Thought Leadership

Holistic Financial Services: The End of the One-Trick Pony

June 24, 2019
Holistic Financial Services: The End of the One-Trick Pony
By Bryan Adler

As we reach the midpoint of 2019, we can take a look back on financial trends, and clearly say it’s all been about how tech can reshape banking. But are we missing something here? Sure, tech can help, and customers care about tech, but are we focusing too much on the solution and not the problems we’re trying to solve?

Both the industry and consumers are shifting their expectations, so now might be the right time to level set how we work with our customers. To generate real value for and from our customers, community financial institutions’ offerings must be more than just a product. Your brand has to be bigger than that to meet the needs of your customers.

The financial industry may be losing touch with its customers, based on a report from Celent. While digital is clearly important to customers, they’re not exactly abandoning the branch. Customers are adopting and consuming web and mobile services at record rates, but more than half (55%) still prefer visiting a branch for most matters. Add to that, FIS’ findings in its PACE report stating that customers are engaging more with their banks using mobile apps, but they are seeking something else: for financial institutions to be hands off but be ready to engage when the customer needs it. More importantly, consumers are looking for banks to be trusted advisers in financial matters.

A PwC report lays out very mixed findings but drives the message home. Customers appear to be less engaged, but the ultimate goal is to be ready to help your consumers meet their goals when and where they want it. Additionally, these goals shift over time throughout the lifecycle of the customer. So, how do you do it across all segments?

We spend a lot of time telling you to listen to the data. You have the records from your customers, but never forget this very important data point: the voice of your customer. The high usage of apps and focusing on digital user experience, while important, can be misleading and distracting. Customer experience is more than a single interaction or transaction. Take a holistic approach to interpreting those customer experiences. So, if you want to win in the long-term in your customers’ eyes, you need to be more than just another digital product. You must offer an experience that is customer centric, with your community bank or credit union serving their needs. Position your products as services that help customers with the means to reach their goals and be prepared to serve that message with a single voice across all your channels. Managing finances can be complex; how you help your customers and your messaging to them should be simple. That is how you drive excitement at the point of activation in the ever-changing, financial services world.

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