Virtual but personal: The key to a digital experience
The trend in customer expectations is clear — digital is table stakes. In a recent Aite Group survey, 60% of respondents with a checking account noted that they log in to access information online or through mobile at least once a week. But what lenders might not want to overlook is the value of translating interpersonal touch to this newer realm.
In this Future Branches webinar, Barry May, head of customer success at Blend, Jennifer Kouchis, SVP of real estate lending at Vystar Credit Union, and Tiffani Montez of Aite cover the need for financial institutions to break down the barriers between digital and physical channels. As lenders look to refine digital offerings, a guiding principle for differentiation lies in the ability to tap into the human element that can go missing. Read on for more on the discussion, or watch the webinar.
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A digital experience isn’t enough
In the webinar, Montez dives into the results of an Aite survey in which 61% of consumers who didn’t finish a digital application indicated that they had questions, so they went to a branch or called in for help.
Kouchis discussed how an increasing number of consumers, including VyStar members, prefer the convenience of conducting their financial business online or on mobile. But based on the Aite survey results, applications aren’t meeting customer needs.
This represents an opportunity space for lenders. To succeed digitally, financial institutions can break down the barriers between digital and physical channels. How will you replace the personal interactions that traditionally take place in branches or through call centers? Keeping members at the forefront of every decision is a good start.
Three prongs for a unified digital experience
So what does it take to provide a successful digital experience? According to Montez, a holistic branch translation strategy combines three interlinked approaches:
- Digital transformation: Unify the application experience for consistency across channels. Implement a modern user interface that incorporates opportunities for human help by utilizing a click-to-call button or chat function. Automate processing and underwriting activities to create efficiencies and close loans faster.
- Data-driven organization: Integrate systems and data to streamline the experience. A well-developed data infrastructure allows you to proactively market your brand, provide real-time access to borrowers’ creditworthiness, and react quickly to regulatory changes.
- Omnichannel: Create a consistent look and feel and implement consistent processes and procedures across channels.
A comprehensive strategy allows for in-depth personalization. Lenders can create a complete view of the relationship with each individual customer and provide the individualized treatment they deserve. Data-driven organizations can transform the consumer education process by guiding customers toward the right products and services for them based on their individual needs. Integrations make it possible for lenders to pre-fill applications with internal data. In total, these touches foster an experience that feels unique to each and every customer.
Evolving with expectations
Failing to translate the interpersonal into your digital channels is ultimately doing your customers a disservice. Kouchis mentions the importance of lenders evolving with customer expectations. Creating an integrated, digital-first origination experience can bring your customers the best experience the lending industry has to offer.
Lenders who understand the value of bringing personal interaction to a digital-first experience can employ an integrated approach composed of digital transformation, consolidated data infrastructure, and multiple channels offering consistency and simplicity for customers.