Customers are relying on financial institutions to support their changing needs as they face growing uncertainty about the pandemic’s long-term impact. Institutions are now focusing on implementing new digital channels that allow them to meet their customers over the channel of their choosing as well as offer more self service capabilities.
The investments made now to enable remote work for financial services employees and to expand digital services are creating new standards of customer experience that will continue even as the world reopens. Seventy-seven% of organizations we surveyed have increased their budgets for digital transformation.
Here’s how banking, insurance, and wealth management organizations can earn consumer trust that lasts beyond the pandemic.
Banking: Staying Connected 24×7
Consumers now increasingly prefer mobile banking, which makes it important to reimagine a channel-agnostic engagement model to serve customers who would like to use both digital channels and branch services to access finances and required information.
As banks rise to the challenge, a McKinsey survey shows that 87% of consumers trust banks to “do the right thing” during the crisis.” This is an opportunity for banks and credit unions to solidify this trust by optimizing their channel mix to personalize customer experiences. Personalization applies to both the content of messages, speaking directly to customers, making reference to their most recent account activity, as well as honoring their channel preferences.
Investing in a digital communications platform to serve and support customers helps ensure built-in resilience with scalable solutions, including remote customer service, digital self-service, and proactive notifications.
CU Wireless, a subsidiary of Maps Credit Union, provides technology services and ﬁnancial apps to nearly four million credit union members around the United States.
Their banking app provides a secure and convenient way for members to access their accounts on-the-go. As a value-add for credit union members, the team wanted to provide customers with information in real-time via SMS. Hence, CU Wireless sought a telephony partner that could provide secure SMS alerts at scale. After testing a prototype, CU Wireless moved their existing short code from its current provider to Twilio and integrated its banking app with Twilio’s Messaging API — in less than a week.
By texting certain keywords to the short code, members can check their balance, recent transactions, and the details of any loans they have from their credit unions.
In addition, members can use text messaging to transfer money or to sign-up for proactive notiﬁcations (SMS alerts) to receive a text when they have a low balance or make a deposit. Using Twilio, CU Wireless saves nearly 50% on text messaging costs and 33% on short code costs.
Insurance: Open Support Channels
For the insurance sector, the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored an underinvestment in technology that companies contend with as they leverage new digital channels to conduct business both for client-facing and contact center agents, as well as to meet increased inbound call volume.
Meanwhile, insurtech is upending this distribution model and providing a more flexible, transparent, and direct-to-customer offering. With SMS, voice, chat and video capabilities, disparate channels in an insurance claim process — the customer, the claims agent, the adjuster and other third parties — are all part of a single, unified customer experience. By leveraging APIs (application programming interfaces), insurers are integrating channels and data sources to provide more meaningful and personalized offerings. More than 72% of insurers say a digitally-integrated ecosystem improved the ability to reach customers in their preferred manner and answer service requests faster.
Take, for example, Cover. This U.S.-based insurance brokerage that uses an algorithm to match individuals with auto, home and renters insurance policies from over 30 different providers. Its fully customizable contact center delivers on-demand customer service with speed, ease and efficiency.
Nearly all of Cover’s customer communications happen via SMS for customers to file a claim. Incoming phone calls come with context for agents. Further, information from the call is synced to Salesforce. “As customers come back, sometimes even 12 weeks or a year later, we want to make sure that they talk to the same agent from the first interaction, so there’s more continuity in the personalized experience,” describes Ben Aneesh, co-founder of Cover.
Using Twilio Flex, Cover can manage calls faster and handle a larger call volume, accelerating its response time by 57%.
For all insurance providers, the approach to meeting consumer expectations is two-pronged: 1. enhance efficiencies to handle an increasing volume of claims and policies and 2. provide an omni-channel engagement experience. Integrating all the necessary customer engagement channels for a seamless end-to-end experience allows insurers to constantly keep open lines of communication with their customers
Wealth Management: Build Secure, Virtual Access
With the uncertainties brought on by the COVID crisis, clients need to receive real-time updates and easy access to wealth managers. A digital platform that supports this engagement would not only establish greater customer trust but also far more effective client management using more functionalities and a deeper understanding of the customer. A Bain study found that wealth management firms that included digital channels for client engagement realize 30-40% lower costs.
Ultimately, firms that provide secure, timely, personalized digital service to safeguard the client’s best interests will be on a faster path to business recovery.
Build Resilience with Customer Trust
The challenging economic environment is an opportunity for financial services to reinvent how they connect with their customers, and implement new operating models to establish consumer trust and build efficiencies along the path to recovery.
Cloud technology empowers financial services companies to develop and embed scalable customer engagement channels for remote service, omnichannel communications, and digital journeys. This technology can differentiate businesses in the market by offering greater flexibility to adapt communications capabilities as business needs and customer preferences change. It provides the elasticity necessary to serve customers using secure digital channels that provide speed and ease-of-use to customers, and subsequently reinforces customer loyalty.