How to Deliver Best User Experiences in Digital Banking
Updated: May 6
Customers have come to expect a level of personal service from companies that is the digital version of a 24/7 concierge. Think Netflix, Amazon, and Spotify, all companies that have set the bar for personalized, instantaneously responsive, and increasingly predictive real-time service across all points of contact with companies.
Personalization as a Foundation of Modern UX
Why is this degree of personalization so crucial for companies? By giving customers what they want, when they want it, on a consistent and meaningful basis, companies can build deep, long-lasting, and mutually beneficial relationships. It is these enduring relationships that enable companies to withstand the pressures of a hyper-competitive, ever-evolving world.
According to the Stratus Innovation Group, these shifts in customers’ expectations are accelerating quickly — and customers are demanding that companies keep up. This is evident in the findings of an IBM report from the Institute for Business Value, which showed:
76% of consumers expect organizations to understand their individual needs;
81% of consumers demand improved response time;
68% anticipate that organizations will harmonize consumer experiences.
Benefits of 360-degree Customer Experience
Companies that get personalization right stand to benefit significantly. Segment, a company that helps organizations create customer and employee experiences, surveyed more than 1 000 consumers and found that customers are willing to spend more money with companies that make an effort to deliver a personalized experience. Personalization also results in increased revenue for companies and achieves the holy grail, customer loyalty.
To reap the benefits of personalization, however, companies need to make sure all parts of the organization are doing their bit towards creating a consistent, coherent, and meaningful omnichannel customer experience. They can only do this by developing a comprehensive understanding of their customers’ needs, desires, and expectations. In so doing, create a 360-degree customer experience that consistently surprises and delights them in all their interactions with the company.
By developing a detailed picture of the journey the customer travels, each engagement they have with the company becomes a potential opportunity for the organization to deepen its relationship with the client.
Customer Experience in Financial Services Industry
In the financial services industry, the gap between the customer experience leaders and the customer experience laggards is particularly wide, with smaller, digitally based fintech companies eating into business traditionally the exclusive preserve of the banks and insurance companies.
Customers are experiencing personalization from companies in other industries and are beginning to demand those same types of experiences from financial institutions.
Two in five millennials feel that the offers they receive from their banks are not personalized, and 40% of consumers say that personalized service would change their loyalty to their bank. While aware of the threat to their existing businesses, Evergage found that 79% of financial institutions consider it “very” or ”extremely” important to deliver guidance to clients in real-time, 40% of them consider themselves “static” because they offer no personalizations.
With this in mind, the financial services sector is most likely to be subject to ongoing disruption, as smaller, more agile contenders make getting to know their customers’ needs and aspirations. These will include events they need to save for, assets they wish to acquire, and plans they want to make for retirement.
Why are they not moving faster on the journey towards customer personalization?
One significant reason is that a sophisticated real-time, personalized customer experience is only possible if the business's products and services are based on a technological infrastructure that is flexible, agile and highly responsive to changes in customer needs and demands. The system also needs to be able to incorporate and harness the ever-evolving capabilities offered by emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and predictive data analytics.
From Monolithic to Microservices Architecture
Over the last decade, it has become increasingly apparent that traditional monolithic technology systems are not built to offer a competitive level of customer personalization. These legacy platforms are cumbersome, expensive, and risky to keep up to date. Built on a one-code basis, a monolithic system is developed as a single unit, and over time customized technology is added and integrated into the system to meet the changing needs of the company as and when they arise.
Many traditional large financial services companies operate on monolithic systems, which means they cannot respond quickly to customer behavior, preferences, and choices. A good example of this is that banks still show customers the products and services they already have on their website. In contrast, companies that make use of technology designed to personalize customer experience serve up websites that are specifically tailored to offer personalized guidance in real-time, taking into account the customer’s previous activity with the company.
Companies that making the most progress and having the most success at achieving customer personalization are those that operate on a system of microservices.
Why are microservices more suited to do the job?
Microservices break down large tasks into simple, independent processes that communicate with each other via APIs. Developers adopt microservices architectures to help solve common, complex issues like speed and scalability, while also supporting continuous testing and continuous delivery.
In essence, microservices give a company the ability to be nimble and responsive to customers and allow them to be faster to market with services the company has identified that will enhance a customer’s experience or meet a specific need. In so doing, companies provide a seamless experience across multiple channels, such as mobile applications, point-of-sale systems, social media, Internet of Things devices, virtual reality, digital assistants, or chatbots.
Given the immense potential offered by microservices to achieve personalization and considerably enhance customer experiences, many companies are leaving their monolithic systems behind in favor of microservice-based systems. This trend was captured in the Chef Survey 2017, which found that 67% of respondents had re-architected monolithic applications into microservices or planned to do so.
Customer personalization is here to stay – in fact, it is well on its way to becoming part of everyday business. Companies who respond proactively to this by ensuring they have the technology architecture in place to adapt quickly and responsively are far more likely to win the hearts and minds of their customers than those set in their ways or hesitant to make the changes needed.