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Customer Obsession: The Only Sustainable Advantage

Appian Contributor
January 29, 2019

Financial services customers have an insatiable appetite for greater customization and personalization of their banking experiences. Satisfying these growing expectations is increasingly difficult for financial institutions who are contending with the dizzying pace of FinTech startups entering the market, the onslaught of new and disruptive technologies, and a constantly shifting regulatory environment. The only sustainable competitive advantage for financial institutions is to become customer-obsessed.

Customer Expectations

Customer expectations are higher than ever, and constantly evolving. Customer experience has become a key driver for acquiring and retaining customers in financial services. Yet, poor customer service is costing more than $75 billion a year in lost revenue. Meeting or even exceeding these shifting expectations requires financial institutions to respond with increasingly creative and innovative products and services. The common success criteria for financial institutions, across every customer segment, is to become customer-obsessed. They must fixate on customers' needs, pain points, and feedback, and take quick action to respond.

Customer Obsession

In this climate of exponentially growing customer demands, only nimble, customer-obsessed financial institutions will succeed. This requires every facet of the business from strategy, to operations, to budget to be hyper-focused on enhancing the knowledge of, and engagement with, its customers. Every decision must start with the customer and work backwards, working vigorously to earn and keep customer trust. The path forward is with digitally-inspired customer experiences that blend the human touch with intelligent automation, creating simple and frictionless digital experiences that boost engagement, encourage loyalty and attract the next generation of customers.

Customer Relationships

Financial institutions can use data to understand their customers, but to truly build relationships, they need actionable insights otherwise, they risk producing a lot of "interesting" data with no path toward creating personalized customer experiences. The key is to take the customer obsession a step further and turn it into an obsession with their customers' financial well-being. Customers not only want their financial institution to know them, they also want them to respect their priorities. By harnessing insights and consistently turning data into effective action to help people make healthier financial decisions, financial institutions will be rewarded with customer loyalty. Improving financial fluency benefits the financial institution, as well as the customer. What is the best account to save for college? When is the right time to refinance? Which estate planning strategies will best protect legacy? When customers trust their financial institution to answer questions like these, financial institutions can engage more meaningfully with their customers and provide continual guidance that anticipates their needs and wants, resulting in incremental purchases.

Connect Strategy to Execution

Financial institutions will not be able to attain the meaningful relationships necessary if they are burdened with complicated processes, disjointed accounts, and legacy technology. With a focus on data and orchestration of processes, financial institutions can deliver the experiences necessary to fuel deep and lasting relationships that go beyond customer loyalty to customer advocacy.

Only Appian unifies all systems, channels, and customer data with the combined power of business process management, next-generation artificial intelligence, and robotic process automation in a trusted cloud platform. The applications created on Appian's low-code platform help financial institutions rapidly develop powerful and unique applications to drive digital transformation and enable competitive differentiation. Visit our Appian financial services resource center to learn more about our low-code digital platform.

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