The key insights you need to build the financial future your customers expect
Over 60 years ago, the famed musical Cabaret coined what has remained one of the most timeless phrases in history — “Money makes the world go ’round.”
While we’re not here to get into how much that may or may not be true on a global scale, it’s certainly true for your consumers. People everywhere, every day, rely on financial institutions all over the world. Whether that’s helping guide them through some of the biggest life events they’ll ever experience or ensuring they can check in on their savings while they’re waiting for a flight, you need to be there for them.
No longer can a financial service or insurance organization fall into just one of these categories:
- A facilitator that manages transactions
- An enabler that provides loans and mortgages
- An advisor that helps customers navigate the complexity of pensions, investments, trusts, and more
Sure, you can be one of those. But it’s more important than ever to push beyond that and become a true partner in your consumers’ lifelong financial health. Whether you’re running a retail bank, an insurance agency, or an asset management company, the mandate is still the same — it’s time to be proactive.
But these new consumer expectations are placing some major demands on organizations whose business models weren’t originally set up for a digital, interactive relationship. And many are still struggling to deliver the experiences people are hoping for:
- Half of marketers and professionals in the finance sector admit that their digital customer experience (CX) sometimes lags behind their customers’ needs, compared to 42% across all industries.
- The number of financial firms that admit their digital CX lags (50%) has nearly doubled since 2022 (28%) rather than shrinking over time.
At the same time, there are some firms that are making waves when it comes to CX. They’re even pushing the limits and stretching outside purely financial advice and into broader areas like physical, mental, and even climate health.
We identified these pillars from our 2023 Digital Trends—Financial Services in Focus report. Let’s take a closer look at each one and get a better idea of why they’ll be so crucial for your success in 2023 and beyond.
Innovation adds more value to your customers — and your bottom line
The nature of digital advancements is that they’re never really finished. And as we continue pressing into the shining promise of the future, it’s become clear that organizations across all industries need to step up their CX game.
For finance, marketers and CX pros agree that their firms must generate experiences that are more comprehensive, connected, and tailored to a customer’s total lifestyle. This way, they can avoid becoming pure transaction portals, which would allow non-finance brands — like Amazon or other disruptors — to swoop in and steal market share. But to do this, firms will need to walk a bit of a tightrope. They’ll need to maintain the quality of their existing services while also building and introducing new ones.
And the rate of change isn’t stopping. Although 42% of financial marketing and CX executives disagree that customers want to self-serve completely without human interaction, providing the ability for customers to choose which channel to engage with your organization on will be vital in 2023.
On the topic of self-service, it’s becoming more and more crucial to stay on top of it — even when handling complex requests. For example, a bank could mix an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered chatbot with a human advisor to help customers in case they have more queries. But then this same bank could allow the customer to move back to the chatbot environment to finish their task rather than completing their journey with the human advisor.
The point is that true innovation is rooted in persistence. And to continue succeeding in the finance sector, you’ll need to keep finding new ways to reimagine the experience and provide the best ways for your customers to interact with your firm.
The employee experience should revolve around an inspiring work environment
At Adobe, we believe that good ideas can come from anywhere in the company. But if we take that even a step further, we believe that good ideas should come from anyone and anywhere.
With such a rich global pool of voices, it’s no wonder that investing in diversity and inclusion (D&I) has major benefits for company transformation. For one, doing so can improve employees’ sense of belonging, which is a major factor in keeping employees around. In fact, Workday found that 79% of employees who felt a sense of belonging had no plans to leave their employer, compared to 33% without it.
Ultimately, it’s no secret that surrounding yourself with like-minded people results in a limited range of ideas. By getting a more diverse group of talent, you can build a rich community of people who deliver amazing, innovative results.
And when you couple that with a strong content workflow, you’ll be set up for long-term success.
Because really, it’s no use having a diverse workforce if people from every walk of life can’t get their voices out there. By implementing effective workflows, you can do just that — as well as connect with a much broader range of consumers and boost your impact.
Financial firms are also starting to empower their staff with the right tech to get the job done, with 31% stating that they have access to user-friendly applications that integrate with other tools, compared to 39% who say their integration approach is average.
But even with that all said, most firms are still falling short in the home stretch as they struggle with execution. Only 28% can deliver content by delivering assets quickly, automating execution, using data to personalize content, and tracking insights. What’s more, this number drops to 22% when it comes to the number of firms that excel at producing and streamlining content that eliminates rework, duplicated effort, and administrative minutiae.
In short, even though financial firms are making progress, there’s still plenty of room to grow when it comes to improving the employee experience.
Process is the key to a future-proof, agile financial industry
As with any other industry, the financial sector has become a truly omnichannel experience for every customer. And while some might prefer visiting physical branches and others crave a purely digital or mobile experience, one thing is certain — every customer will interact with your organization across multiple channels throughout their journey. This means you’ll need to connect your experience — and ensure it makes sense — from start to finish.
Unfortunately, this is still a bit of a challenge for financial organizations across the board.
Without a single unifying platform, all these disparate solutions — from CRM systems and data centers to content and workflow automation — can silo departments and teams and continue exacerbating the problem.
In fact, most financial marketing and CX pros still risk creating a disconnect in their experiences, with 51% using multiple technologies or vendors for CX management without a unified platform. That leaves 49% with some kind of CX platform, which includes just 37% with a platform hosted in the cloud.
Again, there’s huge opportunity here.
With a unifying platform, you can streamline customer data collection and management so that you can more easily use it across your existing and potential future applications. You can also combine insights and workflows from multiple channels, including call center, email, social media, mobile, web, and more. All so your teams can collaborate more effectively — and you can fuel large-scale personalization.
Set your firm up for long-term success
Between the pandemic-fueled digital transformation and the rise of fintechs and digital banks, customers want more meaningful, digital-first financial interactions. To nurture your existing customer relationships — and forge new ones — you’ll need to deliver impactful experiences that feel personal.
By innovating your experiences, investing in your employee experience, and improving your processes, you’ll be able to transform your firm — and set it up for success long into the future.
To dig more into the details and get all the latest insights, read the full 2023 Digital Trends — Financial Services in Focus report.