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StrategyFeb 11, 2020

The Value of Process Improvement in the Banking Customer Experience

Molly Legband

The banking industry is quickly evolving, requiring banks to be adaptable and innovative to continue meeting customer needs. With personalized, omnichannel experiences becoming the standard, banks must have the correct foundation in place to actively engage their customers in real time. To accomplish this, there must be a focus on improving the process of storing and accessing customer data to consistently meet customer expectations and ensure customer loyalty. This can be done in multiple ways, and one option is through a digital banking engagement platform (DBEP). In this article, we will focus on how to use process improvement and specifically DBEPs to enhance your customer experience.

process improvement isn’t only for manufacturing—it also applies to data

When many people hear the term “process improvement,” they typically associate it with manufacturing processes, such as a car assembly line or a shipment processing center. However, process improvement can be applied much more broadly. At its core, process improvement is about increasing efficiencies and removing bottlenecks, something that can be seen in any industry.

In banking, process improvement can mean having the right data in place and readily accessible to create a cohesive customer experience. A cohesive customer experience meets new, heightened customer expectations. Banking has shifted more and more toward a mobile- and web-based experience for customers, creating new datapoints to understand interactions. This increases the amount of data banks can collect on customers and requires banks to have streamlined processes to store, organize, and access the data. If done effectively, banks can provide high-quality assistance to service customer needs online or in-branch. Since customers expect it to be “easy to reach a person who can resolve problems and resolve them quickly,” banks need to get it right by establishing effective processes to allow customers to quickly find the help they need and for bank employees to have access to necessary resources to promptly and effectively respond.

process improvement in practice

Often, banks can have customer data stored in disorganized repositories, wrestling to stitch customer identities together and track customer behavior. Because customer data can be hard to access and organize, process inefficiencies manifest as employees try to keep up with customer demands. A DBEP is a compelling avenue to infuse process improvement into digital banking. It allows banks to gather a holistic view of their customers and enables banks to effectively utilize their customer data. As banks work to continually meet their customer’s needs, a DBEP creates a low-friction pathway to have a rich front-end experience that is easily adaptable to change and innovation (as seen in the third quarter 2019 report, The Forrester WaveTM: Digital Banking Engagement Platforms). This is beneficial to both the bank and the customer because it allows banks to quickly evolve and adapt, while customers receive the customization and ease they expect from their banking experience.

reaping the benefits of process improvement

A customized and adaptable banking experience allows your bank to stand above the competition, ensuring customer loyalty. For example, Chase Bank utilizes customer data across the entire experience, customizing even the home page of their app with pictures of local geography near the user. A study shows that customers who feel “appreciated, respected, and valued” by their banks are far more likely to remain loyal to their bank. Another study shows that the five elements that have the greatest impact on a bank’s Net Promoter Score are quality, saving time, reducing anxiety, simplification, and heirloom (meaning it is a good investment for future generations). All of this can be accomplished through a streamlined process of data collection, storage, and utilization within a bank. By effectively collecting and utilizing your customer’s data, you can create a unique experience for each customer, allowing them to feel appreciated and valued through user-specific interactions.

better process, more customers

Investing in a DBEP platform is a large financial investment but provides a return in customer engagement and loyalty with the bank. Smooth processes remove barriers to innovation and allow bank employees to focus on the customers themselves, providing the high-quality person-to-person contact that customers expect and encouraging increased engagement with the firm. According to a study by Bain & Co, customers who engage in digital banking “have greater loyalty to their bank, cost less to serve and are more profitable.” Though it may require a costly investment on the front end, investing in a DBEP to improve the customers’ experience can result in customer retention, decreased costs to serve the customers, and encourage further engagement and business from the customers.

If you are looking to improve your data processes to better meet your customer’s needs, Credera can help. Reach out to findoutmore@credera.com to see how we can help.