Customer experience (CX) is a red-hot topic within the digital marking landscape, and a number of banks throughout the Asia-Pacific are already on their way to becoming prominent loyalty-building players.
“Banks are realising that migrating customers to digital channels not only achieves significant cost savings but also increases their ability to earn loyalty,” noted global management consulting firm Bain & Co. in a 2015 report.
The report pinpointed banks’ efforts in the mobile space: They are “working furiously to improve their mobile applications and optimise their websites for customers’ smartphones and tablets. ... Mobile channels are far more likely to delight and less likely to annoy than the branch or call centre experiences, leading to increased loyalty with higher customer retention, repeat purchases, and referrals.”
A recent survey by Econsultancy found CX was top trend in digital marketing. When the digital consultancy asked companies to nominate the “single most exciting opportunity for their organization,” CX ranked first, cited by 21% of companies. Just as revealing were the opportunities that followed: mobile (16%), personalisation (13%), content marketing (12%), and big data (11%)–all drivers of customer experience.
The speaker list for the Customer Experience Management Asia Summit, which took place in Singapore last month, offered a glimpse into the region’s major CX players. Among the banks represented: Malaysian institutions CIMB and Bank Simpanan Nasional, DBS in Singapore, and TMB in Thailand.
Interestingly, Australian banks didn’t make the cut. Michael Buckley, managing director of Accenture Interactive in Australia and New Zealand, said the banks need a better understanding of customers’ priorities.
“Generations of bank customers have put up with experience that is OK, but the generation coming through is going to change the way banking is done. They want more than OK,” Buckley said. “It’s not just about products anymore. It’s about the experience from prepurchase to postpurchase. Banks have an amazing opportunity to rethink the customer journey and create a better experience.”
Technology is part of the answer, he added, but not all of it. “You have to understand the human problem before you can create amazing experiences for your customers,” Buckley said. “There’s the product and then there’s the journey. Banks need to focus on the interaction with their customers along that journey. That’s where the experience happens.”
Antoinette Elias, EY Oceania wealth and asset management leader, said the three characteristics clients value most in their wealth managers are performance, engagement, and trust.
“Delivering a comprehensive client experience is the linchpin that will make or break a firm in this new wealth management landscape,” Elias said.
Banks must move away from the “customer satisfaction” mindset and take on the disruptive and innovative fin-techs, added Philip Gomm, banking and financial services industry practice leader for Australia and New Zealand at Capgemini.
With 59% of APAC bank consumers using fin-tech products or services and 80% of customers believing fin-techs provide good customer experiences, according to Capgemini’s “World Retail Banking Report 2016,” banks have an opportunity to improve CX by focusing on a generation who is entering its peak spending years.
“Millennials want a seamless, personalised relationship experience,” Gomm said.