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Why propping up your customer experience with mobile banking

Senior Business Analyst and Financial and Banking IT Consultant, ScienceSoft

Banks have always aspired to deliver ‘excellent customer experience’, but since the demands of modern tech-savvy customers continually increase, this goal gets tougher to reach in practice. As a result, the banking industry started experimenting with various customer experience strategies paying special attention to tech-aided ones. In this regard, the idea to improve customer experience by investing in mobile banking development moved to the front burner, because mobile channel provides more convenience and brings additional opportunities for customers to engage and interact with banks compared to a branch or online channels.

Improving customer experience with mobile banking

Customer experience is high on the agenda

Gartner predicts that by 2018, more than 50% of IT and business leaders will have significantly changed their business models towards prioritizing customer experience innovations. But while half of the leaders strive to keep up with customers’ expectations, others don’t seem to hurry up. Currently, some banks are still more focused on short-term cost-cutting goals rather than on making investments in projects with a longer payoff period. But if banks want to move to the next level of customer services, they should keep in mind that costs cutting and improving customer experience cannot be achieved at the same time. 

The approach to excellent customer experience

Banks working to improve customer experience should start their journey by adopting a holistic approach to treating customers.

It aims at creating complete customer profiles to meet customers’ expectations the best way. However, one of the obstacles on the way to the holistic approach is the silo mentality that is still common at large and complex financial institutions. It takes place when an organization fails to join efforts to share customer-related information between different departments. Overcoming this obstacle and reaching cross-departmental synergy would enable a unified customer experience.

To integrate all customer data, banks should adopt an omnichannel strategy. One of the foremost tasks in this direction is to ensure the consistent and unified experience across all channels and digital platforms that seamlessly work together. According to the Economist, such a strategy should allow customers to interact with their banks using any channel and feel as if they communicate with a single person that has “an unfailing memory and uncanny intuition about customers’ preferences.”

How mobile banking refines customer experience

Though this approach may seem a no-brainer, banks often ignore to implement it in practice, especially with regard to digital technologies and mobile banking in particular. Despite being often neglected, this channel seems to be the most promising tool to deliver a high-quality customer experience, as it has the ability to be at hand whenever the customer wants it. Since mobile banking apps redefine the frequency and character of customer interactions with banks, the latter can deliver the right experience by exceeding customers’ expectations of the app’s functionality. Mobile banking can advance customers’ possibilities to perform their banking activities, for example, by providing personal notifications about due payments or giving a quick access to information just in a few taps.

Customer experience is fragile

It’s necessary to remember that mobile banking is no silver bullet for improving customer experience, as it can equally make it or break it. As one of the customer relationship channels, it also heavily depends on a bank’s general approach to customers. Even one mistake can turn out to be critical for customers and disproportionally impact the overall customer experience. For example, the latest Wells Fargo’s trick with ghost accounts has already poorly resonated among customers: branch visits fell by 10%, checking accounts by 25%, and credit card applications by 20%, compared to the previous year.

The same is true with a mobile banking app − if a customer fails to make an urgent and important payment once, it may outweigh years of a good mobile banking service. That is why to increase customer experience, mobile banking should become a trustworthy and value-adding tool for stress-free everyday banking.

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