omnichannel experiences when engaging customers. While email remains the most preferred channel for the majority of consumers, every initiative or campaign should include multiple touchpoints across different channels.
Now, this doesn’t mean you should inundate customers with information. However, you should look to your customer profiles to understand what channels they prefer and when so you can optimize the delivery of your message. Not only will you gain higher response rates, but you can significantly reduce costs once you figure out which channels are working the hardest for you.
4. Support for self-service
In recent years, customers have experienced vast improvements when it comes to customer support. That’s because many digital-first organizations empower their customers’ desire for self-service, or the ability to answer their own questions and resolve issues. They’ll gladly watch a video or engage with a representative virtually if it means they can avoid a phone call or a long drive into your office.
Fortunately, there are many emerging self-service channels, along with AI-powered applications, that help organizations better help their customers. With OneSuite, customers who are switching health plan providers can access a comprehensive enrollment kit rather than sit on the phone with a customer service representative. Or someone worried about their investment accounts amid the ongoing pandemic can watch a recorded video coming directly from their advisor with timely advice on next steps.
For simple questions, transactions or forms, self-service FAQs, videos and virtual chats can resolve issues quickly and painlessly. Again, it’s all about empowering customers to help themselves.
5. Humanize the digital CCM & CX experience
Despite the need for increased digitalization for internal efficiency and external engagement purposes, customers don’t want to feel as though they’re communicating with a bunch of robots all of the time.
Whether you’re in financial services or healthcare, a customer-focused strategy means you’re working to create positive change in your customers’ lives. Although you want to make their sales or customer service experience simpler, smoother and faster, you also need to make it meaningful to the individual customer. This requires you to humanize your communications and campaigns everywhere possible, especially as customers seek more immersive ways to interact with their financial and healthcare partners. Through a well-planned and well-designed CCM experience, you can replicate the human elements that customers find in brick-and-mortar branches and offices while also providing digital assistance.
Striking this balance can be tricky, but doable with the right tools and infrastructure in place. The goal is to enhance digital engagement while becoming more human simultaneously. Are you up for the task? As always, we’re here to help you tackle your next CCM challenge.
As the leader in CCM/CXM technology, O’Neil can advise you on digital transformation solutions that align with your business strategies and priorities. Contact us for a free 15-minute consult or to preview our ONEsuite CCM platform.