Wasn’t it just yesterday when the business world considered personalisation as an added advantage to build on customer experience? It’s surprising, or rather not, that personalisation is becoming the core factor of most strategies across departments and industries.
“Many organisations are focused on becoming more relationship-orientated as opposed to transactional. This change is going to be fundamental in increasing customer lifetime value. Customers expect greater proactivity and support around their financial well-being – be it simply alerting them to issues that may impact their financial health through offering ever-evolving services as their circumstances change,” said John Lilly, Head of FSI Digital Experience at Adobe.
Talking about the value of personalisation and the future of FSI, Lilly reiterates the crucial nature of the digital landscape. Maturing significantly, it will bring a greater focus on the business processes and operating models needed to support the delivery of personalisation, along with more excellent end-to-end systems and tools architectures.
Excerpts from the interview;
How should BFSI companies leverage data and analytical tools to gain insights into customer behaviour and use the same to improve their CX and overall sales performance?
The importance of in-depth data analysis lies in understanding the “why” behind a customer’s needs and identifying when and to whom it is significant. This understanding can lead to the development of new services or necessary changes to existing ones, catering to various groups such as retail consumers, wealth clients, or corporate clients. Some key areas to focus on include:
- Having a clear strategy for implementing the right tools to automate the vast majority of lower value, higher volume activity to free up resources and focusing on the highest value-add work.
- Considering quality over quantity of data and where it can be sourced from – particularly with the reduction in third-party sources (i.e. cookie and iOS tracking updates), organisations need to consider how their ecosystem of services could help enhance the range and quality of data insights available.
- Focusing on both the data strategy (a single customer view is critical) and the underlying content supply chain processes (how to create, personalise, target and time the delivery of experiences) together will lay the foundations for greater personalisation and better CX, which in turn allow better retention, cross-sell and reduce the cost of sale.
What can financial services companies do to increase Customer Lifetime Value?
Many organisations are focused on becoming more relationship-orientated as opposed to transactional. This change is going to be fundamental in increasing customer lifetime value. Customers expect greater proactivity and support around their financial well-being – be it simply alerting them to issues that may impact their financial health through offering ever-evolving services as their circumstances change.
Seeing the customer in a single view regardless of the digital or otherwise engagement point is a critical step in engaging in this deeper relationship. Too much data, siloed data, or not enough insight is a challenge many companies face. With younger generations increasingly becoming part of the core target market, both in consumer finance and as end customers in B2B transactions, expectations are changing quickly. Financial service providers must ensure they are focused on personalisation not just as a marketing activity or a process improvement but as a change in the business operating model to serve customers.
What is the critical role of personalisation in the future of financial CX?
Personalisation is the CX of the future, not just part of it. Ultimately transactional experiences are easy to compare and increasingly easy to switch. Lifestyle experiences and personalised products are far harder to compare and carry much more emotive value, so I believe they have far greater longevity and worth.
Personalisation will also play a vital role in services outside of the core finance offering, ultimately driving value and retention in the core offering. For example, changes in lifestyle circumstances to proactively supporting a customer’s wider family or adjusting a customer’s vehicle insurance premium in real-time based on the route choice of their commute to work are all things that could be based on data from outside of the main product, but when added into the journey at the right time, would add significant value.
How do you see the digital experience landscape evolving in the financial services industry over the next few years?
The digital landscape will mature significantly, and there will be a greater focus on the processes and operating models needed to support the delivery of personalisation, along with more excellent end-to-end system and tool architectures. Additionally, the advent of millennials and Gen-Z into the target market of FSIs will dramatically increase the depth at which FSIs need to embed personalisation to operate, not just as a marketing tool.
It’s important to remember that the employee experience is as key to consider in the journey to personalisation as the data. Employees oversee content creation, engage customers directly when the journey requires and interact with complex complaints. If their experience isn’t as good, if not better, with the data at their fingertips, customer experiences are poor, and staff attrition increases.
AI and ML will impact the number of personalised offerings. Still, there can be a lot of unknowns regarding how such technology will evolve in regulated industries such as FSI.