Banking customer service is changing. In the past, there were two main ways to help customers: in the branch and by telephone. Today, customers have access to an ever-increasing range of customer service channels: the branch, telephone, email, SMS, live chat, mobile apps, and social media. With rapid advances in technology, nearly every device — from smart watches to home speakers — has become a potential interface for banking.
The challenge for banks is not simply to be accessible in all these channels (which is important), but to deliver a consistent and unified experience across them. In short, it’s time for banks to invest in the omni-channel customer experience.It's time for banks to invest in the omni-channel customer experience. Click To Tweet
What is Omni-Channel Banking?
Over the years, banks have risen to the challenge of serving customers through multiple channels. The multi-channel experience — including call centers, online banking, text banking, live chat, and mobile apps — has made banking faster and more convenient.
However, these channels are often developed and implemented separately. As a result, service across them is inconsistent, resulting in a disjointed customer experience. According to Accenture, 89% of customers experience frustration having to repeat their problem in multiple customer service channels. Clearly, there’s room for improvement.
Omni-channel customer service integrates all of these channels into one unified banking experience that lets customers switch channels at any time and still receive high quality service.Omni-channel lets customers switch channels at any time and still receive high quality service. Click To Tweet
Putting Customers First
In today’s hyper-connected society, quality customer service is more important than ever. According to research by Aberdeen Group, companies that provide consistent, high quality service across multiple channels retain 89% of their customers, while those who do not provide a consistent experience are only able to retain 33%.Banks that provide consistent, quality service across multiple channels retain 89% of their customers. Click To Tweet
The omni-channel model gives banks the opportunity to stand out with excellent customer service. A consistent omni-channel experience removes the silos between service channels, enabling customers to get great customer service through their preferred channel at any time. With omni-channel banking, customers are less likely to experience frustration and seek better service elsewhere.
The Benefits of Omni-Channel
In addition to improving the customer experience, omni-channel service gives banks several advantages that make serving customers and boosting profitability easier.
Unified Customer Data
Omni-channel banking breaks down the data silos between service channels, enabling banks to get 360-degree views of each customer. Not only does this make it easier for agents to provide excellent service, but it also surfaces new insights about customer preferences and behavior. Banks can use these insights to provide personalized service and identify new sales opportunities.
Increased Accuracy of Service
When customer information is integrated into a single omni-channel experience, customer service agents are better equipped to find the optimal solution for each support request. When agents are able to resolve support requests the first time, customers are less likely to contact support a second time, reducing the overall volume of inquiries.
Shorter Average Handling Times
When customer information flows from one channel to the next, there’s no need to transfer customers between multiple siloed departments. Fewer transfers means faster time to resolution, lower customer service costs, and happier customers.
Implementing the Omni-Channel Experience
One way to achieve a seamless omni-channel experience is with artificial intelligence (AI) technology. AI-powered customer support enables banks to maintain a consistent experience across all devices and channels, including popular social media apps like Twitter and Facebook Messenger. With conversational bots, customers can converse about their issue in natural language without leaving their favorite chat app. Banks that implement this kind of omni-channel service make banking easier and more enjoyable for their customers, building greater brand appreciation and loyalty.
Siloed multi-channel banking is inconsistent, inefficient, costly, and unsatisfactory for customers. Banks must adopt omni-channel banking to provide a seamless and unified customer experience that supports customers wherever they are.
Banks that successfully implement omni-channel service will deliver an unmatched customer experience and gain a competitive advantage.