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5 Changes to Make to Improve Customer Experience in Banking

Victoria Ebel, Appian
April 19, 2024

The banking and financial services industry is evolving rapidly with the advent of new technologies and digital platforms. To stay competitive, banks need to focus on providing superior customer experience to their institutional and retail customers. This should start with the initial Know Your Customer (KYC) process and continue through the entire customer lifecycle. In this article, discover how you can apply modern technology to your processes to deliver a heightened customer experience in banking and finance.

The importance of improving the banking customer experience.

Although the importance of a good customer experience speaks for itself, the numbers back it up. Data shows that investing in good customer experiences leads to growth in areas like customer retention and expansion.

According to McKinsey, “banks that are frontrunners in customer satisfaction lead in financial metrics such as total shareholder return (TSR), increased growth, and decreased costs.” They also found that “customers who are satisfied with their banking experiences say they will purchase more of that bank’s products.” 

Satisfaction also leads to loyal customers. McKinsey adds, “. . . satisfied customers are six times more likely to say they'll remain with a bank than dissatisfied customers are.”

5 focus areas for improving customer experience in banking.

While any strategy to improve your bank’s customer experience should begin with data specific to your customers, here are five related categories to focus your efforts on:

1. Personalize the customer’s experience.

Personalization is a critical component of the banking customer experience. Customers expect banks to understand their needs and provide tailored solutions.

With the help of data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI), banks can collect and analyze customer feedback and data to gain insights into their behavior and preferences. By analyzing this data, financial services organizations can identify patterns and trends. They can then use this data to offer customized experiences and tailored financial advice, identify customer needs, and predict future financial behavior, leading to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty. (For more information, explore 4 Impactful Examples of Using AI in Finance.)

Accenture and Appian presented on keeping it human while transforming the financial services industry with automation. Watch the webinar.

2. Improve speed and efficiency.

In today's fast-paced world, customers value speed and efficiency. They don't want to wait in long queues or go through multiple steps to complete a transaction. Financial services organizations need to ensure that they can provide fast and efficient services to meet customer expectations.

One automation technology for streamlining banking operations is robotic process automation (RPA). RPA enables banks to automate repetitive tasks, reduce human error, and improve process efficiency. By doing so, they can allocate their resources more effectively, allowing customer service representatives to focus on complex tasks and personalized interactions with customers. As a result, customers can enjoy faster response times and superior customer service.

But RPA alone is not enough to automate complex banking processes from end to end, which is why leading banks turn to process automation.

Addiko Bank used process automation to reduce loan approval times from seven to three business days.

Located in Vienna, Addiko Bank caters to over a million customers across Austria, Germany, and southeastern Europe. In an effort to enhance the customer experience, Addiko embarked on a journey to digitize its internal processes. The bank initially focused on streamlining its loan and trade finance request procedures. These processes were highly manual: employees had to locate, enter, and re-enter data. Traditionally, when a customer applied for a simple loan, the approval duration—or the "time to yes"—spanned at least seven business days.

To address this problem, Addiko turned to a process automation platform to accelerate its loan and trade finance operations. They used the platform to integrate core banking and underwriting systems into a cohesive data framework. Their new application, built on the platform, facilitated the automation of contract creation and documentation. Thanks to this process automation platform, Addiko significantly reduced the loan approval timeframe to just three days, effectively halving the average wait time for its customers.

3. Enhanced security.

Security is a critical aspect of the customer journey in banking. Customers need to be assured that their personal and financial information is safe and secure. Therefore, financial institutions must ensure that they are providing robust security measures to protect customer data.

Process automation can help banks in this regard by automating security processes, such as authentication and verification. Financial services organizations can use automation tools to implement multi-factor authentication and other security measures to protect customer data. Additionally, solutions with advanced analytics capabilities can help banks identify potential fraud and security risks, leading to enhanced customer trust and confidence in their banking services.

4. Offer omnichannel experiences and digital interactions.

Today's customers expect a seamless experience across multiple channels—whether online, mobile, or in-branch. Financial services organizations must invest in developing an integrated omnichannel strategy that offers a cohesive customer experience across all touchpoints.

By creating a unified platform that consolidates customer data, banks can ensure that their customers receive personalized and contextualized interactions, regardless of the channel they choose. Automating processes such as mobile banking, account opening, loan application, and customer service provides a consistent and seamless customer journey across all channels. For example, see how UnionBank of the Philippines used a process automation platform to create a fully digital branch, which made customer interactions 5x faster.

Want to learn more about how top banks use process automation? Read also: KYC Verification Process and Requirements: 3 Tips to Improve.

5. Provide innovative solutions.

Innovation is a key driver of gaining customer loyalty in the banking industry. Customers expect banks to provide innovative solutions that meet their evolving needs. Financial institutions need to ensure that they stay ahead of the curve by continuously innovating and introducing advanced technologies and services that promote excellent experiences.

Digital transformation can help by enabling banks to experiment and innovate quickly. By automating processes such as financial product development, banks can reduce the time it takes to bring new financial products and services to market. This lets them stay ahead of the curve and provide innovative solutions that enhance digital customer experience.

Transform operations to provide a better customer experience.

By implementing process automation and advanced analytics and focusing on the omnichannel experience, banks can deliver a superior customer experience that meets and exceeds expectations. In doing so, they will foster long-lasting customer relationships and drive business growth.

Digitization continues to pose a challenge to financial organizations. Get strategies for overcoming these obstacles in the whitepaper: 4 Ways Financial Institutions Can Digitally Transform for the Future.