Most traditional banks operate with legacy systems that are not easy to disband with the wave of a magic wand. Running vast branch networks have served as the “Holy Grail” for fueling the growth and loyalty from a bank’s customer base. Traditionally, customers have started their relationships with banks that are located down the street from their home and entertain a personal relationship with the branch manager. This model has shifted and retail banking digitization has taken over.
Branch visits have decreased and mobile banking is becoming the norm. Most millennials and mortgage shoppers will search for a bank on the Internet before going to a branch – if they ever set foot in one at all. However, when customers call into a branch or service center, they often find the interaction is not synchronized with other channels and they have to repeat their request multiple times.
A recent BCG study about banks in a multi-channel world reveals that customers want to interact with their bank anytime, anywhere. The study also mentions that customers who have quality interactions with their bank will buy more products and services, and share their experience within their social circles.
Following the financial crisis, most banks have engaged in large programs dedicated to operational efficiency and digitization of work from the back and middle-office but are still unable to synchronize with the many communication channels they have in place. As a result, banks are not able sustain the demand of providing consistent, high-quality interactions within those different channels. This is both an opportunity for rapid improvements and a risk as many knowledge workers have left organizations with their experience and expertise.
Fast movers in the banking industry have an advantage as the pressure for change is increasing. In some countries, regulations accommodate bank account switching at no cost and within a short mandatory delay; new entrants’ such as online pure players could capture this part of the market. Banks can leverage the investments they made in their programs by adding some of the following to their retail banking operations:
- Omni-channel: Allows the customer to start a transaction on one channel, continue on another and finalize at the branch seamlessly;
- Case Management: Process provides banks with a convenient way to process complex unstructured customer service requests and follow through to completion while also responding via the client’s preferred channel (text, social media, etc.);
- Front-to-Back Service: Enables branch employees and customers complete transparency through every step of their request — whether initiated in the branch or through a call center.
The successful integration of retail banking digitization has helped banks like OCBC Bank grow and meet the demands of its current and future customers. It is a prime example of how one bank has become a true digital enterprise. This video shows how OCBC delivers superior customer service – from onboarding throughout the customer lifecycle: