Six ways retail banks can achieve digital success

27 October 2015 Consultancy.uk

Retail banks need to do more to satisfy the expectations of digitally empowered consumers, as more than half are unsatisfied with the performance of their banking institution within the digital space. In a recent article, Cognizant considers six different strategies retail banks can consider embracing to improve customer experience, and therewith, their bottom line and profits.

Consumers have been spoiled by the seamless operation and experience of online interactions with the likes of Google, Apple and others. Their services are all fast and intuitive yet lack a physical junction. Banks however, have been somewhat slow to create similarly fast and intuitive systems and processes to accommodate the needs of consumers. As it stands, only 28% of consumers are satisfied with their retail bank’s digital experience. Retail banks therefore have a long way to go to achieve seamless digital experiences.

Six-pronged approach

Not every bank is behind in the digital game however, in a recently published article services giant Cognizant highlights that Ally, Moven and Simple have each been rewarded with their focus on improving customer experience within the digital space. In the case of Simple, growth rates of as much as 300% annually are experienced. According to the conclusions of Cognizant’s article, there are six steps retail banks need to engage in to “get with the times, delight customers and reap the rewards.” Consultancy.uk provides a summary:

Put customers first (profits will follow). Being customer-centric and meeting their needs and changing expectations as digital channels become the norm, is coming to define how well companies perform. What is convenient for consumers needs to outweigh what is convenient for banks. Retail banks must therefore create service offerings that include responsive cross platform websites, as well as apps that provide access to account details and financial planning services.

What consumers want

Have a mobile-first mind-set. When focussing on meeting customer expectations with an omni-channel approach, mobile apps remain a priority according to Cognizant. The simple reason is that apps are preferred over mobile banking. Research shows that 66% of total hours per month are spent through apps vs. 34% on browsers. As it stands, more than 40% of banking happens through a mobile app and the quality of that experience is the reason a third stays with their bank. All told, banks must ensure their apps are defect-free, feature rich and beyond what’s expected from a conventional website.

Listen to and decode customer data. Banks have available to them a wide range of information related to their customers and their spending habits. That information could be used to create profiles on the people that use the bank, which can then be leveraged for commercial or other ends. To exploit these details however, banks will need to invest in IT infrastructure and move away from siloed legacy systems. Banks should also invest in stronger analytics tools to prevent misinterpretation, and take care not to violate privacy norms and expectations.

Enhance mobile and online capabilities

Fatten margins with social media innovations. Only a small 10% of customers interact with banks through social media, with the majority engaging via ATMs, branches and apps. However, those that do engage through social media tend to be relatively young (33), wealthy ($100,000 in investable assets) and hard to reach. The group also tends to be more valuable to the bank, generating up to twice the $1,262 of the average customer. By developing banking features, such as small payment options within social media environments, the young customer segment can be better served.

Enhance the branch and ATM experience. Improving physical services, such as more creative ways to understand the branch and ATMs that provide a wider range of options and act more like an app, has the potential to provide a customer service enhancement. Some banks are offering free access to mobile devices at branches, or have added coffee bar services. In addition, some ATMs can now perform functions like remembering customer preferences such as language and account history, card-less transactions, smartphone connectivity and live video chat with a remote teller.

Provide a seamless channel experience

Sustain a seamless omni-channel experience. With the addition of a wide range of new channels, such as mobile sites and apps, it becomes important to make sure that each of the new channels is integrated seamlessly into the whole to create a single customer experience. This will require banks to improve their IT and physical integration. Customer-facing employees, for instance, should have real-time access to the same customer data to more effectively serve customers, while allowing customers to make a full range of permissible banking actions throughout the various channels.

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Four ways digitalisation is transforming car brands and dealers

16 April 2019 Consultancy.uk

From changing expectations from the customer to new stakeholders entering the industry, the digital transformation of global automotive industry means it is facing the wholesale transformation of its business model. In a new white paper, global consulting partnership Cordence Worldwide has highlighted four major digital trends that are transforming the relationships between car brands and dealers with consumers.

With digital transformation drives booming across the industrial spectrum, automotive groups are no different in having commenced large digital transformation programmes to improve productivity, efficiency, and ultimately profitability. Falling sales figures mean the automotive sector is facing an increasingly difficult road ahead, something which means companies in the market are even more hard pressed to find new ways to improve their bottom lines.

While it offers major opportunities, the industry’s move to digitalise is not without complications. It has triggered a series of major internal changes, which have presented automotive entities with the challenge of becoming a “customer-oriented” industry. A new report from Cordence Worldwide – a global management consulting partnership present in more than 20 countries – has explored how automotive companies are navigating the rapidly changing nature of digital business.

New business models

The level of change likely to be wrought on the automotive industry by digitalisation is hard to overstate. Automation could well lead to significant reductions in the number of accidents, higher vehicle utilisation and lower pollution levels, while leading to a $2.1 trillion change in traditional revenues, with up to $4.3 trillion in new revenue openings arising by 2030.

As a result of this colossal opportunity, it is easy to see why almost all automotive groups now have digital departments, with generally strong communication within the digital transformation and the customer approach. The changes to society which this may have are potentially distracting automotive firms from the change it is leading to in its own companies though, according to Cordence’s paper.

The automotive market is dead, long live the mobility market

Because of this, the sector’s business model is set to transform over the coming decades. With digitalisation speeding up the appearance of concepts such as car-sharing, a subscription package model will likely become more palatable. At the same time, car and ride-sharing models will cater to the sustainability criteria of millennials, who will rapidly become one of the automotive market’s leading consumer demographics in the coming years.

Antoine Glutron – a Managing Consultant with Cordence member Oresys, and the report’s author – said of the situation, “These ‘old school industries’ are now working on creating new opportunities, but in so-doing are facing challenges and threats: new jobs, new technologies, new ecosystem of partners, necessary reorganisation, different relationship with customers, and even new businesses. The customer approach topic is in fact a real challenge for car companies as it implies changing their business model and adjusting their mind-set to address the customer 4.0: from product-centric to customer-centric, from car manufacturer to service provider.”

Digital customer experience

In the hyper-competitive age of the internet, even top companies face an uphill challenge when it comes to holding onto customers through brand loyalty. Digital disruption has resulted in changes to consumer behaviour, which is forcing a range of marketing strategists to reconsider their old, possibly out-dated strategies. As modern customers wield an increasingly impressive array of digital tools and online databases, they and are now able to quickly and conveniently compare prices, check availability and read product reviews.

The automotive sector is no exception to this trend, according to the study. In order to adapt to the needs of the so-called ‘customer 4.0’, car companies will increasingly need to change their business model and move away from product-centric companies to customer-centric ones, from car manufacturers to service providers.

Glutron explained, “As an automotive company, you can no longer expect customer loyalty simply with good products; you must conquer and re-conquer a customer that “consumes” your service. The offer now has to be global, digital and personalised. Your offer has to be adapted to this customer’s needs at any given moment. A key issue related to data control is to build customer loyalty by creating a customer experience 'tailored' throughout the cycle of use of the 'car product': purchase, driving, maintenance and trade-in of the vehicle.”

One way in which the sector may be able to benefit from this desire for a tailored experience is via connectivity. Consumers are generally positive about new connective features for automobiles, and many are even willing to pay upfront for infotainment, emergency and maintenance services. Chinese consumers, where the connected car market is set to hit $216 billion, are already particularly interested in paying a little more for navigation and diagnostic features in their future new car. This can also enable automotive companies to exploit a rich vein of customer data, enabling them to rapidly tailor their offerings to consumer behaviour.

New automotive segments

Digital transformation has also brought with it the rise of completely new application areas. As mentioned earlier, the most well-known example is the autonomous or self-driving car, where the last steps forward were not taken by major automotive groups but by technology companies such as Tesla. While this may have given such firms the edge in the market briefly, a number of keystone automotive names will soon be set to take the plunge into the market themselves, leveraging their car manufacturing prowess and huge production capacities to their advantage.

Before companies rush to invest in this market, however, it is worth their while to remember that the readiness and uptake for such vehicles differs greatly geographically. For example, following a study published in 2018, 92% of Chinese would be ready to buy an autonomous car, compared with only around 35% of drivers in France, Germany and US. Meanwhile, the infrastructure of different nations will also be significantly less accommodating of the new technology.

Use digital for steering thr activity

Elsewhere, Cordence’s analysis has suggested that hooking the cars of tomorrow into the Internet of Things is also likely to see a rapid change in the business model for car maintenance, providing real-time diagnostics for problems. This presents chances for partnerships to improve the connectivity of cars, especially with tech companies; for example, PSA partnered with IBM for a global agreement on services in their vehicle. Meanwhile, data could also be sold to other parties with an interest in this data, such as the government, which could use it to manage traffic levels, or ensure that only adequately maintained vehicles take to the road.

Glutron added, “With the increase in the amount of client data and connected opportunities, the recommendation is to set up data-centric approaches. The value is now in the customer data. The general prerequisites are to rework the data model and the Enterprise Architecture and generally build up a data lake including data from all sources (internal and external, structured and unstructured).”

From automotive to mobility

Relating further to the idea of connectivity, the report claimed that automotive firms must now adjust their models in line with the provision of end-to-end mobility, rather than treating the sale of a car as an end point in their relationship with the customer. In order to realise this transformation, transformations are likely to become more and more important.

A network of partner companies means automotive firms can provide a global mobility experience. As the vehicle is increasingly connected to its environment, new partners can also be cities, governments, and other service providers within the global mobility services industry in which the car brands want to take part.

According to the study, the target is clear. Companies must look to a holistic transport service, offering to move customers from A to B in a unique and pleasant way – otherwise they might as well take public transport. At the same time, they should extend the services reachable “on-board” (especially the enhancement of the connectivity between the car and smartphones or other connected devices), and reach high standards in terms of user experience (online sales, online payment, customised experience during and after the use of the car).

Concluding the report, Glutron stated, “These mobility market transformations could be considered a threat for the car manufacturers. Quite the opposite: if they take up the challenge and review their business model so that they become the service provider – communicating no longer to a driver but to a ‘mobility customer’ – they can then take advantage of their expertise and their position as a historical player. The most convenient means of transport are cars, and building a car is highly-skilled work.”