Historically, financial institutions have operated based on the following customer equation:
Trust= Loyalty = Customer Lifetime Value
and retail banks have largely focused on establishing a trusted service to the customer by relying on their firm’s reputation to gain customer loyalty and sustain it. Enter the new era of banking, where the expansion of digital technologies has changed the idea of building face to face trust dramatically – it is now more competitive and far more complex. Amidst this widespread digital disruption, BFSI firms are constantly under pressure to increase operational efficiencies, drive sales growth & deliver a superior customer experience. The customers’ needs are everchanging as they bank on the go via digital channels that are forcing leaders at retail banks to rethink their customer experience journeys.
With the advent of new technologies and newer ways of interaction there is a transformation in the way the retail customers engage with their banks. As we look to a “new normal,” retail banks must acclimatize in order to enhance customer experience.
The New Customer Experience: A Hybrid Of Digital & Human
Today’s customer is more involved and better informed with a surfeit of options to choose from at their fingertips and the necessary resources to educate and make purchases on their own. Recent studies have shown that, we have entered an age where customers are not choosing their bank for trust rather, they are going for a seamless customer experience. According to Forbes “customers don’t care if you claim you have omni-channel or multi-channel capabilities. They only care that they can connect with you, the way they want to connect with you, and when they want to connect with you. They go through the channel that is easiest and most convenient for them. It could be a phone, a desktop computer, a tablet – whatever communication method they are most comfortable with.” A consumer’s satisfaction is now contingent on the quality of engagement and not the differentiation of services and products. According to Gartner 89% of customers believe competition is based predominantly on customer experience, and 84% of customers feel that experiences are as important as the actual products and services according to Salesforce.com.
What consumers want in the moment may differ from what they want long-term. Hence banks looking to differentiate themselves through customer experience should be focused on the following:
1) Personalized experience: According to Salesforce.com, 62% of consumers expect companies to adapt based on their actions or behaviours. The same study found that only 47% of consumers believe they are receiving this level of personalization today. Banks must tailor their solutions to each customer’s unique need which can enable them to increase the relevance of their service and speed the customers access to desired content.
2) Proactively engage with customers: Availability of data, advanced analytics and expanded channel opportunities help in providing the bank’s field force with an expanded array of “moments of truth” for engaging with the customers in real time.
3) Provide seamless experience across channels: Customers want their banks to let them select their own path for purchase without feeling any difference in the level of service being received.
4) Empower your salesforce: Retails banks need to empower their customer relationship management to deliver superior customer experiences and retain customers for longer periods. Banks need to arm their salesforce with the capabilities, knowledge and processes that would allow them to put their customers at the centre.
5) Enable the branch managers to habitually coach their sales officers & relationship managers. This not only builds sales capability but also helps the frontline salesforce to personalize a solution to individual customer needs.
6) Leverage technology to enable just in time learning opportunities tailored to specific customer experiences.
Reskilling RM’s and CRM’s To Deliver The Next Customer Experience
According to the BCG report "Global Capital Markets 2018: Embracing the Digital Migration" digital transformation in the banking landscape is pressuring the retail banks to train their salesforce to become more knowledgeable and flexible. Expectedly, reskilling and retraining has become a priority for the banking industry. Financial institutions look to retrain 60%-70% of their workforce, while 30% of the bank force feels their current skill set is redundant. The traditional methods of training the field force have largely proven to be unsustainable sale. To build salesforce capabilities and meet the customers’ needs retail banks needs to be able to:
1) Build knowledge quickly and efficiently: In today’s digital world, Relationship Managers need to build more knowledge in a shorter time span to stay ahead of their customers while creating a personalized experience.
2) Upskill in newer ways: As a younger generation enters the workforce each year, new hire RMs & CSMs will expect newer and more digital learning experiences that give them the same convenient experience which they are required to transfer to the bank’s customers.
3) Leverage learning analytics: Assess the relationship managers ability to execute their learnings using new learning tools which provide them with specific scenarios to practice and refine their skills based on usage data.
Utilising data can help banks move away from a rear-view mirror approach to a more proactive approach to skill development.
To address the above points, banks do not have a minute to lose. Retail banks need to quickly reengineer their training and enablement of the field force to meet today’s customer demands.
Microlearning And Gamification: A New Approach To Sales & Field Force Enablement
Innovations in products and processes have a direct bearing on the employee training and learning. By adopting agile learning methodologies, retail banks will be able to adapt to the digital disruptions and enable their salesforce faster and more efficiently.
Here are six reasons how gamified microlearning can be an attractive, efficient and advanced solution for banks looking to enhance their customer experience:
1) Easily updatable training content: Sales enablement platforms employing gamification and microlearning are built to deliver rapid and agile learning experiences, making them perfect for retails banks, who experience constant product & regulatory changes . Such platforms help in updating the relevant content at the right time
2) On the go sales training: Bite-sized microlearning, allows the field force to acquire skills related to new product features, selling skills and customer interaction in real time. Such a habitual & repetitive format of learning would enable Relationship Managers & Customer Service Managers to deliver consistent customer experiences that drive higher conversions, increase cross selling opportunities and much more.
3) Induction and onboarding: Decreasing the ramp up time for a new hire RM or CSM has become critical for the banking industry. Gamification and microlearning can enable Branch Managers & Retail Bank leaders to accelerate onboarding by addressing six onboarding pressure points. Gamification tools can boost knowledge retention and application of skills for new recruits and also incentivize them to consistently learn through rewards for successful completion, repetitive testing & mastery of the given skill set.
4) Better engagement and experience: Employing interactive and high impact content improves the new hires engagement and experience. A study by Adobe shows that 85% of employees are delighted when they experience cutting-edge technology that increases interaction, offers convenience and is easily accessible.
5) Enhancing soft skills: Microlearning and gamification can enable retail banks to develop virtual selling competencies to standardize & yet create differentiated customer experiences. Behavioral skills such as answering customer queries, advising customers, presenting virtually and others can build greater trust & longer lasting customer relationships for RMs and CSMs looking to deepen their customers’ wallet share with the bank.
6) Quantify Learning Effectiveness With Business Results: Microlearning is gaining popularity as the go-to platform for sales enablement as it enables the field force to measure their learning progress in real time and provide data-driven feedback for course correction. As our earlier infographic showcased, a gaming and learning loop can build learning habits for the front line that results in 10x more data, thereby enabling branch & line managers to take more informed decisions on enhancing the front line’s productivity.
To create a practice of delivering superior customer experience retail banks need to invest in platforms, tools and services that can enable their field force to keep pace with their customers’ knowledge, buying habits & expectations. Read more on how a leading Indian bank increased their sales productivity using Master-O.