Digital Transformation. It seems to be the ultimate buzz phrase for all companies looking to change, adapt, and improve (which is all of them). Whether it’s adjusting to the slew of new procedures brought on by Covid-19 or simply to compete with the new wave of technologically advanced companies, organizations across the world are investing billions into transforming the way they work.
No stranger to this trend of digital transformation is the financial services industry who, due to the continuous development of technology in this space, are being pushed into changing their approach to Customer Experience (CX).
In recent years, customer experience improvements have developed faster than many people have even had time to notice. Nowadays you can order, pay, and pick up your favorite Chipotle order all without ever speaking to an actual employee. And while this convenience is relatively new, it is becoming an expectation of customers to have these seamless digital experiences intertwined with their everyday needs.
Of course, the services provided by financial institutions are more complex than ordering a burrito, and the structures of these companies are inherently different than retail, but that same ease of service is nonetheless the major goal when we’re talking about digital transformation. So, what are these financial institutions really looking to offer their customers? We’re talking about “seamless experiences” but what exactly does that entail? Well, let’s take a look:
CX Goals in Financial Services
• Omnichannel Customer Experience
Previously, companies have focused on improving/increasing the capabilities of multiple channels of business and how they relate to each other. This means allowing customers to do more on websites and mobile apps so that whatever they need from their bank or insurance company, they can get at any starting point in the process (in person, online, etc.)
Now, however, the focus is shifting. It’s becoming increasingly important that customers are able to be serviced from start to finish through whatever channel they choose. Whether they want to open an account, deposit a check, or make a payment, the customer should be able to do that entirely through the method they choose, without ever being pushed into another channel.
• Doing More in Digital Channels
Naturally, if you’re trying to achieve this omnichannel experience, then what must come first is the functionality within them. This means allowing customers to achieve more within their preferred channel, which for most is digital.
And we’re certainly seeing this happening as customers are able to satisfy more and more of their financial needs from their cell phones, but this must continue as the world becomes more digital-based. In fact, Servion predicts that by 2025 95% of customer interactions will be automated, so while progress is being made, these large and established institutions have a long way to go in order to keep up with customer trends. The long-term goal for financial services companies would be to offer customers exceptional service in the ways we’re seeing with our favorite retail providers – entirely digital.
So, these companies know that they want to move to this omnichannel experience, and that they need to allow more within them, but a major key to accomplishing this lies in the technology used to do so. It seems obvious that in order to adapt to a more tech-savvy world, more tech is required. And the financial services industry is certainly aware of this as they look to address customer journeys.
The key to achieving more digital and automated operations are some more buzz topics that accompany digital transformation, such as task/process automation and AI technology, as well as developing applications to support these things. Which brings me to the ultimate point of writing about this, which is how to undergo such challenging and landscape-altering transformations while still staying organized and efficient? The starting point, as more companies are beginning to realize, is Business Process Management.
The Need for Business Process Management (BPM)
Organizations are only as strong and efficient as the processes on which they’re built, which is why it’s important that they are kept organized and understood. At this point most companies, especially the large ones looking to undergo these major transformations, have begun the journey of figuring out what their everyday business processes actually look like, but for a long time this has surprisingly not been the case.
So, as they start to make maps and flowcharts and gain a better understanding of the way work moves through the organization, companies are realizing major breakthroughs in terms of where their inefficiencies may lie and what aspects of their routines need to change. But how is all this work being organized? How are connections being made between all the vital processes being mapped? Because after all, processes are often quite complex and overlap in several areas. Well, this is where Business Process Management comes into play.
BPM is the increasingly important next step for organizations that are looking to understand their processes and utilize them to make meaningful change, because it offers a platform for overview and analysis. Once a company goes through the work of visualizing their workflows, BPM allows them to bring all of these scattered processes together into one central repository. This offers the ability to not only see all of their operations in one place, but to connect them with each other and see how they may overlap.
BPM in Financial Services CX
Certainly not exempt from the list of industries that need BPM is financial services. When we look at all of the initiatives I’ve talked about in terms of improving the customer experience, it’s clear to see how BPM is essential to making them successful. If the goal is to establish an end-to-end customer journey through one digital platform, then it is imperative to not only understand what the current customer experience process looks like, but also what that ideal one is going to look like. This is most efficiently achievable through BPM, having both situations visualized in front of you.
Looking even further, I discussed the desire among financial service providers to increase the functionality of those digital channels. This inherently involves either creating new best-practice processes, or adding new steps onto the ones that already exist. Either way, in order to do this effectively, companies need to be able to visualize what those processes/steps look like, and how they’re going to relate to/affect other ones throughout the organization.
Understanding processes means reaching a true understanding of how your company functions on a day-to-day basis, and having that is essential to any major transformation effort. After all, how are you supposed to determine the best destination when you don’t even know where you’re starting from?
Looking to take control of your transformation journey? Schedule a time to talk and learn how BPM applies to you!
Written by Adam Dwight, Business Development Manager