Bankers need to think digital rather than use the term ‘omnichannel’ because the Internet is not a channel.
I was at a conference recently when somebody said, “I hate the phrase ‘omnichannel,’” and then went on to talk about the cloud, big data and more management gobbledygook.
Now, don’t get me wrong, we all hate buzzwords but I really hate the use of the phrase “omnichannel” (I call this a phrase, as it is two words). I hate it because it’s just some made-up phrase that some technology marketing person dreamt up to talk about the challenge of all these digital touch-points.
Today’s world of instant gratification is driving a paradigm shift of customer service for financial institutions, where expectations are formed by firms like Apple, Zappos, Disney and Southwest Airlines.
Consumer expectations are being formed by service experiences outside of the financial services industry, where content, interactions, and features are rich, delivering an engaging and rewarding experience.
We are experiencing a customer service paradigm shift. Unlike any other time in history, today’s informed consumer is in the driver’s seat and holds the power to buy or not buy from a business depending on their experience with a product or service. Consumer expectations are shaped by the customer service they encounter across all industries, and they are accustomed to intuitive and easy to use products, positive human and virtual interactions, and getting what they want when they want it.
At a time when banks and credit unions are trying to improve the economics of branch banking, iBeacon could deliver a personalized digital sales experience as soon as the customer enters a branch Office.
iBeacon, working in conjunction with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), can integrate the physical and mobile channels, enabling a bank’s mobile app to deliver highly tailored digital promotions, coupons or offers directly to the consumer’s smartphone when the customer is in the general vicinity of an office, at any specific location within an office or at an ATM.
Banking isn’t what it used to be. While the general premise hasn’t changed much over time, the ways people manage their money are changing with the times. Digital, for example, is becoming a major avenue for many, and a significant portion of Americans actually prefer to handle their banking away from branches and tellers, according to Nielsen research. In fact, people who bank away from physical branches make up a significant portion of the “Connected” segment of the population and prefer to handle their finances via mobile devices or call centers.
As customers continue to change their channel usage patterns, banks and credit unions must focus on delivering a consistent and seamless experience across various touch points. More than just a buzzword, omnichannel banking is an opportunity to deliver bottom line results by gaining insight into customer’s channel preferences and behavior.
By moving services into the cloud, businesses have enabled disparate divisions to examine, amend and respond to a single set of data, eliminating redundancies and inaccuracies, and develop and scale services without infrastructure. The time has come for financial services to embrace the cloud and its benefits.
The question of whether the cloud will play a major part in our business future has been asked and answered: the cloud has filled niche after niche in our everyday lives, from email and back office functions at work to television and video games in the family home. Even the conservative world of books has been extensively disrupted by cloud-based eBook services like Amazon’s cloud-powered Kindle Whispernet.
Good article from Tim Harford (he of the enjoyable “Undercover Economist” books) in the FT last week called “Big data: are we making a big mistake“. Tim injects some healthy realism into the hype of Big Data without dismissing its importance and potential benefits. The article talks about the four claims often made when talking about Big Data: Continue reading