Bridging the Divide Between the Online and In-Person Customer Experience

Perry Price, CEO, Revation SystemsPerry Price, CEO,Revation Systems
The pandemic has accelerated digital transformation across the entire financial industry including the banking sector. Due to the cultural shift towards digital communications spurred by stay-at-home orders and social distancing measures, 2020 changed customer service as we know it. Consumers are seeking out digital experiences more frequently, causing their expectations for quality of these interactions to rise. As digital banking experiences are surely here to stay long past the pandemic, it is clear is that banks will need to bridge the divide between the online and in-person experience in order to successfully serve their customers.

As a result, forward looking banking organizations are now working towards blurring the distinction between in-person and digital experiences. The following situations illustrate common banking scenarios and how the push to make digital experiences feel more similar to in-person experiences of the past significantly increases customer satisfaction.

Make Digital Experiences Personal

Banks have a significant opportunity to enhance the digital customer experience through the personalization of digital interactions. One way to do this this is to offer a ‘digital concierge’ through authenticated chat, for customers coming to the website.

Consider the following case: A customer visits a bank’s website looking for instant access to a representative to chat about a specific topic. The customer is quickly authenticated and connected to a ‘digital concierge’ that has access to their account information. The bank resource that fields the chat is immediately prepared and can set the tone right away to provide an overall enhanced experience for the consumer.

A recommended best practice for banking contact centers seeking to personalize and improve the digital customer experience, is to have agents handle more chat sessions like these to deflect call volume. With proper training, contact center agents should aim to handle three simultaneous active chats at a time – helping to increase efficiency while providing a more customized and successful interaction.

Be on the Same Page - Literally

It is critical that the customer and representative are on the same page in digital banking interactions – literally. Supporting a customer through features like co-browse and screen sharing can make all the difference in providing the customer with answers needed more efficiently. Take for example, a consumer who is working on a mortgage application and has a specific question arise during the middle of the process.
They can reach out to their loan officer who sends them a secure link to start a co-browse session with audio to discuss the question. This allows the representative to see the screen the customer is on and provide more specific assistance – avoiding confusion and streamlining the process.

Co-browse technology increases the value that representatives can provide to customers. For the most optimal customer experience, banking organizations should encourage their agents to use co-browse and screen sharing features early on in customer interactions to decrease handle time.

Keep it Secure

Digital communications come with risks, especially when sensitive information is exchanged,which happens constantly in the banking industry. Responding to a customer over secure mail can help ease the minds of consumers and avoid data breaches. Consider the following situation: a customer contacts their bank looking for help resetting their password for the online banking portal. In order to accomplish the password reset, the agent must communicate sensitive data to the customer.

Using a secure mail solution instead of regular email gets the customer the information they need without risking the security of their data in doing so. As a best practice, ensure that agents and representatives are well trained to recognize personal identifiable information (PII) and encourage the use of secure mail in consumer conversations where sensitive data is being exchanged.

Humanize Digital Experiences with Multimedia Channels

As banks enjoy the benefits of ramping up their digital transformation, they also need to recognize the risk of becoming transactional in nature and as a consequence, losing the human touch. Despite a strong preference, and thanks to the pandemic an actual need for digital communications, customers still want to bank with people, even when communication happens through digital channels.

Deploying multimedia communications technology helps to enhance the digital customer experience even further. Using video in interactions that would typically have been had in-branch, such as loan origination appointments, fosters a deeper level of collaboration. Where connecting through chat or over the phone can work well for accomplishing more routine tasks, more complex banking matters require a deeper connection.

For instance, think back to the scenario described earlier about a customer applying for a mortgage. Due to the pandemic and limited operating hours at the local branch, the customer is starting the process online with the digital guidance of their loan officer. Simply using basic chat on a website to discuss questions the customer may have or to review detailed information specific to their account cannot provide a satisfactory customer experience. More complex banking matters require a human connection. Using a multimedia video solution to communicate can help bridge the gap between the in-person and digital experience. Starting a video chat brings the human element back into the interaction between the customer and loan officer, helping the customer get answers and complete the application more efficiently and effectively.

Banking customer relationships are being redefined and full digital customer collaboration is critical for banks and credit unions to both satisfy customers and improve their bottom line.
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