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8 Ways to Transform Your Banking Communication Strategy for Better Customer Experience

|  8 min
In this article

Recent studies by Pronix Inc reveal that the demand for seamless digital experiences and transactions is sharply rising, with some 84% of financial service customers embracing online banking and 72% using mobile finance apps. However, 64% of these same consumers are frustrated with the digital solutions currently on offer.

For banks and finance institutions, this dissatisfaction underlines the continuing challenges they face to digitally transform. Many organizations are still struggling to upgrade legacy infrastructures to facilitate the levels of agility and personalization that can meet customers’ expectations. For example, many are using multiple systems to handle different support channels, while relying on outdated telephony systems that lack any information about the customer who is calling.

All of this is taking place in an environment where the ability to keep pace with customer preferences can spell the difference between good customer experiences that attract revenue and brand loyalty, and bad customer experiences that drive business elsewhere. A 2022 study conducted by Salesforce Research found that almost 90% of customers valued the experience a company provides as much as its products or services. In such a climate, consumers can easily switch brands as their priorities, lifestyles, or financial situations change.

Why the Customer Experience Matters in Banking and Finance

In the financial services sector, customer experience or CX is a term that describes how customers feel about every interaction they have with an institution, at all stages of their relationship with it. Zendesk research suggests that banks which consistently optimize the customer experience grow 3.2 times faster than competitors that don’t. According to Forrester research, a one-point improvement in its Customer Experience Index score can lead to an increase of $123 million in revenue for a large multichannel bank. For a direct bank, it can lead to a $92 million increase in revenue.

You should note however that all of this remains possible within an environment where over 50% of consumers are prepared to switch to a competitor after a single unsatisfactory interaction. With customer loyalty as fickle as this, banks and financial institutions are under intense pressure to ensure good customer experiences that meet all their customers’ expectations.

How to Transform Your Banking Communication Strategy to Deliver a Great Customer Experience

We’ve identified eight (8) key areas where banks can transform their operational and communications strategies to better connect with customers, and deliver a great customer experience. They are:

1. Adapt to Changing Customer Expectations

Knowing what banking consumers expect and want is critical to developing an effective customer experience strategy.

According to Zendesk, 62% of financial service customers agree that personalized recommendations are better than general ones. Pronix Inc research rhymes with this, with 72% of banking consumers rating personalization as crucial. Despite the prevalence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its ability to handle routine tasks and provide proactive support, 63% of consumers still prefer personalized conversations with human agents.

72% of customers want immediate service – and 70% of banking consumers expect anyone they interact with to have full context of their identity, specific needs, and transaction history with the organization.

Banks looking to meet customer expectations must therefore prioritize personalization and rapid response. This will require your organization to use data gathering and analytics to provide insights into customer behaviors, preferences, and needs.

You’ll also require a communications system that’s capable of real time customer interactions across all avenues that consumers use to interact with your institution. Ideally, this should be an omnichannel messaging platform with onboard analytics and reporting capabilities, like IDT Express Omnichannel Messaging.

2. Provide a Frictionless Account Opening Process

Typically, a customer’s first point of contact with your banking institution will be at a stage when they are looking into the various financial services options available, and perhaps looking to open an account. Providing them with clear information about what you have to offer, and making it easy for them to get started with your organization will create a good first impression – one that you can nurture as the beginning of a long-lasting and mutually beneficial relationship.

You might for example offer a fully online account opening process, which eliminates the need for customers to visit a physical branch. From a practical perspective, you could achieve this by offering account opening as a feature of your mobile app, or by reducing the number of clicks required to open an account on your web portal.

For an expedited onboarding process, you will also need a secure and real-time mechanism for digital verification. With IDT Express Omnichannel for example, you can enhance customer authentication and security with one-time passwords (OTP) and two-factor authentication.

3. Provide Digital Experiences in line with Customer Preferences

The overall customer experience for banking consumers will be the sum of many parts. These may range from a phone call to your customer service division, to an account balance check, or the initiation and completion of a fresh transaction.

Deloitte research reveals that 70% of consumers consider a consistent experience across channels to be extremely or very important in choosing their primary bank. In the context of digital experiences, this requires customer interactions which are conversational, and channel agnostic. In other words, banking customers should be able to move a conversation to a new channel (from email to a phone call, for example) without losing the context of their transaction history and previous interactions. 

For banks, meeting customer preferences in this way requires a data driven approach. By using data management systems to track customer interactions, your bank can tailor its services to individual needs, predict a customer’s future requirements, and proactively address potential issues.

Your organization can also simplify the customer journey by integrating online and mobile channels, and by embedding support across channels and devices for consistent and connected interactions.

So for example with IDT Express Omnichannel Messaging, you can leverage a powerful Application Programming Interface (API) to seamlessly connect with your audience across a multitude of channels – and manage 15 different messaging apps all in one place. Using the IDT Express SMS platform, you can integrate the system with your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) or marketing tools, and create a personalized experience for each message recipient.

4. Make Online Payments and Transactions Quick and Easy

Sending money and performing transactions through internet banking and mobile apps is now commonplace. If you’re looking to differentiate your banking organization from others providing these services, you’ll need to provide a comprehensive offering. 

Your system should provide fast and secure payment processing, via a consistent and well-designed user interface. Efficient error handling and built-in 24/7 support should be integral parts of the system, which should also provide instant notifications for every transaction. In this era of open banking, your online payment system should be able to seamlessly connect with third-party products and services.

An omnichannel messaging platform can be an important part of your tool-kit. For example, with IDT Express Omnichannel, you can use real-time notifications to ensure that important dates, appointments, deliveries, and renewals are never missed. OTP verification can provide user authentication and security for transactions. 

5. Provide Relevant Information at the Right Time

As part of the customer nurturing process, you should regularly communicate with clear information that helps customers understand what they can do with your product or service, and the real world implications of how it works. 

You can use information and resources as part of your customer experience strategy, to offer your banking consumers that “little bit extra” which creates a positive engagement with your brand. You might for example add features like credit tracking and financial coaching to your mobile app, to extend the range of options available, and give users additional control over their financial affairs.

Besides these online and digital tools, you can reach out to customers in person through workshops, seminars, and one-on-one financial advice. You can complement these activities by offering free online resources for individuals, schools, and communities. 

Your customer-centric approach to banking can also include meeting the consumers at the online platforms where they habitually hang out. For instance, using the IDT Express Omnichannel Messaging platform, you can connect with customers, share updates, and foster engagement on one of the most popular visual platforms, with Instagram Messenger integration. On mobile, you can use the power of IDT Express SMS 2-Way messaging to engage in interactive conversations with your customers, and allow recipients to respond to your SMS messages.

6. Provide Easy Mechanisms for Managing Fraud

With the proliferation of digital and mobile transactions comes a heightened risk of illicit activities targeting your consumers, such as credit card fraud, identity theft, and account hacking. Your customer experience strategy should therefore include providing bank users with the tools, information and knowledge they need to avoid bad customer experiences of this kind.

If you have an omnichannel messaging platform with a comprehensive set of features, it should be relatively straightforward for you to educate your customers on when they should block a card or account. Using a system like IDT Express Omnichannel, you can issue proactive anti-fraud notifications, along with real-time messaging setting out the sequence of steps that the customer should follow.

7. Provide Live and Personalized Customer Support

To deliver the levels of service and support that meet today’s customers expectations, you’ll need to invest in agile support software and Customer Relationship Management solutions that offer better customer visibility and give your customer support agents access to personalized context that empowers them to offer appropriate services. An omnichannel messaging platform like IDT Express can give you access to  intelligent ChatBots which automate responses, handle routine queries, and create personalized interactions, providing a seamless and efficient experience for your users.

As part of your customer-centric support strategy, you should also consider self-service options. Zendesk benchmark data indicates that an effective self-service strategy drives efficiency while reducing overhead costs, by enabling support teams to deflect redundant, low-value queries.

Since most banking consumers also prefer to speak to a human representative before making higher-stakes financial decisions (such as taking out a loan), you should also provide your support staff with the tools and information they need to offer quick and comprehensive help to customers across all channels.

For example, with IDT Express, support teams get access to messaging, alert, and notification tools that enable them to reach out to customers via social media, direct messaging, and SMS. IDT itself offers organizations 24/7 customer support, which ensures that you have assistance whenever you need it. 

8. Continuously Improve the Customer Experience

Your customer experience strategy will need to evolve and improve over time, to meet the challenge of new markets, shifting customer bases, and fluctuating economic conditions. 

Forrester research reveals that feeling valued drives loyalty the most in both direct and multichannel banking in the US. Among direct banking customers who feel valued, 87% say they will remain loyal. One way to develop a customer-centric business in which consumers feel valued is to make an effort to understand how customers feel — and demonstrate that you are invested in their emotional state.

You can use data analytics to understand customer preferences, and customize your services accordingly. For instance, you can personalize communication and offers based on customer interaction and transaction histories. You can also create segmented marketing strategies for different customer groups.

Use the Right Technology

As we have seen, creating positive customer experiences and developing a customer-centric approach to your banking services becomes easier and more seamless with an omnichannel messaging platform and business communications system.

With a user-friendly interface and intuitive features, IDT Express Omnichannel Messaging and the IDT Express SMS platform enable you to quickly compose and send personalized messages and communications to individuals or groups.

To talk to one of our experts today, and establish if we are a good fit for you – and to get $25 Free Test Credit with a Trial Account – visit our sign-up page.

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