Across all areas of financial services, digitisation of personal customer service is proceeding at breakneck speed. This could be attributed to the need for cost savings or the enthusiastic take-up of new channels by consumers of all ages. While customers may be happy doing banking or shopping online, providers are walking a fine line if they choose to neglect the face-to-face interaction aspect of personal customer service.
The trend towards online platforms holds true across all aspects of the finance industry. Whether it is insurance or banking sector, the burgeoning fintech sector is providing ever more options for high-quality digital services. This allows firms to stand out in markets where it traditionally had been much harder to achieve. Therefore, it is these fintech solutions that put excellence of service at the forefront. This is to build brand loyalty and attractiveness which prove to be most valuable to financial services providers.
A Tale Of Two Continents
Across geographies, the practical impact of digitisation has differed. In Europe and the US, high street banks have been closing branches in large numbers. This could be led by the prevalence of internet banking, or perhaps the shrinking transactions running in smaller provincial branches. However, they are still political opposition on both local and national levels due to the loss of personalised customer service for the older generation. Also, the digital market is under attack from “challenger banks” who specialise in quirky and modern online services.
In Asia, branch networks have largely escaped the cull. This could be due to the fact that real growth markets remain, and that regulations often require physical branches. Also, many consumers still retain a preference for face-to-face interaction. Despite so, the latest of McKinsey & Company‘s detailed looks at digital banking in Asia is clear as to which way the wind is currently blowing. It highlighted how Asian consumers today are quickly moving into digital banking, turning to computers, smartphones, and tablets more often to perform bank requests. In the same regard, people are spending less time visiting branches and calling service hotlines less frequently.
Everyone Has To Bridge The Same Gap
The upshot is that both European and Asian financial services providers ultimately face a similar problem. How can high standard of customer service be maintained whilst accessing the efficiencies and marketing opportunities for digital platforms? The growing use of live video links on customer-facing websites provides a clear solution.
Being able to engage in live video call with an actual customer service agent at any time of the day, renders the best personal customer service possible – accessible 24/7. Both customers and advisors can now have the documentation and relevant information instantly, with security considerations satisfied.
Regulators today are likely to adopt digital-friendly strategies in the face of the unstoppable trend.
Hence, authentication and documentation issues will likely be able to satisfy most markets via secured video links.
Insurance Has Much To Gain With Personal Customer Service
For insurers, digital platforms are even more exciting than for banks. They can better offer precise, personalised quotes that tailor coverage to any individual need, without the manpower costs traditionally involved. Of course, such platforms are great if they work for your cause, yet terrible when a user hits an impasse. Again, this proves that the personal touch is needed but clearly your digital-age consumers don’t want to leave their home or favourite cafe!
In the case of banking and insurance, the benefits of “live” customer service go beyond mere convenience. They allow the precise management of staffing – efficiently meeting business volumes, improve training, and ensures uniformity of service alongside brand guidelines. This represents an opportunity to strive for excellence in service levels and really impress customers.
Financial organisations have understandably been wary of updating their digital infrastructure too often. This is due to the impact on branding and the relative difficulties and risks involved in migrating. With cloud hosting of video services, this means that this service can easily add to existing sites with minimal disruption.
The need to become a trusted brand delivering great service is probably the biggest game-changer for financial industries in this digital move. Firms no longer have to compete purely on price with consumers seeking the peace of mind. There is now a greater emphasis on the need for good service and a convenient, safe system for all transactions.
In this regard, businesses that grasp this new reality early would be placed in good stead. They should be able to build significant bases of highly loyal customers that will underpin profitability for generations.
Find out how Wavecell’s Live Video Interaction solution can help your business easily capture opportunities for personalised services for customers through technology.