The future of financial services is AI-driven and experience-driven

GUI concept (graphical user interface).

Getty Images/iStockphoto

A survey of 2,250 financial services firms in nine countries found that better customer experiences start with automation, according to a 2022 Research from Sales team† The survey also included one-on-one interviews with six industry experts. Another key finding was that digital-first customers dominate financial services — and they’re not very happy.

Here is the summary of the Future of Financial Services Institutions (FSI) report, which highlights the wants and needs of FSI customers:

  1. Easy and transparent: The emerging financial services customer is digital-first and craves convenient UI/UX experiences with relevant information through their preferred channels.
  2. Efficient: Automation plays a vital role in streamlining behind-the-scenes steps to deliver fast and accurate customer service. The industry doesn’t need end-to-end automation. Rather, it should automate strategically. This can mean focusing on any area of ​​the business that could compromise efficient customer service.
  3. Seamless, personalized and caring: To create frictionless experiences, FSIs need to rethink how they measure success, which means looking beyond customer churn or revenue and transaction growth. New partnerships between financial services firms and businesses can also enrich the customer experience and provide the insights customers need to improve their financial well-being.
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The future of financial services is digital-first, highly personalized and seamless.

Vala Afsharo

Here are my key points from the FSI report:

  1. Retail attitudes influence commercial expectations: 78% of bank customers start a relationship on a website or app – almost twice as many as insurance (44%) and wealth management companies (42%), where even basic products are more complex.
  2. Customers are trying non-traditional FSIs for ease of use, onboarding, and mobile app navigation: 47% leave the app because they want an easy and fast installation, verification, onboarding and first time use of the app. Another 41% leave because they want an easy and intuitive user interface/user experience and navigation of the app.
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    Here’s Why Customers Are Trying Non-Traditional FSIs

    Vala Afshar/screenshot

  4. FSIs must show that they know and care about customers’ financial health: Only 11% of bank customers believe their bank can anticipate their needs — just 11% for insurance and 18% for wealth management institutions. Only 16% of bank customers agree that their bank is invested in their financial interests — 15% in insurance and 25% in wealth management institutions.
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    How FSIs can surprise their customers

    Vala Afshar/screenshot

  6. Lack of personalization tops the list of customer pain points: When asked to rank what customers miss most in their interaction with financial services companies, the answer was this:
    – Personalized support (fast and easy omnichannel communication)
    – Find relevant content (personalized knowledge base articles and resources)
    – Receive personalized communication (information and options linked to a specific customer)
    – Navigating a website (UI/UX is intuitive, interactive and visually appealing)
    – Access to a website (no barriers/physical, situational and socio-economic limitations)
  7. Customer willingness to use artificial intelligence (AI) to improve experiences is growing: In 2020, only 60% of consumers were willing to use AI; in 2022, that number grew to 69%. Growth is only made possible if institutions can give customers control over their data.
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    Enabling customers to manage their data is the key growing AI adoption.

    Vala Afshar/screenshot

  9. There are many automation options for B2B companies: FSI experts noted in the report that the improvement in speed and accuracy through automation enables many of the convenient and transparent digital experiences customers seek.
  10. FSIs can make the customer journey seamless when they assess each step: To get a better and more complete picture of the customer, experts suggested: 1. Assess key risk indicators, 2. Determine primary ones, and 3. Track the entire customer journey for stops and starts.
  11. Nearly a third of Gen-Z are familiar with and have purchased digital currencies: I expect greater adoption of digital currencies in 2022-2023. Many of the major digital wallets already contain Bitcoin and Ethereum. Nearly half (45%) of Gen Zers have already bought or plan to buy digital currencies.
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    FSIs must have digital currencies on their innovation and services roadmap

    Vala Afshar/screenshot

The future of financial services is clearly digital. The battle for customer loyalty and advocacy is based on the customer experience. Speed, personalization and intelligence (relevance and precision) are keys in a digital-first economy. Welcome at the trusted, experience-led economy — this is the future of financial services companies.

Today, 88% of customers say the experience a company provides is just as important as its product or services — up from 80% in 2020. And to improve the customer experience, FSIs must start with the employee experience. Investing in automation, AI-powered CRM and mobile apps, digital marketing and self-service tools such as chatbots and digital advisors is how FSIs can stay competitive, relevant and create personal value at the speed needed.

For more information on the Future of Financial Services report, please visit: here

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