If banks feel disconnected from their customers, it’s because…they are. Banks, for, the most part, aren’t making personal connections with customers.
Even though online banking is a well-received service that saves patrons time and lets them make key banking transactions on their own, digital offerings have conversely allowed customers to not even step foot into their local branches. Bank tellers and other employees no longer see most customers. Longstanding personal relationships have thus gone the way of the $2 bill.
But digital services, done right, can be the very same tool that narrows the gap between banks and customers. Banks can reclaim lost ground by offering personalized financial advice through digital initiatives. That’s what Forrester analyst Benjamin Ensor explained in a recent Personetics webinar Up Close and Personal: The Future of Digital Banking.
Customers indeed find favor with electronic banking. They can make deposits, check balances and transfer money from anywhere and at any time. While those services have strengthened banks’ brands, they’ve done little to mend the personal disconnect they have with customers. Customers need financial help more than ever, Ensor says, and they’re not getting it from their banks.
While most people aren’t willing to pay for financial advice, according to a Forrester survey, they are willing to accept free advice. And that’s where banks can step in, Ensor contends. They need to develop capabilities that they can offer through existing digital channels to offer the kind of personalized advice that will make customers trust them and come back for more.
Barriers to Overcome
First, banks must overcome some barriers that currently prevent them from offering personalized money management assistance. Here are a few:
- To give customers a complete and up-to-date view of a customer’s finances, banks need to overcome account aggregation deficiencies.
- Banks need to master auto-categorization so that they can sort, to the micro level, customers’ transactions for them.
- A lack of predictive analytical capabilities prevents banks from giving contextual advice.
Context is Key
The future of digital banking, Ensor says, is all about context. Banks need to take full advantage of the data they have about their customers: their banking preferences, past behavior, recent transactions, current location and merchants near them.
Banks can use this data to predict and understand the financial advice customers crave. As Ensor predicts, there will be a big difference between the banks that deliver exceptional personalized customer experiences and the banks that deliver only products and have no real understanding of customers.
To learn more, listen to the Personetics webinar Up Close and Personal: The Future of Digital Banking.