Digital customer experience - tablet

Is a cool app really what your customers want?

Author: Randolph McFarlane

Digital, mobile and customer experience are at the top of the agenda for virtually every organisation in almost every sector today. But have you really thought about what your customers want from digital?

Digital, mobile and customer experience are at the top of the agenda Click To Tweet

We see it everywhere: talk about how new digital tools and platforms combined with powerful data analytics and mobile apps are enabling brands to engage directly with the customer and improve the their digital customer journey.

But, while these digital platforms do deliver cool apps, they may not always be delivering what the customer needs. After all, there’s a marked difference between what the Gen Y and younger, and Gen X and older, generations need in terms of financial services and what they are looking for from digital.

When a cool banking app is not what the customer wants

In banking, while customers may prefer to do their everyday banking online; when it comes to wealth management, with its pensions and investments, that cool app, self-service approach isn’t so popular.

Why? If you think about what the predominantly Gen X and older client values from a wealth management service, it’s the security and trust that their wealth is safe. The assurance that their future is discretely protected can’t be so easily replicated in the virtual world.

In fact, for many of this generation, digital is seen more as a threat to security. As such, it undermines trust. Cybercrime, hacking, ransomware, privacy threat: high profile digital-related terms such as these have the potential to send shivers down the spine of any investor.

Digital still has a role to play

I’m not saying that digital isn’t for the wealth management arena because that is far from true. It does have a very big role to play – just a different one.

Wealth management clients value the human relationship and the trusted relationship that comes with that; digital’s role is to augment that relationship. It has the potential to do that in a number of ways:

  1. Firstly by relieving the wealth management advisor of basic administration tasks so they can spend more time focusing on their individual client’s needs.
  2. Secondly by revealing insights that can help the advisor serve their clients better. Advanced analytics can uncover hidden patterns; automatically sending alerts and making suggestions around funds, currencies and investments, for example.
  3. Thirdly, digital can help improve security. Biometrics or two-factor authentication, for example, can help ensure all information is stored, shared and transmitted safely.
  4. Lastly, digital can make information more accessible and timely. It allows an advisor to find information more easily and to share it with clients more promptly.

All of the above have the potential to facilitate, even enhance, the advisor-client relationship without actually replacing it.

What should I do?

Whatever you do, don’t simply jump into digital. Don’t follow the media hype and new FinTech ways of working without first looking at the world through your customers’ eyes.

The first step in understanding the role digital has to play in each part of your business is understanding what your customers value most from that part of your business. Who is your client and why do they do business with you?

Is it because you give them control of their finances? Is it because you offer good interest rates? Is it because they feel secure with you? Is it because your advice and support is invaluable? Or is it simply because you have a cool-looking app?

Understanding your customers and their needs, desires and behaviours will guide you in applying digital to provide what your customers are looking for.

Simply put, digital isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. In some instances it may be about the customer experience; in others it will be about fostering engagement. But, whatever it is, be careful to ensure you have a clear picture before jumping in.

Have you explored how digital will help enhance the services you offer your customers?  

 

Digital customer experience - tablet
02 Nov 2016

Author: Randolph McFarlane

Digital, mobile and customer experience are at the top of the agenda for virtually every organisation in almost every sector today. But have you really thought about what your customers want from digital?

Digital, mobile and customer experience are at the top of the agenda Click To Tweet

We see it everywhere: talk about how new digital tools and platforms combined with powerful data analytics and mobile apps are enabling brands to engage directly with the customer and improve the their digital customer journey.

But, while these digital platforms do deliver cool apps, they may not always be delivering what the customer needs. After all, there’s a marked difference between what the Gen Y and younger, and Gen X and older, generations need in terms of financial services and what they are looking for from digital.

When a cool banking app is not what the customer wants

In banking, while customers may prefer to do their everyday banking online; when it comes to wealth management, with its pensions and investments, that cool app, self-service approach isn’t so popular.

Why? If you think about what the predominantly Gen X and older client values from a wealth management service, it’s the security and trust that their wealth is safe. The assurance that their future is discretely protected can’t be so easily replicated in the virtual world.

In fact, for many of this generation, digital is seen more as a threat to security. As such, it undermines trust. Cybercrime, hacking, ransomware, privacy threat: high profile digital-related terms such as these have the potential to send shivers down the spine of any investor.

Digital still has a role to play

I’m not saying that digital isn’t for the wealth management arena because that is far from true. It does have a very big role to play – just a different one.

Wealth management clients value the human relationship and the trusted relationship that comes with that; digital’s role is to augment that relationship. It has the potential to do that in a number of ways:

  1. Firstly by relieving the wealth management advisor of basic administration tasks so they can spend more time focusing on their individual client’s needs.
  2. Secondly by revealing insights that can help the advisor serve their clients better. Advanced analytics can uncover hidden patterns; automatically sending alerts and making suggestions around funds, currencies and investments, for example.
  3. Thirdly, digital can help improve security. Biometrics or two-factor authentication, for example, can help ensure all information is stored, shared and transmitted safely.
  4. Lastly, digital can make information more accessible and timely. It allows an advisor to find information more easily and to share it with clients more promptly.

All of the above have the potential to facilitate, even enhance, the advisor-client relationship without actually replacing it.

What should I do?

Whatever you do, don’t simply jump into digital. Don’t follow the media hype and new FinTech ways of working without first looking at the world through your customers’ eyes.

The first step in understanding the role digital has to play in each part of your business is understanding what your customers value most from that part of your business. Who is your client and why do they do business with you?

Is it because you give them control of their finances? Is it because you offer good interest rates? Is it because they feel secure with you? Is it because your advice and support is invaluable? Or is it simply because you have a cool-looking app?

Understanding your customers and their needs, desires and behaviours will guide you in applying digital to provide what your customers are looking for.

Simply put, digital isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. In some instances it may be about the customer experience; in others it will be about fostering engagement. But, whatever it is, be careful to ensure you have a clear picture before jumping in.

Have you explored how digital will help enhance the services you offer your customers?