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Nov 1, 2021

Why Banks Strive for a Connected Customer Experience

Editor’s Note: For an expert perspective on digital transformation in financial services, we’ve invited Arun Rajagopal, vice president of marketing solutions at Genpact to share his experiences with financial institutions shaping digital transformation efforts to deliver a connected customer experience. Rajagopal is in Genpact’s digital team in the customer engagement group, focused on driving marketing solutions and everything related to customer data.

In a recent survey Redpoint connected with Dynata, 88 percent of consumers said that banks should have seamless communications and interactions across all channels (branch, website, mobile app, contact center, etc.), updated with timely, relevant and valuable information. Yet only 45 percent of consumers surveyed said that banks are effective at providing this type of experience. Based on these customer expectations, there is an increased focus for banks to rapidly deliver a connected experience across products and channels. Three key trends are fundamental aspects of the digital transformation of this marketplace.

First, the entire bank is becoming a consumer of data and analytics. Delivering a consumer-centric experience requires any line of business or department that communicates with the customer, from marketing to contact center to collections, to come together around the customer.

Second, banks are looking to eliminate limitations in their existing infrastructure that prevent the delivery of a connected customer experience. A collection of unintegrated engagement solutions is ill-suited to interact with customers throughout real-time, omnichannel journeys. Cloud-native solutions that can seamlessly unify information across channels are key to the long-term growth of digital-first banking.

Third, the overarching importance of data and analytics for the entire bank is leading to a significant rescaling of talent – for banks and solution providers alike. The need to put a customer at the center of experience is causing banks to shift from being driven by product and/or channel-based profit and loan (P&L) statements. Historically, each product/channel would try to sell each customer according to its own interests. A connected customer experience instead considers and makes offers in the context of an individual customer’s current situation – life stage, household dynamic, income, debts, etc.

Connected Customer Experience: An Inside-Out Approach

An acceleration of those three trends really comes down to an overarching question: Who owns, should access and should utilize customer data at the bank? The answer to that question will shed light on how to make data actionable across the institution, what form infrastructure will take, and how people and processes will support a new approach.

What we’re seeing is banks starting with a vision for what a connected customer experience will look like and working backward from there. They know that customer experience is paramount and understand the need for omnichannel orchestration. To achieve omnichannel integration, they need a data strategy that brings customer data together across the organization. And to execute, they must identify shortcomings of their existing infrastructure and determine opportunities to modernize.

We’re helping banks to clarify their vision for a connected customer experience. Engagements are often prompted because of a business problem that stems from the existing product P&L structure. For instance, the marketing organization may be inundating customers with offers for a certain product – savings account, auto loan, etc. – using only basic, static audience segmentation that fails to account for the individual customer journey or life stage. In banking today, there is also still a lot of confusion about the marketplace, both in the terminology used – CDP vs. DMP vs. MDM, vs. Data Lake etc. – and in general about the ecosystem complexities.

Frequently conversations gravitate toward core omnichannel orchestration, marketing automation, and real-time personalization capabilities. Clients grasp that data management and omnichannel orchestration feed off one another, and that an integrated marketing automation platform helps advance digital transformation initiatives faster than the alternative, which is to spend months trying to integrate various data sources. We’ve turned to Redpoint’s rg1 platform to help solve this issue.

Data Management and Orchestration: A Team Effort

On the data management side, there is a lot of traction around building a unified customer profile or golden record as the foundation of a connected customer experience, an important consideration for breaking free from a product P&L approach. A golden record that tells the bank everything there is to know about a customer is the key to providing relevant engagements. In a traditional P&L product approach, all customers in one segment may have been offered Product X. With a golden record, however, a bank may determine for one customer, Product X is less important than Product Y. More granular segmentation is possible when a customer’s behaviors, preferences, history, etc. are all included in a golden record – online session activity, contact center interactions, transactions – a bank will be confident that for one customer, a sequence of Products XYZ matches their needs, while another may be better served with a sequence of Products YXZ.

Omnichannel orchestration is where the “connected” part of the customer experience comes into play, ensuring banks fine-tune offers, messages and content not only in the proper sequence according to individual customer needs, but also on the right channel (inbound/outbound) and at the right time. This is really the transformational change we’re seeing, where banks have traditionally concerned themselves with the “who” and the “what” (e.g., Persona A receives an offer for Product X) but with real-time personalization at play are now grasping the importance of the “when” and the “how”. When all four components are at play, the result from the customer’s perspective is a seamless, connected customer experience irrespective of how they’re engaging with the bank.

Data and Opportunity

The interplay of data management and omnichannel orchestration lays bare the need to align people and processes with the customer-first mindset. Because data and analytics drive the connected customer experience, there must be an institution-wide data strategy that will take people out of their comfort zone. Product and/or channel teams – email, website, contact center – might remain, but they will at the very least have to have access to the same unified customer profiles, and must work in concert to put a customer above provincial interest.

Overall, we’ve seen a lot of excitement from clients in this area who are beginning to really see that data leads to opportunity. Each division of the banking system is answering their own questions about how data impacts interaction. Each is figuring out how does having real-time, actionable data impact sales, for example, or fraud and risk and what is the impact on operational processes? These are not marketing questions. Rather, they’re institutional and get to the heart of what it means to be a data-driven, customer-centric organization.

Tailwinds indicate an ongoing acceleration of digital transformation in banking. All the conversations we’re having around prioritizing data and analytics, modernizing technology and change management show how seriously banks are taking the delivery of a connected customer experience as a cornerstone of digital transformation efforts.

Related Content

New Customer Shockwaves Drive Need for Personalized Customer Experience (CX) in Banking

Banking on Change: Why a Golden Record Satisfies Customer Expectations for a Holistic Experience

Personalization in Banking: How Banks Can Do Better by Overcoming Assumptions


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Steve Zisk 2022 Scaled

Arun Rajagopal

Vice President - Marketing Solutions at Genpact

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