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HOW TO GIVE CUSTOMERS A SEAT IN THE BOARDROOM

By Fabrice Martin, Chief Product Officer, Clarabridge

 

When a bank or financial services company directly uses customer feedback to make decisions at the executive level, it’s almost as if that company has given its customers a seat in the boardroom; however, just because a business is open to using customer feedback in this way doesn’t mean it has successfully done so.

 

Companies may think they’re listening to “Voice of the Customer (VoC) data,” but they must make sure their information is truly representative of the customer voice. Failure to address this subtle yet critical nuance can result in an organisation making decisions based on a limited understanding of the customer perspective.

 

If a company uses misleading data to make important business decisions, it will not be able to understand what the customer really wants. This reality can have devastating effects on a business’s ability to maintain a compelling value proposition and can put it at a disadvantage if competitors succeed in more effectively using the data.

 

To mitigate the risk of failing to consider customer input, businesses must first understand why certain metrics may be misleading and then understand how to turn accurate insights into action.

 

Understand when the data doesn’t show the full picture

Many executives in the financial services sector believe that relying on metrics such as NPS or CSAT provides a comprehensive view of the customer experience. In fact, an article in the Wall Street Journal states that the term “net promoter” or “NPS” was cited more than 150 times in earnings conference calls by 50 S&P 500 companies in 2018. But, as the WSJ article points out, this statistic fails to tell the entire story.

 

By relying on a single metric to capture the complexity of the end-to-end customer experience, senior executives can miss important data that impacts the bottom line. Businesses often measure NPS through surveys, but the results only reflect the views of those actually completed the survey and may be more likely to reflect the perspectives of those who had an especially good or bad experience. Therefore, the findings may not represent the views of customers outside of those categories, causing the company to overlook a potentially huge portion of its customer base and sacrifice relevant insights that could increase profit.

 

While executives may be mentioning NPS frequently, a sole reliance on this metric offers a very shallow and incomplete picture of how customers actually feel.

 

Listen to multiple sources of data

In order to broaden the types of metrics used to examine the customer experience, companies must look beyond the survey. Customers are using a variety of channels such as email, chat, calls, surveys and social media to interact with banks and financial institutions regarding issues ranging from checking an account balance to arranging a mortgage. They’re also sharing their experiences and communicating with other customers on blogs, forums and review sites. Regardless of the channel, it’s imperative that customer-centric organisations analyse them all.

 

By including feedback from multiple channels, businesses can access the unsolicited feedback their customers are offering and review insights that reflect both structured and unstructured data.

 

Through the process of analysing multiple sources of data, companies can ensure that the voices of all their customers are heard.

 

Integrate findings and enrich your insights

Once a company establishes a process for ingesting feedback from a variety of channels, it must integrate the findings from those sources. By looking at a single, aggregate view of the data, the business can begin to identify the areas where customers are satisfied and those which they feel need improvement. Then it can begin determining recommendations and action items.

 

Using this approach, a large banking customer determined that customers were finding one of its investment options to be confusing, and employees were also unclear about the product offering. The company promptly updated the employee training process and rewrote the product brochures to eliminate confusion and drive product adoption.

 

This example illustrates the importance of considering metrics beyond NPS and CSAT when identifying opportunities to create a better customer experience. It’s necessary to enrich the data by measuring characteristics such as sentiment, effort and emotion to really understand the entirety of the customer experience.

 

Insight into customer engagement, emotion, effort and sentiment also serves as a strong predictor of loyalty, which is vital for any bank. For example, research from Gartner shows that solving problems quickly and easily is the most successful way to build customer loyalty. The research also shows that 94% of customers are likely to repurchase after a low effort experience. By enriching the data and examining more nuanced measures of CX, companies can begin looking at the leading indicators of loyalty and satisfaction instead of the lagging ones.

 

Demonstrate a willingness to act on insights

After identifying accurate insights, banks and financial services organisations must act upon that information. By listening to customers at all touchpoints and integrating the findings, they’ve already taken the first step toward giving the customer a seat in the boardroom; however, it’s imperative that they demonstrate their commitment through action.

 

By putting a spotlight on initiatives that highlight the insights-to-action process, companies will encourage customers to trust that they are truly listening. This technique will also add an element of authenticity to the brand by sending the message that the company cares. It’s important for the business to incorporate some degree of visibility into the process and communicate its efforts to customers in order to enjoy maximum business and brand benefits while creating a better CX.

 

It’s always more effective to show customers that a business cares than it is to simply tell them, and customers will show their appreciation with revenue and loyalty.

 

Conclusion

To truly give customers a seat in the boardroom, banks should look beyond basic metrics, consider data from every channel, integrate findings and act upon the information. If an organisation follows these steps, it will make significant progress toward improving the customer experience.

 

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Business

WHY 2020 IS THE RIGHT TIME FOR FS MODERNISATION

Chris McLaughlin is chief product and marketing officer at Nuxeo

 

Few would argue against the notion that the UK financial services (FS) industry is facing many challenges as both a new year and new decade begin. Uncertainty over Brexit, the potential threat from new competitors and Big Tech brands, and rising customer expectations are just some of the challenges facing the sector.

But for every challenge, there is also opportunity. Digital banking paves the way for greater service continuity, making it easier for banks to capture and analyse data (with consumers’ permission), reduced repetition of information collection, and delivering more of what customers want in terms of products and services.

By innovating with richer and more convenient online and mobile banking experiences, and by using technology to deliver smarter and more streamlined backend operations, traditional FS providers can roll out and execute services more cost-efficiently too.

But many FS firms have been restricted in their ability to innovate and realise such opportunities, due to the outdated and inefficient systems and applications to be found in many organisations. However, with many FS workers believing that the challenges the industry face could see their company lose customers in 2020, the time is ripe for FS firms to embrace modernisation.

 

Chris McLaughlin

The 2020 agenda according to UK FS workers

Nuxeo recently surveyed 501 UK FS workers that focused on the challenges, concerns, and opportunities facing the industry. The main 2020 FS industry challenges were Brexit uncertainty; cybersecurity threats and information or data breaches; physical branches closing down; the burden of increasing regulation; competition from Big Tech firms potentially moving into FS; and competition from new challenger banks.

Perhaps of most concern to the industry is the fact that 59% of FS workers in the study felt that these challenges left their organisation vulnerable to losing customers over the next 12 months. But there are signs that FS firms are adapting to the new market reality and embracing technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) that can help them modernise and address such challenges.

Almost two-thirds of respondents claimed their organisations are committed to innovation, and more than half (58 per cent) believe that firms which use AI in creative ways make for more attractive employers. 68% of respondents say their organisation is already using AI for content search or is in discussion to do so, and 67% say the same for automating backend processes, suggesting that FS firms are alive to the value that can be achieved.

Transforming customer service delivery is also a key focus for AI ambitions, with more than one-third (34 per cent) of respondents saying their organisation is already trying out AI in this context. Chatbots, often used to improve the customer experience, are being used by one-quarter. Meanwhile, 41 per cent are already using AI-based capabilities for some form of data analysis, suggesting that FS providers are attuned to the need to target their activities more strategically.

 

Smarter management of data, content and information

One of the major threats to productivity is the inability for FS firms to connect and organise all the data they have at their disposal and there is a real need for smarter management of data, content and information. Compared to newer industry market entrants, established banks and FS providers have far richer data going back decades or longer. If institutions could tap into this considerable resource, it could be used to distil invaluable intelligence and insights into consumer trends, product performance, and relative account profitability.

Although organisations have all the underlying information stored within their legacy systems, it is typically very difficult for teams to access, combine and cross-analyse this data. This is because, too often, systems are unconnected, use incompatible data formats and feature considerable data duplication between applications.

In the Nuxeo research, FS providers confirm that, on average, they store information and content across nine different systems. And these systems tend to operate in silos: almost three-quarters of respondents say their organisation’s systems are not fully connected with each other.

System users who need to access information as a regular part of their jobs can be spending up to an hour a day (52 minutes) searching for what they need because it is not readily discoverable. Given that this equates to four hours 20 minutes each week per employee spent looking for information, the total time wasted across an organisation over a year is quite significant.

 

Embarking on a managed journey of modernisation

13 per cent of respondents in Nuxeo’s study believe their organisation’s inability to adopt AI quickly enough is one of the main challenges facing UK FS in 2020, so it’s something that will need to be addressed sooner rather than later.

But a managed modernisation journey, incorporating wider use of AI, which can help address many of the issues that are so concerning to those that work in FS, is already underway for many. Such modernisation can deliver quick wins, without incurring new risk or detracting from other critical work that needs to be done in 2020 and should be embraced wholeheartedly as the FS industry embarks on the new decade.

 

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Business

WHY MAKING MONEY ON YOUR MOBILE IS EASIER THAN YOU MIGHT THINK

Aaron Brooks, Co-Founder of  Vamp

 

For Millennials and Generation Z, becoming a social media influencer is an increasingly desired career. According to a recent study, 86% of millennials want to use their social platforms to post sponsored content. It comes as no surprise. Getting paid to produce content about the products you love, why wouldn’t you?

It’s more than just a pipe dream too. While marketing used to revolve around big brands, employing big agencies to create ads, technological advancements have created a user generated content boom. Thanks to smartphones, most of us now have a 12 megapixel camera in our pockets. Brands have capitalised on this, launching campaigns that harvest user generated content, asking their customers to share their brand experiences through pictures, videos and reviews.

Social networks have normalised the sharing of content, which has helped propel this movement further. ASOS’ UGC hashtag #AsSeenOnMe has over a million entries on Instagram. Then of course there’s Apple’s incredible ‘Shot on an iPhone’ billboards, which use their user’s images to promote their phones.

Aaron Brooks

Influencer marketing takes this a step further. These social creators produce high-end content and have engaged followings – both a valuable commodities for brands. 93% of marketers now using influencer marketing. So if you’re looking to make your mark as a content creator, there are plenty of opportunities. Don’t be put off if your Instagram following isn’t in the high thousands either. Micro influencers, with their small but highly engaged audiences, have become popular among marketers and this trend will continue to grow in 2020.

Of course, brands want high-quality content to represent their brand, but if you’re keen to kick start your creator career and start making money, a smart phone and a creative eye is a good place to start. If you want to take it further, then follow these three tips for success.

 

Hone your personal brand

Rather than trying to be fashion, art, foodie and travel all in one neat package, find a niche and create a consistent message. The same goes for photography styles. If you want to be the flatlay expert, I’d recommend sticking to that at least 80% of the time.

Finding your niche and making it your hallmark will let people know what they can expect from you. It’ll make you more likely to maintain follower loyalty and help you to stand out from the crowd. Make sure it’s of genuine interest to you. You’ll need enough enthusiasm to post consistently in order to build your authority in that area.

 

Cultivate an engaged following

While a high follower count was once the most prized possession of the influencer community, times have changed. These days if you want the attention of big name brands, not only do you need a beautiful feed, but a highly engaged following. That means people who follow you, spend time with your content and engage with it.

Actively engaging with your existing audience and contributing to the larger Instagram community will help you build relationships on Instagram. This means replying with genuine

comments and pro-actively engaging by offering your own comments on other accounts.

While it might be tempting to take shortcuts by buying fake engagement or followers, it will only sabotage your efforts. Software has become increasingly effective at spotting fakes so chances are, you’ll be found out and blacklisted.

 

Maximise influencer marketing platforms

Once you’ve honed your personal brand and cultivated an engaged following, you can begin making money on your mobile. Rather than waiting for these opportunities to find you, you can take a proactive approach and join an influencer marketing platform.

These technology services connect brands with content creators. Depending on the platform, it may have a database of thousands of pre-vetted influencers who have opted-in to receive content collaboration briefs from brands. You’ll get opportunities delivered direct to your mobile and will be able to choose whether you opt in or not. This gives you the freedom and flexibility to work with brands that truly resonate with you and balance the work around other commitments.

With brands constantly searching for people who boast content creation skills, there are plenty of career opportunities in the influencer space. For those looking to make money in this space, all you will need is a smart phone, passion and creativity to begin carving a career as an influencer.

 

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