How banks can use data to connect with customers

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Prior to the pandemic, many bank customers were already utilizing online banking, downloading mobile apps, and opening new accounts digitally. These features had become more than a nice-to-have for financial institutions; they were essential offerings that customers expected from their bank.

During the pandemic, the need for these services became even clearer, as nearly all in-person transactions shifted overnight to digital channels out of necessity. Financial institutions had to adapt quickly in order to serve their customers, and for the most part, they did. The Paycheck Protection Program is just one example of the way institutions rose to the challenge and helped small business customers get the assistance they needed.

While helping customers is always an institution’s first priority, there are many other benefits to digital transformation. For example, many organizations have more data at their fingertips now than ever before. This begs the question: How can institutions leverage this data to develop deeper, more connected relationships and close the customer experience gap?

Design digital experiences with the customer in mind

To truly differentiate themselves, banks must go beyond a “build it and they will come” mindset. Instead, they must understand their customers’ needs and desires, and then thoughtfully design new technology and products in a way that keeps the customer at the center of every interaction. For example, a bank can leverage data to see which customers rely most on their mobile banking application versus in-person branches, and then make decisions based on that valuable information, turning data from a resource into an asset.

Balance low-touch tools with human interaction

Most customers don’t want a completely digital experience. They want to know a person is on the other side of their device, especially when applying for a complex loan or changing their investment strategy. Before engaging in a digital strategy, financial institutions should take the time to decide which parts of the process should be automated, and which parts still require a human touch. Institutions can use the data they’ve gathered to see exactly where their customers are dropping off in the digital loan application process, for example, to make the process more user-friendly or have a loan officer reach out with assistance when needed.

Make timely, data-driven decisions

Financial institutions are facing a complex, competitive and compliance-driven financial environment where making timely and data-driven decisions are key for both efficient growth and effective risk management. By leveraging tools that offer data-warehousing, advanced analytics and accessible reporting, organizations can establish baseline performance metrics across applications, deposits and loans, and set goals for each portfolio to achieve the growth and compliance they need to succeed.

To learn more about how financial institutions are leveraging data to build deeper customer relationships, watch The Biggest Banking Trends of 2021, an on-demand webinar featuring experts from nCino and Salesforce.

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