How can Indian public sector banks fix their “Customer Experience” metric the right way (Part 2)
(This is a continuation of https://jalajboy.medium.com/how-indian-public-sector-banks-can-improve-customer-experience-e781abf893f5 written jointly with Ritesh Varma)
Continued Challenges Faces by Indian Public Sector Banks on Improving Customer Experience
With hybrid, remote work beginning to dominate human work patterns and online/mobile access becoming the norm for banking and financial services, it is imperative for Indian public-sector banks to improve their customer experiences across all touch points to retain their market shares and/or grow business. Without a significant revamp of their digital transformation strategy, they may continue to face rejection by the millennial consumers and in another 10 years or so see their market shares go below sustainable levels.
Customer acquisition is one area where a lot of changes are happening to improve customer experience. Minimal form-filling, video KYC, online Aadhaar API verification, instant PG integration for account funding, quick a/c confirmation and automated welcome kit generation improves the experience of the consumer rapidly. Some banks have even worked out API integration to push credit card information to Apple/Google wallets so consumers can start to transact even without a physical card reaches them.
The other major area for improvement is customer service. It is still very hard for consumers to register a complaint/service request on the bank portals and get a good experience wrt confirmation of issue; timely resolution/call; update on status and follow-up till closure. As a result of the poor service experience, the perception of customer un-friendliness stays and hurts the bank business.
One example of the broken digital transformation initiative is video KYC. While some banks have integrated a very useful video KYC on the account opening side, they have not done the same for dormant accounts revival. Account holders have to visit the bank/branch to get this simple task done. If joint holders are living in separate cities, this is next to herculean for consumers. As a result, the older customers have to run around to get dormant accounts activated. This could easily be improved by leveraging the technology for account opening.
Getting through to the service line/call centres of PSU bank is next to impossible. Even though they have invested in call centres etc the perception has remained (due to poor quality experience). Perhaps it is time for PSU banks to integrate social listening channels, mobile/web based helpdesk systems and build active customer success teams to improve the service perception.
How can enterprises fix their “Customer Experience” metric the right way
The first point to note is that digitization does not equal digital transformation. If we lift and shift a set of business processes, workflows with their associated paper forms, down to the “field for admin use only”, we have digitized the paper-based process but done nothing to make the experience for the consumer pleasant, shortened the overall time for the consumer and brought into “delight” for the consumer that will make them want to talk about our application and the experience they got with their social circles.
For true customer experience transformation, we must “re-design customer experiences and journeys” and reduce un-necessary forms, fields being asked for, complicated steps of data / file upload and re-work the process automation into a smooth end-to-end journey. For example, if we already have the KYC data on record, why ask for the same details for a new loan application / credit card request? If we already have loan data, we can offer pre-filled forms for changes to the account. Using what we have sends a powerful message to the consumer — we know you and we respect your time.
Next, we must evaluate all verification steps and optimise the same by planning integration with online services/APIs, leveraging data held in the bank’s CRM and core systems to avoid asking for duplicate verification checks and bias the system towards minimalism on user entry. Nothing improves CX as much as a system that works as “expected” by the consumer. And we are in the age of consumer experiences and expectations that get defined by top consumer products such as Amazon, Uber, AirBnB etc.
Thirdly, we must accept that consumers have gone multi-channel in their access and usage. And they expect service provider applications to work seamlessly with high consistency and similarity across devices. For applications that may take a few minutes to complete, they may even abandon the form filling process for some time and expect to pick-up the same on another device at another time. Systems that are resilient, that offer save-and-resume, that work-as-expected will be rewarded with customer loyalty, references, and high ratings while those that are brittle, look-n-feel different across access channels will be shunned.
We must also test the portal applications across all browsers, major devices for functionality, stability, speed under peak loads and fix the gaps. A huge downer for CX is high wait times, sluggish performance, and buggy interfaces. This is especially true for document/image upload capability — consumers want upfront information of file size/type limitations and instant notification of success/failures so they can retry or acknowledge successful doc upload. Consumers expect flawless performance and when a bug is found a graceful mechanism to report the bug and see quick resolution. Meet these expectations and one can see the changes in consumer adoption behavior and over time business outcomes as never before.
To improve customer service, leading enterprises have adopted chat bots, intelligent AI-based chat bots to offer highly personalised, scalable, and friendly service levels to consumers. Technology here promises to reduce the human performance gaps and alleviate the service quality level pain points — a chat bot serves both PSU bank and private bank consumers the same way!
One major reason for poor customer services is that most enterprises have separate systems for different products and services and don’t have a 360-degree view of their customers. Some of the leading enterprises have added intelligent RPA based robots to integrate disparate systems and offer consumers a very high-quality experience at the time of raising a complaint/issue. The RPA also helps quickly build a case file for agents to address customer needs on priority and within SLA.
And finally, there should be a roadmap & plan in place to evolve and improve the application based on user analytics, usage patterns, feedback from users and analysis of journeys that deliver business outcomes versus paths that lead to failure / abandonment. A portal application that seems to “learn” from the past weaknesses and appears to fix the same gets high ratings from digitally savvy consumers who notice the changes and are quick to appreciate the same across their business and social circles.
Using Low-Code Platforms to Improve Customer Experience in 2022
Leading consultants in customer experience research have often defined CX as
CX = Customer expectation / Customer experience.
The numerator is set by the exposure to digital first world and latest consumer app experiences. This keeps going up all the time as leading internet companies push the boundary of experience.
The denominator is up to us to improve and deliver against. Fix the CX and your ability to compete in this digital-first and fully digital economy grows significantly. CX builds word-of-mouth, customer loyalty and reduces customer acquisition costs dramatically.
If your web portal applications / mobile applications are developed using traditional code-heavy frameworks, it takes a significant effort to revamp even simple changes, add integrations, add testing capability, CI/CD DevOps, analytics etc.
A low code platform that offers rapid application development and deployment capabilities will be a huge asset as you look to revamp your CX in 2022. Low code platforms have portal builder via drag-n-drop and definition of objects, web-services integrations for external APIs, in-built analytics, event logging and multi-channel capability. You can accelerate your application modernisation and evolution significantly with low code platforms and achieve faster PMF (product market fitment) and Value fitment by being able to experiment and evolve applications faster.
We will cover low code enterprise application development in detail in another article shortly. For now do visit https://newgensoft.com/platform/ to check out Newgen’s low-code application development platform capabilities.