Omni-channel banking: optimizing the customer experience

In a recent survey of over 100 C level executives at leading banks worldwide, 85% responded that creating a seamless omni-channel experience was either extremely or very important. Yet, when asked about their bank’s status regarding the creation of such an experience, well over half were still in the pre-deployment experimental stage. Why the hold up?

Omni-channel users expect three things:

1. The first is that they can access their bank on all common channels, online, tablet, mobile, call center and in-person.

2. The second is that the multiple channel touchpoints are linked and that what is done at one touchpoint is reflected on all others. For example, if users start their mortgage application on one channel, they expect to be able to complete the process picking up where they left off on another.

3. The third is that the touchpoints are optimized for how they are typically used. For example, their smartphone apps should make it easy for users to quickly view their account balances or payments while their online banking program should facilitate more focused activities like applying for a mortgage or researching and buying stocks.

The challenge for most traditional banks is that creating such an omni-channel experience requires that they restructure their operations taking their design clues from the optimization of the client experience rather than from their own internal operations. This means among other things breaking down business silos and building centralized data warehouses with universal access. Many banks have naturally resisted these daunting fundamental changes but it is clear from recent surveys that most are coming around to realizing that putting the customer experience first may be a competitive necessity.