Omnichannel strategy in banking. What is it and why do you need it?
In the 21st century, consumers expect almost unlimited access to products and services. They are now in the habit of buying via a laptop, telephone or mobile application just as much as by direct visits to the store or facility. So how do you prepare a strategy that will satisfy the needs of today’s customers? One way is to implement an omnichannel strategy. But what is it and what are its advantages? And will it work in the financial sector, especially in the case of bank branches?
What is omnichannel?
Omnichannel is a strategy that assumes interaction with the client through various communication channels. It differs from standard multichannel in that it assumes full integration of all means of contact. Activities in different channels are carried out in parallel, intertwining and complementing each other. None of the channels of contact (online or offline) functions independently, in isolation from the rest – the offer, pricing policy, user data – all these elements are consistent with each other at every point where the recipient meets the brand/company. Thanks to this, each client can purchase products and services in any convenient way, at the time and place of his choice.
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The omnichannel strategy can be – or rather must be! – carried out using a variety of communication channels, such as: [/su_service]
- video chat
- mobile application
- mobile cash deposit machines
- stationary facility.
Omnichannel in banking
In 2022, customers are not only used to shopping online, but are also efficiently using applications and mobile devices for it. According to the Gemius report, in 2020 already 73% of consumers shopped online – this was a result as much as 11 percentage points higher than the previous study. The coronavirus pandemic additionally resulted in an increase in the share of online shopping in many industries.
This means the omnichannel strategy is increasingly used today – including in the financial and banking sectors. This is not only due to banks’ striving to be more innovative or reduce costs. This is nothing more than meeting the latest customer expectations, as well as a common necessity in the era of progressing digitisation. Banks that fail to provide clients with continuous and unlimited access to services are likely to lose existing clients and limit their opportunities to attract new ones.
Importantly, in the case of the omnichannel strategy, it is not enough to prepare a functional mobile application. Customer preferences regarding contact channels not only vary significantly, but also change depending on the financial products they’re going to buy or the problems they need to solve at that moment. This means that in some situations, for many of them, the possibility of telephone contact or visiting a facility may be as important as the use of mobile tools. Thanks to the availability and integration of so many channels, the customer can efficiently switch between them, and thus conveniently purchase policies, insurance, loans and other services and products.
Advantages of the omnichannel strategy
The implementation of the omnichannel strategy means a number of benefits for both the company and its customers – not only in standard e-commerce stores, but also in the banking and financial sectors.
Benefits for customers:
- the ability to quickly contact the bank at any place and time;
- shorter processes for purchasing banking services and products;
- the possibility of settling matters without needing to explain them to various consultants repeatedly;
- receiving consistent messages from the bank;
- ability to complete partially-filled forms without losing previously-entered data;
- convenience and flexibility.
Benefits for the bank:
- increase in customer engagement;
- growing satisfaction with service;
- higher conversion rates;
- greater competitive advantage;
- increase in the number of inquiries;
- better sales results.
How to implement omnichannel in banking?
Implementation of the omnichannel strategy is by no means as simple as introducing a specific tool. It is a holistic transformation of the business and approach to the customer, which assumes that it is him, and not the product or sales target, that is the centre of attention. That is why implementing omnichannel is quite a challenge, both in technical and organisational terms. So where to start the implementation?
First, to ensure that all channels function properly, it is essential to provide access to centralised data. Financial, personal and marketing information must be consistent across all vectors – web, mobile, telephone and other tools. It is thanks to this that the client will be able to settle matters in any way, without having to translate everything from scratch to another consultant who will handle him in the new channel. Second, the introduction of such a strategy involves the need to train employees so that they can maintain effective communication over many channels. It is not only a matter of mastering new tools, but also changing almost the entire customer service process, and often also the way more than one department of the enterprise operates.
An important benefit of implementing the omnichannel strategy is also the ability to analyse customer transaction data obtained from various channels, systems and social networks. Thanks to Big Data technology, it is possible to collect and analyse information, and then create detailed profiles of customers and their behaviour. This, in turn, allows for more accurate risk assessment, creation of personalised advertising messages and more effective matching of offers to a specific customer. All this creates an opportunity to maximise profitability in sales channels and generate even greater profit.
Use the potential of digital channels
Integration of all channels, skilful data management and increasing employee competences require a good and detailed digital strategy. If you are thinking about switching to the omnichannel model, please contact us. As an experienced partner and creator of the Digital Product Center – a proprietary tool supporting, among others, the implementation of the omnichannel strategy – we will guide you through the implementation process from A to Z, guaranteeing functionality and starting to use the new solutions as quickly as possible.