Research shows consumers want personalized experiences across their business interactions, but providing what they’re looking for without overstepping privacy, security, and compliance concerns can be a challenge for banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions.
At the same time, digital service provides opportunities for channeling data into results for consumers and institutions alike. As we embrace digital services, everyone is looking for customer experiences that channel data into superior experiences. And banking is no different: A recent Capco research report, “Insights for Investments to Modernize Digital Banking” found that 72% of respondents rate personalization as “highly important” with Millennials, the most in-favor demographic (79%).
For financial institutions, this can be a difficult task. Not only is financial data sensitive, but it is also subject to federal regulations. Striking the right balance between data protection and data-driven solutions is critical. Customers must be able to trust that their information is safe and secure, and being used to improve the quality of their experience.
To make the most of consumer data, you need a fully integrated account opening and loan origination system (LOS) that promotes communication and contextualized data — not just a repository of customer information. A few key questions can help you assess how well your service is performing and which solution is best for your needs.
How Long Does It Take Your Customers to Complete an Application?
Today’s consumers want things as quickly as possible, but loan origination software and banking services need to be thorough. One easy step your financial institution can take is to communicate clearly with customers about what each application entails and how long it should take. Setting clear expectations about the process and timing goes a long way toward creating positive customer experiences.
Another option is to fast-track your services, finding ways to streamline processes while maintaining quality. Consider these best practices for the following key service areas:
Opening an Account
A recent Deloitte study found that existing customers of less than one year were most likely to demand an improved account-opening experience (40%). Deloitte attributes this to customers expecting a faster experience, having already shared personal information with their credit union or bank. Make sure you have the technology in place to deploy existing customer information and speed up that process. While new customers are more patient with onboarding, check that you’re collecting relevant information at the onboarding stage so you can fast-track any future account openings.
Applying for a Loan
A majority of mortgage customers value an exceptional customer experience almost as much as getting the best rate, according to McKinsey. The four pillars of this positive experience are reassurance, transparency, simplicity, and speed. If your LOS software provides resources and the option to speak to a human for guidance, you can reassure customers that they will get it right the first time — which also benefits you.
Are You Collecting the Right Amount of Data without Being a Burden?
The dilemma is to collect as much useful customer data as possible, both for quality of service and regulatory needs, without impinging on consumer privacy. Your priority should be complying with federal banking and ID verification laws, but it’s also important to consider how you can make the most of the questions you’re asking and maximize the data you’re collecting.
The good news is that consumers are open to sharing their information, as long as they can see it is being put to good use. Research from Salesforce found that over half of Millennials (54%) are happy to share their data with companies in exchange for personal guidance and tailored options. More broadly, 86% of all customers would be more likely to trust a company with personal information if they were provided with an explanation of how it will be used; 78% would do so for a fully personalized experience.
Personalization could mean using the collected information to share tailored analysis and recommendations with the customer, or to identify cross-selling opportunities. Make sure that each business application collects new information about the customer, related to that service, so you’re only responding to the most relevant needs. This will allow you to build a robust profile on each person, without requiring the repetition of information. It also allows you to demonstrate that you know them.
Is Your Brand Experience Consistent?
As a modern financial institution, you are likely deploying multiple third-party solutions to grow your services and provide your customers with everything they need. This is useful in terms of freeing up your resources but could create a disjointed experience for your customers. When multiple technology partners are involved in your business ecosystem, you risk losing brand consistency — which could make customers uneasy and even likely to abandon the site.
It is critical to cultivate an authentic and consistent brand experience throughout the customer journey, no matter the service your customers are using. Not only will this make it easier for them to move through the process, but it will help to build a memorable experience for the customer and foster loyalty. But you cannot do this without the right partners to support customized branding.
Whether you are integrating third-party solutions within your platform or serving customers who have come from another site, be sure that your technology partners offer flexibility. No matter the physical location of the experience, make sure branding is consistent, both for you and any merchant partners you support.
How MeridianLink Can Help
From account opening to loan origination to collections, we have the software tools that can help you meet evolving consumer expectations and leverage customer data to provide a better experience than your competitors. Learn more by connecting with one of our team members today.