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It’s time to take that extra step

Institutions and Businesses have faced a trial like no other in the last year and, only on rare or limited events, have they been given some kind of break. As a result, the new route for the easing of lockdown limitations will be most longed-for. Though, this must not silence businesses into a false sense of safety. They must still serve their clienteles in difficult conditions for some time more. One of the unusual area of prospect that has risen for businesses during the pandemic is in the consumer experience. Across the private sector, SAS research established that the number of digital users has grown by 10 per cent since the pandemic originated, with 58 per cent of those aiming to continue the usage moving onward. For companies, this signifies a whole new set of customers of digital transfigures with whom they can participate and offer a more personalized customer experience. The possible benefits of this are clear. The study found that almost three-fifths (59 per cent) of customers would pay more to buy and/or use products and services from businesses that had delivered them with a good customer experience during COVID-19. A lot of businesses have been benefiting from this opportunity already. In fact, across the private sector, a sector of customers noted an enhancement in customer experience over lockdown. But there is a concern for the financial services industry, 12 per cent of clienteles appealed that their customer experience had reduced during the same period. This is more than the regular for the private sector as a whole. So, the question must be: Why has an industry apparently well-prepared to weather the economic crisis, wriggled to serve its customers during the pandemic?

The answer is, am imperfect digital experience. As established by the absolute number of customers using their digital services and apps, the finance industry hasn’t thrashed to get its customers to go digital. However, it has clearly fought to support all of its clienteles during the pandemic. While more clients noted an enhancement in the customer experience over lockdown (27 per cent), 12 per cent still felt that it had got worse. Branch terminations and lengthy call waiting times to speak to an advisor by telephone won’t have aided. In this age of digital transformation, clients were incapable to access instant support or guidance through digital channels and were forced to pick up the phone or fill out official procedure to complete an action. Many businesses relating for the bounce back loans found themselves in error-riddled, drawn-out procedures, frequently waiting weeks with no status update. Whilst clients wanting advice on payment holidays found their bank’s digital communication networks offered no support at all. The problem for banks and customers alike is that much of the middle and back-office policymaking process is manual, such as defining a customer’s suitability. It will thus be the key for banks to upkeep their clients online for the long-term, rather than just the next few months. Banks must hence adopt the ‘last mile’ of digital transformation, automating monotonous processes and using unconventional analytics to support the entire client journey and only if they are to provide the online proficiencies will license the repeated business and a customer’s fidelity.

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