Yes, There’s Value in the Experience

‘Customer experience’ is one of the more overused and misunderstood phrases in today’s increasingly customer-centric world. As a result, many organizations (including financial institutions) have been slow to embrace the concept and to evolve the delivery of their products and services in alignment with customer expectations. This represents not only a significant risk but a missed opportunity.

Today’s consumer is vastly different than just 5-10 years ago. The pervasiveness of technology (especially mobile devices), 24/7 access to information, and willingness to try innovative alternatives that better meet their needs has led to consumers who are more empowered than ever before. The reality is that it is consumers – not the corporations they deal with – who now determine the nature of the relationship and level of engagement with any particular brand, product or service. They are in the proverbial ‘driver’s seat’.

For financial institutions (among others), this is a wake-up call. A recent Accenture survey of North American financial organizations indicates that 71% of customers consider their relationship with their institution purely transactional, and a significant portion would seriously consider turning to more digitally-savvy companies (Amazon, Google, Walmart) for financial services were they offered. Which means that companies who truly want to attract, retain and engage customers for the long-term need to understand their customers omnichannel behaviours and preferences, providing them with value and relevance at the right time, in the right channel, in the right communication format.

If this sounds challenging, it’s because it is. It requires strategy, design, data and analytics, technology, communications expertise, and more…all rolled into an actionable plan. It requires commitment and investment. It requires putting the customer at the centre of a personalized, evolving experience.

If this is too demanding for organizations to provide, consumers are fully aware that there are others who would be happy to oblige.