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Friday, November 22, 2019

Opinion > Opinion

The ongoing digital revolution is re-writing the communications manual

17:02 Thursday 7th November 2019

The evolution of new communications technologies is redefining the customer experience in the specialist banking market, with customers having higher expectations in regard to how, when and where they want to be communicated with.

In order to attract and retain customers, intermediaries need to embrace these technologies to fulfil those expectations.

Technologies such as artificial intelligence, data analytics and augmented reality are reshaping individualised communications, while an expanded range of appropriate channels — including print, SMS, smart apps and email, among others — helps maximise capabilities. Together, these enable financial services organisations to enhance customer service and build better relationships by providing clear, timely and continuous communications, both in digital and printed form.

While larger financial institutions in the UK and Europe have been working on how best to go digital for over a decade, challenger banks have emerged with flexible and innovative communications strategies that have enabled them to differentiate themselves enough to attract and retain highly engaged customers. 

While there are obvious advantages to deploying these new technologies and communications channels, their adoption is not without its challenges. The rapid pace of innovation means that to remain relevant and competitive, banks will need to keep up to speed with digital transformation, especially when attempting to muscle their way into a UK banking sector heavily dominated by larger institutions.

At the same time, the heavy reliance on digital technology and data requires compliance with stringent regulation, the need for strict governance and assured security for highly confidential documents. Professional intermediaries will also need to find ways to minimise the costs, such as those for print and postage overheads, while ensuring that consistency is achieved across all communications channels. 

Innovative solutions

Today, specialist banks across the globe are utilising the latest technology to build highly effective customer-centric communications strategies. Accurate, up to date and pertinent data provides the insights needed to drive customer engagement, ensuring that the customer receives relevant communications at the most opportune or appropriate times through the most effective channels. Importantly, the adoption of a wider range of communication channels means that these are delivered using the customer’s preferred channel, increasing the likelihood that they are acted upon. 

This is a win-win solution for both intermediaries and customers. The customer benefits from the convenience of receiving messages via their favoured channel and what they receive is personalised and relevant to them. For financial intermediaries, this leads to better customer relationships, stronger brand loyalty and increased customer lifetime value. 

Until recently, these innovations would have been the pinnacle of customer communications technology. Now, however, financial institutions are employing even more advanced solutions, such as augmented reality (AR), as a means to break the shackles of rigidity and open up previously unexplored opportunities in customer services. 

AR solutions can help specialist banking organisations enhance communications way beyond previous capabilities, for example, they can take complex messages in transactional, printed communications and bring them to life with an augmented overlay that links to digital content, such as videos, 3D animations or additional information. In doing so, it provides a true omnichannel experience. 

The ongoing digital revolution is re-writing the communications manual, empowering specialist and challenger banks with technologies that provide clear, timely and relevant messages that drive customer engagement.

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