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Using Data to Elevate Employee and Customer Experience in Financial Services

Appian Contributor
November 6, 2018

In today's digital economy, financial institutions must constantly innovate to find faster, more efficient and convenient ways to enable people and businesses to transact, offer and receive credit, and manage investments. The future growth and development of financial institutions depends on their ability to deliver these services in alignment with the way people live and work today. Making data-driven decisions to solve for these challenges is critical to a bank's success and its ability to effectively enable the digital economy.

With a focus on data and orchestration of processes, financial institutions can deliver the customer and employee experiences necessary to fuel their continued growth. While there is much talk about the importance of customer experience, it is equally important to focus on internal stakeholders, as engaged employees deliver stronger customer experiences. Data-driven customer experience delivers just as many benefits to financial institutions as it does to customers.

Reducing complexity through seamless orchestration of processes and providing access to actionable data empowers and engages employees. With a unified technology platform, financial institutions can easily link back-end processes with front-end services or interfaces, providing employees with the right data at the right time. This simplicity gives greater ability to target and optimize for specific customers, achieve consistency across channels, and enhances the ability to predict customer requirements. Never mind the benefit of retaining agents, as employee attrition can erode customer satisfaction while increasing operating costs in training, direct recruiting costs, and lost productivity during ramp up. According to research, organizations that offer a great employee experience outperformed the S&P by 122%.

Here are three areas to examine to enhance customer and employee experience:


Providing access to the tools necessary to enable enhanced customer and employee experience requires cross-departmental cooperation, which can represent a cultural transformation within a financial institution. If departmental silos constrict access to data and capabilities, financial institutions will not be able to achieve seamless omnichannel service. Across the organization, there must be a dedication to breaking down the silos that traditionally exist between business and IT, and a commitment to adopting a culture of innovation and thinking from the "outside-in" about the customer journey.

A clear vision based on research, patience and careful collaboration will promote innovation and new products designed to serve customers. Teams will be free to explore offerings in newer technologies like open APIs and Open Banking to increase financial transparency and widen the scope of applications and services that a financial institution can bring to its customers. For example, a culture of collaboration will allow teams to thoughtfully incorporate artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI / ML) for fraud detection, risk management, trading, lending, investment advice and other services while carefully considering philosophical questions concerning whether a machine could ever simulate human intelligence and what the ethics of doing that would be.

Technical Debt

Technical debt reflects the cost of additional rework caused by choosing an easy solution now over the right solution. It also reflects the lost opportunity cost a financial institution incurs either by not developing an application it needs to take advantage of a market opportunity, or by creating an application that does not meet business requirements. The negative impact of technical debt is higher operating expenses, development delays, and reduced performance. To combat this, financial institutions need to look for new ways to accelerate application development using enterprise low-code development platforms that accelerate the build process with robust but easy-to-use drag-and-drop visual design tools. Employees will be able to spend less time maintaining legacy systems, and more time on creating innovative new tools to improve the customer experience.

Intelligent Automation

Intelligent automation combines the speed and power of business process management, machine learning, and robotic process automation with low-code development, and can improve back-office functions that tend to be high volume and rules-based. These functions require a lot of human support, and since they are not typically revenue-generation areas, with little direct interaction with customers, they are a prime candidate for intelligent automation.

There are also significant efficiencies to be gained in front-office processes around client on-boarding, transaction monitoring, fraud prevention, and the contact center. Natural language processing (NLP) and sentiment analysis can add tremendous value to a financial institution's contact center. The immediacy of the data available is much more actionable than what you could obtain from post-call surveys. The technology can help determine the future action of customers, and can be matched with other data like purchase or churn data for continuous feedback into the overall health of the business. Successful financial institutions are realizing significant business benefits from a low-code platform strategy that includes intelligent automation things like improved efficiency, fewer errors, improved regulatory compliance, and increased customer satisfaction.


Ready to start working on these areas for increased customer and employee satisfaction? Visit our Appian financial services resource center to learn more about our low-code digital platform.

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