Current customer behavior replicates the product and channel siloes across financial institutions. Too much friction exists with disparate processes and systems to allow handoffs between most bank products and channels.
Let’s say you have a customer who wants to refinance. He’s looking to buy a car but also has a kid in college who needs a student loan. He’s always on the go and does online banking whenever appropriate but feels more comfortable talking to another human for bigger financial decisions. Are the employees at his local bank branch cognizant of this customer’s actions online before providing service? And if not, how quickly can they get up to speed?
Bank branches have always been organized by functional areas overseen by different people. It was never set up for end-to-end journeys. They may have invested in the technology but have not seriously changed the day-to-day strategies staffers use to serve customers.
That’s why attempts at omnichannel can result, for instance, in customers starting in a mobile app but getting called on the phone and just going to the local brick-and-mortar branch – explaining themselves to a new person each time.
Although COVID-19 has accelerated digital-channel adoption, banks are still struggling to meet the needs of large customer populations. Even the rapid expansion of digital services has not addressed this yet.
The persistence of this problem stems from the misconception that customers value channels rather than experiences. Thinking in terms of channels is cost-minded and banker-centric. Customers don’t view their banks this way. The channel is merely a conduit to action, such as making a payment or taking out a mortgage.
Given most banks’ legacy systems environment, the cost and complexity of creating a single universal data lake for all channels and processes is to pay back with the benefits omnichannel offers.