Beyond Transaction: Unlocking Lifetime Customer Value in Banking

By Matthew David Hopgood, GVP, Global Experience Design Lead, Publicis Sapient

Banking has been the leader in digital experiences for a long time.

According to Publicis Sapient’s global survey of consumer behaviours, this leadership is showing up in customer satisfaction levels. Digital commerce satisfaction across the financial sector in the UK stands at an impressive 68%.

While it may be surprising that banking stands ahead of industries like retail (53%), it is not surprising that it has good digital commerce satisfaction.

Banks have been improving their user experiences (UX) and digital offerings since the dawn of the internet. The App Store launched in 2007 and since then banks have had 17 years to ensure website and mobile use is excellent.

In a competitive sector, there’s no denying banks need to be at the head of the pack to keep customers engaged and attract new customers. The risk of this competition is that banks will fixate on improving the transactional, day-to-day experiences.

Doing so misses how to provide services that invest in long-term customer journeys and make them partners in the brand’s journey. Delivering experiences that continually improve experiences is important, but just as important is asking how these can be used to unlock greater customer lifetime value.

Design digital offerings which speak to brand purpose

Frictionless digital experiences are key to customer satisfaction. But as a leader in this space, banks should think about how they can use these experiences to engage customers beyond the day to day, and help get their buy in for wider brand purpose.

Take Lloyds Bank. Its brand purpose is ‘Helping Britain Prosper’. Unlocking that prosperity requires a platform that provides excellent commercial experiences. Realising it uses these experiences to promote the ideas at the heart of the business purpose.

The Lloyds app contains easy access to information to help customers make good financial decisions, has debt management tools to show how small changes in repayment habits will pay off persistent debts and Your Credit Score provides tips on how to improve credit scores.

Having these services built into the transactional experience of the banking app, gives the tools to customers to improve individual situations and shows it is committed to the larger purpose without detracting from its financial services.

Banks should be focusing on improving and optimising these kinds of tools which speak to brand purpose, raising their profile in the eye of the customer and driving long-term loyalty.

Think about interaction over transaction

Digital interactions are a framework for understanding customer needs on an individual level. Banks should be furthering this use for future-gazing and understanding a customer’s lifetime journey.

71% of UK consumers are actively seeking more personalisation from banks, with regard to their financial goals – a feeling more pronounced amongst women, Gen Z and millennials.

This is where banks need to understand where to play in generative AI. The financial services industry has witnessed a remarkable shift towards the adoption of AI technologies to optimise customer experience. Using the large amount of data from mobile apps, websites and e-commerce platforms, banks are gaining access to accurate data in a timely fashion.

However, those 1s and 0s rarely provide an insight into the motivation of a customer. 70% of interpersonal communication is non-verbal which is difficult to capture from a mobile or web application.

The advantage is that generative AI can analyse customer communications much faster and respond based on individual requests. Banks are already using tools like chatbots to see how they can improve their transactional customer experience. Now they should use these personalisation tools to gauge the longer-term financial motivations of the customer and how they can support them along their journeys.

These goals are both day-to-day and wider aspirational needs. They want to have seamless transactional experiences as well as services and tools tailored to lifetime landmarks – such as getting a house, investing in a pension or passing down savings to children.

Putting your eggs in the digital basket

This relationship-based banking is here to stay. And if banks want to stay ahead of the curve, the onus is on them to continue investing in advanced technologies – and implementing them in a way that helps with customers’ evergreen aspirations.

Good sector satisfaction is a reason for banks to get more competitive. Thinking beyond the transactional can further these efforts, engaging customers with both brand and their own journeys.

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