There’s been an explosion in the number of touchpoints through which customers can access—and demand to access—financial services through their banks: mobile apps, portals, kiosks, ATMs. Anywhere, anytime, anyplace access to accounts and information is now taken for granted. This customer demand has forced banks into a multichannel delivery model. But when banks take the easy way out architecturally, the multichannel experience can be fragmented and frustrating for customers.
Banks though can build upon this multichannel model, taking lessons from retailers who provide a seamless customer experience. Regardless of whether the customer begins his or her interaction from a PC, a mobile device, or in-person in a brick-and-mortar environment, an omnichannel customer experience consolidates customer engagement, continuing the experience through whatever channels best suit the customer at any given point in the process.
Omnichannel banking builds on multichannel banking in a number of ways.
- Multichannel banking views transactions through a bank-centric lens; omnichannel banking views interactions through a customer-centric lens.
- Multichannel banking allows clients to perform transactions with the bank through multiple channels; omnichannel banking allows clients to interact with the bank through a variety of channels.
- Multichannel banking discerns customer needs through analytics; omnichannel banking discerns customers’ wants and preferences through analytics.
- Multichannel banking is based on customer records; omnichannel banking is based on customer engagements.
- Architecturally, multichannel banking is built on service-oriented architecture (SOA), integrating applications and messaging; omnichannel banking relies on Big Data analytics to provide customer context to an interaction.
In an omnichannel banking environment, banks must adopt a three-tiered approach: 1 – Capturing customer intent, through analytics of online behavior, location-based information, and sentiment analysis of social and contact centre interactions; 2 – Managing the captured intent, separating the unstructured content (video, audio, social, etc.) from structured, trusted systems of record; and 3 – applying Big Data analytics to enrich understanding of the customer and allow the delivery of differentiated services and more targeted marketing offerings.
Download Omnichannel banking: From transaction processing to optimized customer experience, a whitepaper by IBM, which outlines how banks can move from a multichannel to an omnichannel environment. An omnichannel experience built on a solid, multichannel infrastructure allows customers to take advantage of a seamless experience regardless of touch point, while banks can leverage customer information and context to provide the right offer to the right customer at the right time.