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Independent Research Identifies Financial Services Revenue Growth Depends on Customer Experience Transformation

GMC Software Technology (GMC), a leader in Customer Communications Management (CCM), released a study it commissioned from Forrester Consulting to evaluate how financial services are improving their customer touchpoints, including documents rendered both physically and digitally. The study revealed that many financial services firms are striving to achieve a better customer experience by improving technology systems, providing seamless customer onboarding and ensuring accuracy of customer data.

The study also reveals expectations that financial organizations believe the document communication experience plays a crucial role as part of the overall customer experience strategy, though often overlooked by sexier digital products. Many customer experience initiatives do not apply best practices to the entire experience; rather they focus in on digital channels like mobile websites, tablets and applications often pushed by marketing initiatives. High priority (57%) is put on improving mobile websites and on improving mobile apps (53%) with hopes of improving the customer experience through these channels (61%).

As a result, any customer experience (CX) that’s document based remains sidelined by legacy systems and “almost half of respondents said that their technology platforms don’t let them integrate documents into multichannel communications.” Sixty-one percent of the survey respondents said they faced hurdles when it comes to creating a consistent look and feel for documents while ensuring they adhere to necessary regulatory requirements. The same percentage of respondents reported that it is tough just to incorporate and enforce compliant language across groups even before visual consistency becomes part of the equation.

Hence, ongoing customer communications like bills and account statements do not get the same customer experience attention they deserve. However, 45 percent of respondents indicated they are currently addressing or planning to improve technology systems as part of their efforts to better serve customers. For 42 percent of respondents, that includes adding software and connectivity to existing products and services.

Positive news is that the majority of companies participating (77%) have a clear vision of the type of experience they intend to deliver to customers. Such a vision is one of the pillars of a well-defined CX strategy and the foundation for the entire CX program. “To engage employees, firms are sharing their vision of the ideal CX with employees...Three-quarters say that customer-facing staff has a clear sense of this vision to use as their north star.” Additionally, 79 percent said that they are starting to weave CX considerations into the firm’s decision-making processes.

With customer experience quickly becoming the foundation for customer acquisition, customer retention and competitive differentiation, the Forrester study outlines five important ways that true customer-centric financial services organizations can win customers, as well as effectively serve and retain them.

Steve Francis, president and general manager, GMC Software Technology, North America, says, “For insurers focused on enhancing the customer experience, effective customer communications are vital. With customer experience levels being set by top consumer brands, insurers are under increasing pressure to improve their own customer strategies during every touchpoint on every channel. This study clearly indicates that success in the CX journey will require the ability to effortlessly optimize document production and delivery across any channel including mobile, email, SMS, social media, web, print and many other digital and paper channels.”