Cisco Canada Blog

Customer Experience – The new competitive frontier for retail banks in an Omni-channel world

April 26, 2013

A consistent, superior customer experience is a key element for every bank as they define and implement Omni-channel delivery strategies.

In fact, financial services firms are working to shape the strategies and initiatives that will transition how they reach, interact and service the needs of customers.

Cisco recently released a survey of 10 countries to identify consumer preferences and attitudes towards the value of more personal banking and financial services. The study asked respondents about their willingness to provide more personal information to retail banks in exchange for these personal services.  The survey also examined changing preferences on access to financial services via multiple channels.

The study found that 71 per cent of Canadian consumers are comfortable with their financial provider using technology (such as texting, email or video) instead of seeing them in person.

This is interesting because the proliferation of digital devices and era of convenience we live in have consumers expecting business experiences on the go, making it essential for retail banks to develop the capability to serve customers effectively through any channel they choose, including digital.

Today, Canadian retail banks serve customers through traditional channels such as branches, telephones, ATM’s and, increasingly via the Internet. These channels have all evolved separately over time, and vary in the level and scope of services provided. While customers can access information about products and services via the Internet, speak to an agent via telephone, and complete cash based transactions at ATM’s, customer are required to visit the branch for more complex services. As a result, the physical branch continues to be the channel with the capability and capacity to meet the majority of customer needs.

But if we read the results of this study correctly, Canadians are asking for more.

As a result of their experience in other sectors, Canadians are increasingly expecting retail banks to provide a consistent and productive experience through their channel of choice. Today’s consumer desires a more personalized experience over all channels, with expectations driven by the pervasive connectivity of mobile and Internet technologies.

Yet only 54 per cent of Canadian respondents felt their banks had enough information to offer them personalized services. This is the gap we need to address in Canada and with our retail banks.

Cisco is at the centre of this transition, helping financial services clients to understand the trends, shifts in consumer preferences, and charting the transformation path to materialize the omni-channel capability.

Read the release and full results of this study here.

As I said before, producing a consistent, superior customer experience is a key element for every bank as they define and implement these omni-channel delivery strategies.  The time for action is now. Be sure to look out for future articles and blogs on omni-channel in retail banking, and leave a comment or question below.

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