Digital banking is radically changing the inner workings of financial service providers, and there is one rapidly evolving trend that should be top of mind as they re-organize: consumer expectations around what a frictionless customer journey should look like. Now more than ever, people expect an intuitive and seamless experience at almost all financial touch points they encounter.
The ability to provide a frictionless digital customer experience is emerging as a critical factor in attracting and keeping customers. It is fast becoming the way for financial service providers, fintechs and banks alike, to differentiate themselves from their competitors, for good reason:
- Friction impacts customer experience. When customers encounter friction in their day-to-day banking transactions, it leaves them with an overall negative impression about the provider. If these friction points occur repeatedly and are not addressed in a timely fashion, customers will have both the clear incentive and the easy means to look elsewhere.
- Customers expect instant answers when using self-serve banking. Customers using digital banking channels want to complete their transactions in as few clicks as possible. When they encounter roadblocks during the process, it immediately creates friction in their banking journey. And if they also lack options to solve their problems instantly, on the same channel, it’s only a short step to customer churn.
- Old solutions are showing their age. With all advances in digital banking, some of the old solutions are struggling to adapt. Call center volumes skyrocketed by 400% to 600% during the pandemic, exerting a tremendous amount of pressure on a critical touch point that is already under-staffed and overworked. Frustration sets in for the customers who want to complete transactions quickly over virtual channels but are forced to wait for support calls when problems arise.
However, with the huge leaps that digital technology makes every day, the right solutions are thankfully never that far away. Technologies such as business text messaging platforms have quickly become a powerful and efficient solution to ensure seamless and instant communication between customers and their financial institutions.
Arguably the most preferred method of communication in today’s world, text messaging can also effectively reduce friction between banks and customers. Even at first glance, the advantages of text message are readily apparent and immediately push it to the fore of frictionless solutions:
- Instantaneous and effective. The numbers – and speed - speak for themselves. Forbes reports that text messages have a 98% open rate and that 90% of texts are read within 3 minutes of being sent.
- Affordable. A recent study found that the average cost of training a single call center employee in the financial services industry averaged $7,500. Training to use a business text messaging software, comparatively, is pennies on the dollar and much easier.
- Discrete, convenient, non-intrusive. Text messaging lets you meet customers where they already are, and in the mindful way that they prefer to communicate.
These are already big wins, but once you consider all the ways text messaging can be applied, this versatility unleashes its true potential to create the ultimate frictionless customer experience. Here are just a few of the ways client-facing teams in banks can use text messaging to reduce friction in the customer journey:
- Proactively reach out to new clients to see if they have any questions regarding their onboarding process.
- Enhance and speed up customer service over digital channels: text messaging can be used to send and receive documents, request signatures, and complete transactions – all without forcing customers to open multiple apps, visit the branch or wait to talk to a teller or call center quickly and securely.
- Easily set up text messaging as an advising channel, where portfolio reviews with customers can help them choose the right investment options.
- Conveniently schedule follow-up calls and in-person appointments via text for more complex transactions.
- Offer better customer care, support and advice before significant annual deadlines (e.g. RRSP, taxes), ensuring there is no friction at the time of the payment due date.
The frictionless future
Customers now expect technology that makes their banking journey straightforward and quick, and text messaging is one of the best channels to not just meet these expectations, but address customer concerns instantly, without making them visit the branch or wait on the phone. Its emergence as a robust digital solution comes at no better time, when old solutions like call centers are showing their inefficiency. By fostering a seamless communication process with customers, text messaging ultimately creates to a frictionless digital experience and, with it, a journey they will always gladly embark on.
To learn more about how Statflo uses text messaging to help banks and credit unions engage and retain their customers, check out their website.