CX at the cusp of a transition

Reported by: |Updated: August 8, 2018

Customer has always been at the center of the business, and enhancing customer experience (CX) has been a never-ending challenge for the financial services sector.

Consider 2 major aspects of CX. The first aspect is making the transaction faster, cheaper and less complicated. This can be termed as Interaction Acceleration (IA). The second aspect is giving the customer an improved result, whether it is investment or loan or remittance or forex or something else. This can be termed as Interaction Enrichment (IE). Here are some examples of IE:

  1. Sachin, who runs a tailoring business, goes to his bank branch to open a fixed deposit for his daughter’s marriage. The banker advises him to think not only about marriage, but also education, and suggests a combination of savings and loans that will help his daughter be well educated and gainfully employed.
  2. Seema, a middle age school teacher, has got a bonus and goes to the bank to put it in her savings account. The branch teller gets a 360 degree view of her financial profile and notices that she does not have any health insurance. He suggests her to use part of her bonus for getting health insurance and also arranges for her to meet the bank’s insurance sales person to guide her.
  3. Sameer has lost his debit card and calls the contact center of the bank for help. The agent takes his requests and puts it in the system. She also explains to Sameer how he can use the bank’s mobile app and website to lock his debit card from being used, and thereby increase the safety of his card. Sameer is glad to know that his bank is empowering him to secure his account in a very easy manner.

IA touches the mind of the customer, while IE touches the heart. If CX is to effective, it much touch both mind and heart. Thus:

CX = IA + IE

Today, digital tools and automation have led to tremendous growth in IA, while IE has been rather overlooked. However, it is IE which actually brings a smile to the customer, whereas IA only prevents a frown. In simple terms, IA reduces transaction dis-satisfaction while IE enhances relationship satisfaction.

The simplest way to understand is this. IA is a fast car, IE is a flying car.

Financial service sector can enhance IE in 2 ways. First is to empower the human agents by leveraging analytics, CRM, etc. Second is to use machines to deliver human-like interaction by leveraging AI, NLP, chatbots, robots, etc. Machines are now capable of humanizing an interaction to such an extent that it is really difficult to distinguish whether the entity interacting with the customer is a human being or a machine.

All through the evolution of technology for several centuries, humans had to adapt to technology. Now technology is adapting to humans, opening doors for completely new strategies for customer engagement.

Questions: Who will be the early adopters? At what rate will customers respond to IE?