Optimising FSI Customer Experiences, Part 4: Cross-Channel Optimisation

by Michael Plimsoll

Posted on 11-30-2017

Cus­tomer data and con­tent are both cru­cial, as is machine learn­ing to deliv­er that con­tent at scale, at the right time and place. But how do you do that across mul­ti­ple chan­nels, in such a way that each chan­nel sup­ports the oth­ers through­out the entire cus­tomer journey?

When top exec­u­tives in the finan­cial ser­vices indus­try (FSI) were asked which dig­i­tal areas were their top pri­or­i­ties for 2017, cus­tomer jour­ney man­age­ment came in sec­ond, at 31 per­cent; while tar­get­ing and per­son­al­i­sa­tion came in first, at 33 per­cent. And among execs who are pri­ori­tis­ing cus­tomer jour­ney man­age­ment, a full 78 per­cent of FSI say their num­ber-one empha­sis is on opti­mis­ing con­sis­tent cus­tomer expe­ri­ences across mul­ti­ple chan­nels and touchpoints.

This cross-chan­nel con­sis­ten­cy is par­tic­u­lar­ly cru­cial in FSI, where cus­tomers often move freely from chan­nels such as web, mobile, and tablets, to chan­nels like email, SMS, and push noti­fi­ca­tions. Pro­vid­ing a tru­ly immer­sive, per­son­alised FSI cus­tomer expe­ri­ence requires that we orches­trate our mes­sages across all these chan­nels, when­ev­er and wher­ev­er it’s appropriate.

And this isn’t just about dig­i­tal bank­ing, either. Cross-chan­nel opti­mi­sa­tion is also about ensur­ing con­sis­tent mes­sag­ing in tra­di­tion­al chan­nels like call cen­tres and brick-and-mor­tar bank branches.

Coor­di­na­tion of these tech­nolo­gies and con­tent man­age­ment sys­tems pos­es sig­nif­i­cant chal­lenges. But once you’ve fol­lowed the steps laid out in the pre­vi­ous blogs of this series, you’ve already got your data cen­tralised (or have at least have found workarounds for your lega­cy sys­tems) and have cre­at­ed work­flows that are giv­ing you the right con­tent veloc­i­ty. With those pieces in place, cross-chan­nel opti­mi­sa­tion is a fair­ly straight­for­ward issue to address. Here’s how.

Coordinating delivery

The first step in achiev­ing this con­sis­ten­cy is deliv­ery. You want to be able to deliv­er excep­tion­al, flu­id expe­ri­ences on any chan­nel, device, or appli­ca­tion your cus­tomer is using. Part of this flu­id­i­ty comes back to the con­tent veloc­i­ty we dis­cussed in part 2 of this series—but it’s not only about cre­at­ing per­son­al­ly rel­e­vant, engag­ing expe­ri­ences. It’s equal­ly about deliv­er­ing those expe­ri­ences con­sis­tent­ly, across all chan­nels, when and where they should be seen.

A coor­di­nat­ed deliv­ery sys­tem is all about pro­vid­ing immer­sive expe­ri­ences to your cus­tomers. That means deliv­er­ing con­tent in each customer’s native lan­guage, mak­ing it as inter­ac­tive as pos­si­ble, and inte­grat­ing it seam­less­ly with the over­all user expe­ri­ence on what­ev­er device or touch­point that cus­tomer is engag­ing with at the moment. And with the right dig­i­tal asset man­age­ment and deliv­ery capa­bil­i­ty, you can han­dle all these work­flows on the same platform.

Personalising experiences

The next step is to per­son­alise each expe­ri­ence, not only around the device, but around the indi­vid­ual cus­tomer who’s inter­act­ing with it. That means auto­mat­i­cal­ly chang­ing the offer based on what you know about that cus­tomer, on a one-to-one basis. This is where the data from part 1 of this series comes into play: it’s time to aggre­gate cus­tomer traits from all your touch­points, and use those 360-degree pro­files to dri­ve stronger engage­ment and conversion.

You can achieve this stronger engage­ment by orches­trat­ing your cam­paigns across mul­ti­ple channels—earned, paid, and owned—and retar­get­ing cam­paigns on the fly, in order to keep users engaged on every touch­point. It’s also about con­nect­ing online and in-branch expe­ri­ences, so that instead of just com­mu­ni­cat­ing with the cus­tomer on one device, you can (for exam­ple) send them a per­son­alised push noti­fi­ca­tion as soon as they step into a branch, while simul­ta­ne­ous­ly greet­ing them with a relat­ed offer on the in-branch touchscreen.

Measurable returns

The abil­i­ty to coor­di­nate per­son­alised expe­ri­ences across chan­nels pro­vides sev­er­al forms of mea­sur­able busi­ness val­ue. Putting the right con­tent in front of the right cus­tomer, from a cen­tral uni­fied plat­form, gives you a much more engaged cus­tomer, as well as the abil­i­ty to inno­vate and dif­fer­en­ti­ate your­self from your com­peti­tors. Your uni­fied view of the cus­tomer, mean­while, gives you the pow­er to deliv­er con­tent-rich cam­paigns, increas­ing con­ver­sion and reten­tion rates and boost­ing cus­tomer loy­al­ty, all while improv­ing your pro­duc­tiv­i­ty by low­er­ing oper­at­ing costs and decreas­ing time to pub­lish content.

AXA Bank recent­ly adopt­ed a coor­di­nat­ed cross-chan­nel plat­form to man­age all its mar­ket­ing emails and mobile SMS com­mu­ni­ca­tions. The bank devel­oped a con­sis­tent and cohe­sive omnichan­nel com­mu­ni­ca­tion work­flow, lever­ag­ing trans­ac­tion­al mes­sag­ing to both up-sell and cross-sell. It moved away from a “spray and pray” approach to deliv­er much more tar­get­ed inter­ac­tions with cus­tomers. As a result, AXA saw email open rates increase from 60 to 80 per­cent, and con­ver­sion rates go up by 5 to 10 per­cent, with­in 14 months.

By using cus­tomer data and machine learn­ing to coor­di­nate per­son­alised mes­sag­ing across all chan­nels, you’ll give your cus­tomers a ful­ly immer­sive, con­tex­tu­al­ly rel­e­vant expe­ri­ence. Once you’ve got the work­flows in place to deliv­er immer­sive expe­ri­ences, it’s time to con­tex­tu­al­ly opti­mise those expe­ri­ences with the pow­er of machine learn­ing, as described in part 3 of this series. Each inter­ac­tion on every chan­nel should bring in data, which you can feed into your machine learn­ing algo­rithms to dri­ve real-time insights that’ll help opti­mise your user expe­ri­ence even further.

That’s what we’ll be talk­ing about in the fifth and final blog of this series: mea­sur­ing and report­ing con­ver­sion in a tru­ly con­nect­ed way, and using those insights to con­tin­u­al­ly opti­mise your tac­tics. See you there!

Topics: Digital Transformation, financial services, FSI, UK, UK Exclusive, Digital EMEA