Alain Boey, Chief Transformation Officer, Media Prima Berhad
The advent of technological innovations like big data, AI, machine learning, and gamification in conjunction with today’s digital transformation, is enabling organizations to make better sense of the substantial amount of data that sits in silos across businesses. Data, as we know, is an integral part of every financial organization and a key enabler that facilitates banks to move beyond customer segmentation to offer a more personalized experience. But harnessing and leveraging it for more effective banking operations has always been a challenge. Hence, to succeed in the current market, it is more important than ever to understand your customers’ needs and design your offerings accordingly. My belief is if I can get the customer experience right, then I would be able to retain my existing customers as well as attract new ones. Good customer experience is the USP that drives business growth. Today, business is no longer just about product differentiation, it is about providing quick and positive customer services and experiences. Hence, it is important to ensure that the systems installed are robust and able to support the current demands of customers. If not, then the existing legacy systems should be reevaluated to ensure the front end instant experience is supported to enable the customer service to be prompt and instant. Banking institutions are working on ensuring that the entire value chain from the engagement to interaction to fulfillment and the high experience in all of that is positive.
Evolve Business Models and Transform from Within
Businesses are thriving to figure out ways to design experiences that can attract and retain customers by offering a more personalized service that is relevant. You may not always have a product that will suit every customer’s need. Additionally, there are so many similar products in the market today, which makes it difficult for customers to select an apt solution that would fit their business model. Customers look for certain uniqueness while selecting a product/service, which can either be in the way information is being conveyed, or how a service is being delivered. Hence, it is important for organizations to know their customers well enough to tailor products that suit their business needs and provide them with the personalized experiences.
Today, business is no longer just about product differentiation, it is about providing quick and positive customer services and experiences
As a solution to this, banks have now started to implement technologies like big data, AI, gamification, and more into their business models to analyze customer data, interpret it, and develop products and services accordingly. For example, banks can have AI-driven robots and concierges to service the customers when they visit the bank, interact with them, and answer their queries to improve the relationship and experience. Some financial institutions have also started using chatbots to enhance customer experience and the way service is being delivered. With their two-way communication, these AI-driven bots are replacing channels such as phone, email, and text by providing quick services and transactional support.
Some banking institutions are even going to the extent of completely changing their look and feel, the logo and rebranding to make themselves appear more appealing to customers. In today’s consumer landscape, disruption is a journey. Companies that want to survive in this competitive landscape recognize that and are working on finding new ways to get their employees in close proximity to their customers, so they can observe and interact with them to gain an empathetic perspective.
Advice to Fellow Leaders
CFOs who are mostly focused on the financials and ROI, sometimes experience adversity in quantifying monetary returns when it comes to services like providing exceptional customer service. Additionally, increase in sales, improvement in customer transaction score, and growth in other business processes will need time to materialize. So, by transforming your business today, you shouldn’t expect to see an immediate difference or a sharp increase in business. That’s not how it works. It’s all a journey, so it will take time for the transformations to actually bring in results. Hence, for CFOs who are always looking at quick returns and profits, it is going to be a challenge and their mindset has to change. Stop looking for short-term success; rather start by looking for long-term results with short-term deliverables.
Business is no longer just about using technology. It is about creating a whole new customer experience that comprises things like disruptive technologies, new process, and a changed mindset. So, it’s time CIOs start looking at things from a different perspective. Rather than seeing yourselves as just technology providers, consider yourselves as business partners for your organization; and accordingly strategize your plans from the business point of view.