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Blog | 4 min read

The Key to Upgrading Digital Experiences in Financial Services

August 3, 2021

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The pandemic has accelerated a number of trends and digital roadmaps, momentum that continues today.

Microsoft Corp. Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella put it best when he said, “We’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months.” In banking, 59% of consumers said the pandemic increased their expectations of their financial institutions' digital capabilities. How can banks respond?  

A non-negotiable experience 

As customers, haven’t we all had an experience that left us confused? Many times it’s something obvious, like a marketing email urging us to download an app that we’ve had downloaded for years and use weekly. Customers expect that when they share their data, they get a better experience. A recent survey of Generation Z consumers reported that nearly 40% give a business only one chance to provide a satisfactory digital experience before moving onto a competitor. 

Customers also expect their bank to be a strategic partner in money management, offering relevant services based on the data they have. These experiences can build loyalty by making customers feel taken care of by their financial institutions.

Common challenges 

When it comes to managing and optimizing their customers’ digital experiences, we see banks dealing with a few major issues:

  • Difficulty effectively cross-selling between products

  • Disparate services where data lives in disconnected silos

  • The scale of data, often exceeding legacy capabilities

These challenges, along with many others, stem from the fact that customer data often lives in numerous different systems. When data is scattered and siloed, it’s impossible to tie it together to understand customers or create personalized digital experiences that engender loyalty. This is why many banks are turning to customer data platforms (CDP).

Upgrading the digital experience

CDPs are powering some of the most cutting-edge, customer-centric digital programs across leading financial institutions. An enterprise CDP makes data accessible and useful by bringing disparate data sources together, cleansing the data, and creating a singular view of the customer that can be used across the entire organization. It can become a bank’s single source of truth on customers. Marketing can connect to customers with personalized offers, analytics can explore data to find trends and areas of opportunity, customer service can access relevant information to assist customers, and finance can forecast with customer key performance indicators. 

Should you consider a CDP?

Here are a few questions executives should ask to determine if their bank’s current setup is working: 

  • Are customer data points and interactions centralized in one location?

  • How much time are analysts spending gathering customer data for reporting?

  • Is marketing able to easily use the same customer data to drive personalization?

  • How confident are teams in the data?

  • Is it easy to bring in a new data source?

If there is hesitation around any of the answers, looking at CDP options could be a really smart idea.

Capabilities to look for

There are many companies using CDP terminology to describe products that aren’t exactly that. Banks should focus on a few key features when evaluating a CDP.

Speed to value. How long does it take to pull data together for a customer 360 degree view? When will data be ready to serve customers and power initiatives across the organization? The best way to accelerate these timelines is with a CDP that uses artificial intelligence to unify and organize records, which is much faster and more stable than rules-based data unification systems.

Enterprise functionality. A CDP should serve as the single source of truth for the entire organization, with a suite of tools that can accommodate the needs of different teams. Multiple views means teams are only presented with the data they need, with the methods that they prefer: robust SQL query engine for analysts, point-and-click segmentation for less technical users, and dashboards for executive visibility. 

Flexibility and interoperability. A CDP should work with your bank’s current technology investments, connecting easily to any tools or systems you add in the future. One sign of this is a CDP having many partnerships and easy integrations that can quickly allow you to take action. 

You need to trust that a CDP can scale to the enterprise and compliance demands of a bank, accommodating vast stores of data that will only continue to grow. 

A critical opportunity

There is unprecedented demand from banking leaders to stand up a CDP as a critical business driver. And no wonder. With so many customers using digital channels and generating more data, banks need to double down on increasing the lifetime value of existing customers while finding ways to attract new customers. 

This post originally appeared on Bankdirector.com. To learn more about using data to serve your customers, read our 2021 Guide to Using Customer Data Across the Enterprise. 

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