“Omnichannel” approach offers customer retention and new business opportunities.

PROFIT INSIGHT® has a new white paper that details the benefits of “Omnichannel,” the banking industry’s latest watchword for leveraging available technologies to create a more rewarding banking experience for customers. The white paper was authored by PROFIT INSIGHT Director Susan Canfield, a banking business intelligence expert specializing in process improvement, change management and electronic & online banking channels.

Banks historically create new channels to introduce evolving technology and increase services to their customers, but can take different routes in delivering those services. The white paper, entitled “Improve Customer Experience by Optimizing Channels,” describes the silo channels used when a customer interacts with the bank through an ATM, an online service, branch operation or mobile device, as well as the silos used for interactions like deposits, loan processing, withdrawals and payments. “Offering a customer this multiple channel approach may do more harm than good,” the white paper explains. Customers may be required to verify their identity at multiple points, or their preferred channel may lack the data needed to make decisions, frustrating customers and driving them to seek better services elsewhere.

Many banks are using cross-channel approaches, in which customers begin their interaction through a single channel and then are routed to other channels when the initial request cannot be fulfilled or when the customer wants to accomplish additional tasks during the visit. “It’s an improvement over channel silos,” Canfield says, “but it still requires the customer to jump through hoops and interact with the bank the way the bank wants, not the way the customer prefers. It’s simply not the modern approach that banks need to build business for today’s more discerning and tech-savvy consumers.”

The omnichannel approach is the answer, as all business channels and services are optimized to create the best possible experience for customers, PROFIT INSIGHT has found. “Big box retailers have developed the concept extremely well,” Canfield says. “Banks can too, and not just the big box brands. Leveraging existing technologies, banks of most sizes can bring virtually all of their services and business channels to every device and location, increasing customer retention, creating new business opportunities and optimizing their channels,” she says.

As detailed in the white paper, banks must examine five aspects when considering creating an omnichannel experience for their customers: usability, functionality, consistency, availability and channel analytics. Today’s successful banks can no longer satisfy the ever-growing customer expectation of seamless information with the silo strategies of yesterday, and cross channel experiences must be both efficient and transparent for customers. “Financial institutions who take the initiative to improve and enhance the customer experience will have the edge over the competition,” Canfield says. “By implementing omnichannel, they will improve vital relationships with existing customers and attract new ones.”

“Improve Customer Experience by Optimizing Channels” is available at no charge at the company’s website, www.PROFITINSIGHT.com.