Cisco Canada Blog

Hybrid Work Solutions for Financial Services Deliver Delight for Customers and Employees

September 28, 2022

For the last couple of decades, technology has disrupted and innovated throughout the financial services industry. Before 2020, businesses prioritized specific areas for digitization to stay current and competitive. However, the onset of the pandemic accelerated the need for digital transformation across all areas, with hybrid work emerging as one of the most notable outcomes.

Today, many financial services companies are allowing some employees to choose whether to be based at home and go into the office only for specific events, or primarily in the office and working from home only when it’s necessary. Some employers allow staff whose jobs can be conducted remotely to work from home a couple of days each week.

Here are three ideas financial services companies need to keep top of mind if they want to succeed in the new world of hybrid work: delighting customers, empowering their workforce, and operational transformation.

Delighting Customers

Financial services companies must take a holistic look at the customer experience. The service customers receive at a brick-and-mortar facility is only part of what customers expect. Today, the customer experience starts online and there is a journey, an amalgamation of all the interactions throughout their relationship with an institution.

Marketing research has repeatedly shown that it takes around 12 positive experiences to make up for one bad experience or unresolved customer issue.

Hybrid work solutions improve the customer experience with banks and other financial services businesses. Today’s banking customer has some expectations that cannot be met inside a building. Customers want to be able to deposit checks, view their statements, and move money while they’re on the go. And when they need to talk to someone, they usually don’t want to have to drive somewhere.

The expectation is to have a digital solution — and those solutions often use the same tools that allow hybrid work. Even better, they allow associates to help customers from anywhere.

Empowering the Workforce

According to a PwC study in mid-2020, only 20% of financial services employees wanted to be in the office three or more days a week after the pandemic. At the same time, 70% of financial services employers said those employees should be at their desks in the office at least three days per week to maintain a distinctive culture.

There was, apparently, a discrepancy in the early days of the pandemic regarding what people thought the future of work should look like.

More recently, a 2022 PwC study highlighted that 55% of financial services executives cited talent acquisition and retention as the biggest risk impacting their company’s ability to meet growth objectives. And 78% said that hiring and retaining talent would be very important to growth in the coming year.

Clearly, financial services leaders recognize that for their businesses to thrive, they have to enable workers to manage their lives in a more flexible way. Hybrid work offers a more human approach to work than the traditional, rigid clocking in at the office at 8 AM, having 60 minutes for lunch, and clocking out at 5 PM.

We all lead complicated lives. And while life has always been complex, that fact hasn’t traditionally been recognized by employers. The pandemic changed all that.

To be competitive as employers, businesses need to be able to provide hybrid work solutions. The good news is that, according to a PwC survey conducted at the end of 2020, average employee productivity improved with remote work.

Operational Transformation

Empowering the modern workforce and delighting customers is a must for financial services businesses, and it’s only possible with robust collaboration environments. Employees need to be able to balance their work and personal lives, and customers must be empowered to manage their financial accounts and get the help they need when and wherever they need it.

Flexibility and agility are crucial to digitalizing workflow, automating processes, and modernizing application and performance management. But security and compliance must be top of mind for financial services leaders planning for current and future technology needs. Can the tools being evaluated provide the threat awareness and security controls needed to run a trusted and compliant financial services business?

The answer must be a resounding yes.

Hybrid work tools not only need to provide for easy collaboration, but also be solutions that offer secure business processes that can grow and evolve with the organization.

Hybrid work is here to stay. Providing customers and employees with the digital tools they need and trust can be the key differentiator. To learn more about hybrid work solutions for financial services businesses, visit our guide. View the webinar, and when you’re ready to talk it through with an expert, please reach out. We love to help businesses succeed in preparing for the future of hybrid work.

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