Keeping the Customer at the Center of the Transformation Journey in 2018

As the new industry marketing manager for financial services at Appian, I am energized by the team I have joined and by Appian’s differentiated offering for the financial services enterprise software market I have served for many years. While Appian’s combination of speed and power alone is unique, I am taken by the maniacal focus on customer success, which is precisely what financial services institutions need to thrive in today’s highly competitive market.

Superior customer experience drives superior growth

Forrester’s Customer Experience Index shows that superior customer experience drives superior revenue growth. And Gallup’s customer engagement report found that is particularly true in retail banking, where fully engaged customers:

  • Bring 37% more annual revenue to their primary bank than do customers who are actively disengaged
  • Have more products with their bank, from checking and savings accounts to mortgages and auto loans
  • Have higher deposit balances in their accounts than less engaged customers with the same products

To reap these benefits and create engaged customers, financial institutions need to keep the customer at the center of the strategy, the focal point of every business decision. This should be approached as a relationship-building activity, based on a foundation of trust, bi-directional dialogue, and a dedication to service. Simple, but not easy. It requires a laser-focus on breakthrough innovation and a willingness to develop new products, services, and channels.

Here are three areas of focus that will help financial institutions create and retain happy customers:

Personalization

Financial institutions can leverage the volumes of data they have to create a more personalized banking experience and more fully engage their customers. Content personalization can help by creating custom cross-channel experiences to engage customers with not only products and services, but industry trends and expertise. By providing insights and relevant information to customers, financial institutions can deepen relationships and become trusted advisors. According to Accenture, 63% of banking customers say they are willing to share data in exchange for receiving personalized product and services advice. Financial institutions can benefit from business process management software that combines structured processes, rules-driven policies, data, and content, to deliver the personalized customer experiences that create engaged customers.

Simplicity

Financial services can be complex. To acquire and retain loyal, engaged customers, financial institutions must focus on providing experiences that are simple and elegant to use. Appian’s simple and powerful low-code platform enables financial institutions to create products that not only address their business needs, but enable them to be delivered simply. With a truly customer-centric approach to decision-making, simplicity becomes a critical feature that all solutions should offer to customers. Complicated processes, disjointed accounts, and legacy technology can result in dissatisfied customers who will seek more streamlined, user-friendly solutions and providers. When financial institutions successfully provide a solution for customers to simplify their financial lives, they are rewarded with loyal customers who transform into loyal advocates.

Mobility

When financial services customers interact with a mobile device, they generally have a particular task in mind — whether it’s checking a balance, making a deposit, or seeking a specific product. For financial services institutions looking to succeed in the mobile environment, they must focus on delivering concise, relevant content as quickly as possible, displaying it in a seamless and appealing format, and providing the desired result with as few clicks and as little scrolling as possible. With Appian Mobile App Development, you build once, and your app works natively and as expected on virtually any device. There is no need to design for iOS and Android separately. With the constant threat of new entrants to the market brought on by nimble new FinTechs, it is no longer good enough to execute a mobile strategy — financial institutions must execute an optimized mobile experience to stay competitive, win customers and retain their loyalty. Providing customers with the types of experiences they want isn’t simply a matter of preventing churn, it’s about investing in customers for life. Optimizing the mobile customer experience and making it easier for customers to interact with their financial institution via mobile is a crucial way to deliver on customer’s expectations for exceptional experiences.

With a strategy centered on the customer, financial institutions are sure to realize material benefits. Listening and responding to customers in real-time goes a long way toward building trust, improving brand reputation and creating loyal customers. In my first two weeks at Appian, I have consistently heard and seen tangible proof of Appian’s commitment to enabling financial institutions to transform while simultaneously creating happy customers! Keeping the customer at the center of the journey is the foundation.

Cheryl Chiodi
Sr. Manager of Industry Marketing for Financial Services

Win the Customer at Digital Speed

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