Financial services and insurance (FSI) institutions generally deliver good customer experiences, but our Optus Future of Business Report 2014 identified some key areas where they can improve.
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Consumer expectations in this sector are very high, with our research showing that FSI customers:
- are 57 per cent more likely than the average customer to expect to be able to access their previous transactions through any channel
- are 21 per cent more likely than the average customer to expect a quick result
- increasingly want a personalised, flexible experience - with this expectation jumping from 18 to 50 per cent within the next two years
In addition, 65 per cent of FSI consumers expect to be able to deal with a real person over the next two years. However, only 16 per cent of FSI employees are very well equipped with the right technology and tools to deliver an outstanding customer experience.
These findings suggest four key ways FSI organisations can improve customer experience:
- Integrate channels for a consistent experience. People want to be able to start a process in one channel - say, on their tablet - and complete it on their laptop or another channel.
- Implement real-time systems for a responsive experience. Even smaller organisations such as credit unions and mutual banks "are looking at providing end-to-end applications across channels," says Darren Wathen, Optus Business Industry Manager.
- Use analytics to offer a personalised experience. The key is to focus on the most relevant real-time data ... getting that personalisation capability as simply as possible.
- Offer both a convenient and personal experience. "When a customer is part way through a process and needs to talk to a person, there needs to be breakout mechanisms to allow them to do that," says Allan Burdekin, Optus Business Industry Manager.
For insurance companies that are increasingly competing with banks, the challenge is to increase engagement with customers. For example, life insurance companies are looking at how to add value, such as offering a free annual assessment of customers' needs.
There's no doubt FSI is one of the leading sectors at using technology to streamline and automate processes. "The trick is to get the right balance between technology and humanisation," says Burdekin.
For more details see our paper, How to delight financial services customers.
All views expressed are the authors own.