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How will your bank wow customers amid digital transformation?

Keep it personal

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Published on: April 2024

Written by: Rene Groeneveld, Lawrence Nixon

The financial reports for banking groups around the world today all showcase one recurring investment theme – digital transformation. Many organizations, still hampered by legacy systems, are focusing their transformation on digitizing their ways of working. For others, digital transformation is an opportunity to create more meaningful customer experiences by leveraging the power of data and analytics to reduce cost, adopt intuitive systems, and provide solutions faster.  

As customers in both personal and corporate banking take advantage of digital platforms and tools, the role of “in person” sales is diminishing. This is especially true for routine or transactional sales. However, as the ability (and willingness) of customers to self-service using digital channels increases, so does the role of the banker as a trusted advisor.  

When today’s customers engage with your sales representative, they are coming to the table more informed than ever before. They have already used digital channels to do their primary research. In these circumstances, the customer is seeking expert advice and the bar is high to get it right, fast. These human-to-human interactions are built on trust – your customers trust your sales representative to solve their specific problem in the moment, quickly, and without friction. The “in-person” seller must be prepared to add value beyond what is available via digital channels. 

What does this differentiated “value” look like? 

Customers today, more than ever, value brands who show a deep understanding of their personal (or business’s) circumstances and challenges. Sellers who understand this principle are best positioned to not only satisfy the customer’s needs but also accelerate the results they hope to achieve, delivering additional value either in speed of execution, or the quantum of the outcome.  

How to make selling personal 

1. Speed and seamlessness

Customers want to quickly and seamlessly transition from online and self-service channels to a “human” interaction. When it comes to larger commitments or more complex products, communication channels need to provide fast access to human sellers who are available and ready to respond. The transitions are key ways to differentiate your brand against the competition and greatly improve satisfaction and customer loyalty.  

2. Quality digital tools

Systems integration is requisite for providing a seamless experience for both sellers and customers. Sellers should be able to view a real time, 360° view of the client interaction across all channels and understand how these channels work to ensure seamless customer engagement experiences. 

3. Know thy customer

Sellers need to be aware that customers are engaging with them notably later in their buying decision process. This means that your sellers need to closely track with where your buyer is in the process – communicating with technology and tracking user experience is key here. The sales and discovery process does not begin from scratch when you join a call or offer a handshake – your customers will lose patience and feel as though their time is being wasted. Begin with questions to first validate what the customer already knows before engaging in discovery. Pausing for understanding will help sellers to solicit additional information and clarify circumstances and needs without alienating or frustrating the customer.  

4. Keep it personal

Describe your bank’s offering and value proposition in a way that feels personal to the customer sitting in front of you. Generic overviews of features and benefits won’t provide insights-based recommendations to solve the customer’s challenges or leave them feeling supported, informed, and inspired.  

5. Keep the support alive

Support the customer as they navigate the final steps in their decision-making. Extra touch points up front will help today’s banks build a loyal customer base in the future.  

The new age of in-person selling in banking is a departure from the traditional, but is also rich with opportunity. Leading organizations in the banking sector recognize that personalized, in-person service is trending. Successful bankers are adapting by meeting customers on their own terms, using agility to respond to customer needs and clearly connecting banking solutions to customers’ financial goals. 

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