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Revolutionising Customer Engagement: Innovations in BFSI & FinTech

By Minesh Koradia, Director of Banking & Financial Services at WebEngage

The BFSI Sector in India has periodically undergone radical transformations, where we have evolved from brick-and-mortar set-ups, simple bank accounts, and routine interactions with bank tellers, to net banking, to mobile banking apps – all bringing a unique set of priorities with them. This is just scratching the surface of the tapestry of transformations that have taken place – all brought about by Technology.

Today, customer experience is where the real battle is, in the fiercely competitive BFSI and FinTech domains. Think about it: how many times have you switched banks because of a frustrating interaction? A staggering 80% of customers are willing to switch providers after just one bad experience, according to a 2022 study by Accenture. BFSI and FinTech companies understand this reality. They recognise that fostering strong connections with their customer base is the cornerstone of success, driving loyalty and propelling growth in an ever-crowded and complex marketplace.

For years, BFSI and FinTech have pioneered innovative customer engagement strategies. But the future holds even more groundbreaking advancements that will fundamentally transform how companies interact with their customers.

Data-Driven Personalisation: Tailoring experiences for every customer

At the heart of these changes lies the power of data-driven insights. Imagine a bank demonstrating a keen understanding of your financial goals and proactively suggesting investment options aligned with your aspirations. This is the power of personalisation. By effectively leveraging customer data to derive meaningful insights, companies can unlock a greater level of individualised customer engagement with their customers, offering more personalised products tailored to their unique requirements.

For instance, a bank like HDFC can leverage customer data to personalise the banking experience. By analyzing your spending habits through your mobile app transactions, HDFC Bank can categorise your spending and identify areas where you might save. They might then offer personalised tips on budgeting or suggest restaurants with lower average costs. Additionally, if you consistently spend a high amount on dining out, HDFC Bank could recommend personalised cards to collect loyalty points tailored to help you achieve your savings goals. This targeted approach fosters trust and positions the bank as a valuable partner, going beyond just offering products but helping you make informed financial decisions.

Conversational AI & Chatbots: 24/7 Support and Effortless Interactions

Another key innovation in this domain is the rise of conversational AI and chatbots. These intelligent virtual assistants can interact with customers naturally, providing immediate support and effortlessly guiding them through complex processes. Think about the frustration of navigating a long phone menu – chatbots eliminate that pain point. They can answer basic banking inquiries, troubleshoot issues, and even schedule appointments, all while offering 24/7 availability. As these bots interact with more customers, they can automatically train themselves to become more responsive and improve their query resolution capabilities. Furthermore, ensuring that the bot-agent transfer is seamless (by recording conversation history) can far elevate the customer experience, directly impacting customer satisfaction and loyalty.

VR/AR: Redefining customer education and engagement

The future of customer engagement goes beyond the screen. A virtual tour of a bank branch from the comfort of your couch, or visualising how a new investment strategy performs using augmented reality are some examples of this. The fusion of customer engagement platforms with cutting-edge technologies like Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) is making this a reality. These immersive experiences can demystify complex financial concepts, enhance transparency, and empower customers to make informed decisions.

Mobile-First: Convenience at your fingertips

The ubiquitous nature of smartphones has revolutionised how BFSI and FinTech companies connect with customers. Mobile banking apps have become an essential tool, allowing for on-the-go banking and financial management. With over 70% of smartphone users globally now conducting mobile banking at least once a month, according to a 2023 report by Statista, capitalising on this trend is crucial. However, a truly customer-centric approach goes beyond just mobile. By embracing an omnichannel communication strategy, businesses can seamlessly connect with customers across their preferred platforms.

This means providing a cohesive experience whether a customer interacts through the mobile app, visits a physical branch, uses online banking on a desktop, or engages through social media channels.  Personalised information and timely updates can be delivered directly to customers through push notifications, SMS alerts, secure messaging within the app, or even social media direct messages.  This ensures a seamless user experience across various mobile and non-mobile transactions.  Ultimately, an omnichannel approach fosters convenience, accessibility, and a deeper connection with customers, not only increasing satisfaction but also creating opportunities for real-time engagement.

The human touch: The perfect blend of artificial and human intelligence 

Technology is playing a profound role in revolutionising customer engagement, but it is also important to remember that it serves as an enabler to augment human connection and not to be leveraged in lieu of it. The true key to success lies in understanding and anticipating customer needs. Customers crave a sense of trust and personalised attention. By fostering a customer-centric culture, strengthened by a data-driven and personalised approach, BFSI and FinTech companies can leverage these cutting-edge technologies to create exceptional customer experiences that drive loyalty and growth.

As customer expectations continue to evolve, businesses that embrace innovation while keeping the customer at the core of their strategies will thrive. By revolutionising customer engagement, BFSI and FinTech companies have the opportunity to redefine customer relationships, shaping a future where every interaction is personalised, meaningful, and truly remarkable.

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