5 Tips to Engage Your Customers in the Digital Banking Era

Senior man and young woman as characters for the story about digital banking
Change is the end result of all true learning. - Leo Buscaglia

In the world of modern banking, this couldn't be truer. The rise of the digital banking era is more than just about technology: it's about shaping personal experiences. In meeting rooms and home offices alike, banking professionals everywhere face a shared challenge: How can we maintain genuine connections while navigating the world of digital solutions?

Explore five actionable tips that ensure strong customer engagement in the digital banking era.

1. Understanding the Digital Customer's Journey

Imagine, for a moment, that you're stepping into the shoes of Mr. Graham. He's a retired schoolteacher in his 70s, just learning to navigate the maze of digital banking. On the other end of the spectrum, there's Mia, a 25-year-old freelance designer. She thrives in the digital reality, having never stepped into a bank branch in the past five years.

These are two very different individuals, each embarking on their unique digital journeys with your bank. But there's one thing they have in common: the desire for a smooth and personalized banking experience.

Segmentation and Personalization: To engage customers like Mr. Graham and Mia, banks must utilize the power of data analytics. By understanding their behaviors, preferences, and even apprehensions, banks can tailor services to fit like a glove. This might mean suggesting a high-interest savings account for Mia, who's earning well, or offering Mr. Graham an easy tutorial on online funds transfer. Catering to each segment not only fosters loyalty but deepens the customer's trust in your bank's ability to understand and meet their needs.

Optimized User Experience: Ever tried wearing shoes two sizes too small? Uncomfortable, isn't it? That's how customers feel when navigating a clunky digital interface. Investing in an intuitive UX design ensures that whether it's Mia checking her account balance on the go, or Mr. Graham setting up a new fixed deposit, they both find the experience seamless. Dive deep into analytics to identify any bumps in their journey and smooth them out. Remember, in the digital banking era, every click and swipe counts.

Image of a smartphone and the automated message of a helpful banking chatbot

2. The Role of AI and Automation

Several years ago, Jane, a Customer Success Manager at a successful bank, noticed a trend. While most of the younger clientele easily navigated digital transactions, a large group faced challenges. Some required constant assistance, while others expressed concerns about online fraud. This was a pattern not only in her bank, but also seen across the industry.

Chatbots and Virtual Assistants: Jane's Bank introduced an AI-powered virtual assistant. Now, when customers like Mr. Graham have a query at 2 a.m, she is there to help, guiding him patiently, as if she's been trained for years. For Mia, she predicts when she might need a loan or how she can invest her surplus funds.

Predictive Analysis: Behind the scenes, sophisticated algorithms analyze vast amounts of data, predicting and catering to customer needs before they even arise. It's like having a crystal ball, telling Jane which services her customers might need next, be it a loan, an investment opportunity, or a security update.

Fraud Detection: One of the most pivotal uses of AI has been in enhancing security. By detecting unusual patterns and behaviors, AI systems flag potential security breaches long before they can escalate, ensuring that both Mr. Graham and Mia sleep a little sounder at night.

WhatsApp logo Messenger Logo and Webchat logo

3. Improving Customer Interaction Across All Platforms

Meet Carlos, a Digital Transformation Manager with a leading bank. He often fondly recalls his initial days in the bank, when interactions were limited to face-to-face meetings and phone calls. However, as the digital shift occurred, he noticed a fragmented customer experience. A client would start a query on the bank's app, become frustrated, switch to the web browser, only to end up calling the customer service line. This wasn’t efficient for the bank, nor was it convenient for the customer.

Unified Communication: For Carlos, the mission was clear: to provide a uniform voice and experience across all channels. Whether a customer interacts with the bank's mobile app, website, social media channels, or even the age-old telephone service, the information, and feel should remain consistent. Implementing this doesn’t just enhance user experience, but drastically reduces the chance of miscommunication or conflicting information.

Transitioning between Channels: Carlos realized that a customer’s journey might involve multiple touchpoints. For example, Mr. Graham might initiate a conversation through a chatbot and then prefer to continue discussing over a call with a human representative. Making this transition seamless, where the representative knows the chatbot's interaction history, can be the difference between a satisfied customer and a frustrated one.

Chat bubbles with conversational design messages for baking

4. Prioritizing Customer Education and Support

Lisa, a Customer Experience Director, often conducted feedback sessions. A recurring theme she observed was the hesitation and, at times, downright resistance to adopting new digital tools. While younger generations like Mia adapted quickly, older clients like Mr. Graham felt overwhelmed, often fearing security breaches or simple misuse.

Digital Onboarding: Recognizing the need for seamless self-service options, Lisa championed the creation of an interactive digital onboarding process. This initiative was a game-changer and included easy-to-understand video tutorials, webinars, and step-by-step guides tailored to various digital banking functions.

For Mr. Graham, the results were transformative. Previously, the idea of sending money or checking his balance online was daunting. But, with Lisa's new onboarding process, he found himself learning to navigate these digital avenues with ease. One day, while texting his grandson, he learned about the bank's integration with messaging apps. This revelation was a eureka moment for him! No longer did he need to physically visit the bank or even log into a separate banking app. Now, while chatting with his grandson about his upcoming visit to Italy, Mr. Graham could effortlessly send him some travel funds without breaking the flow of their conversation.

This newfound skill was not just about convenience. For Mr. Graham, it was empowerment. Whether he was relaxing at his home or sipping espresso on a sunny afternoon in Rome, he had the bank right at his fingertips. The fear and hesitation that once overshadowed his interaction with digital banking had been replaced by confidence and autonomy, all thanks to a robust digital onboarding process that prioritized self-service.

Support Channels: Lisa also prioritized bolstering the bank's support channels. While FAQs and help documents catered to tech-savvy users, there was a dedicated team ready to assist those who needed a more personal touch. Whether through chat support for quick queries or a detailed conversation with a representative, every customer found a support channel that matched their comfort level.

Smartphone with messagin bubbles showcasing the experience of a baking chatbott

5. Feedback and Continuous Improvement

Claire, the bank's Chief Innovation Officer, knew that while they had come a long way in their digital transformation journey, the road didn't end there. The digital horizon was ever-changing, and what was once considered avant-garde quickly became the norm.

Collecting Feedback: To stay ahead, Claire established a real-time feedback mechanism across all digital channels. Every interaction ended with an unobtrusive prompt, asking customers like Mr. Graham and Mia for their insights. This ensured that the bank was always attuned to the real-time experiences of its users. When Mr. Graham struggled to find a feature or Mia wished for a more streamlined transaction process, their feedback was instantly flagged.

Stories began to emerge. Mr. Graham once shared how he easily sent money to his grandson while sitting in a small cafe in Italy. On the other hand, Mia expressed a desire to see a clearer breakdown of her expenses. These stories weren't just feedback, but essential insights that helped shape the bank's future strategies.

Adapting to Change: With real-time feedback in hand, Claire's team worked tirelessly to adapt and innovate. Quick tweaks, major overhauls, introducing new features, or simplifying existing ones — the bank remained agile, ensuring they were always a step ahead in catering to their customer's needs.

Employee Training: Claire understood the importance of her team keeping up with new technology. So, with every tech update, she made sure to provide training for all staff members. This way, everyone, from customer support to developers, was on the same page and worked together to improve customer service.

Read more about: Where conversational banking fits in.