Featured Image for the blog: 4 Ways Banks Can Hyper-Personalize Customer Experiences at Scale

A study by Walker found that 80% of consumers expected personalized customer service from businesses across all sectors – and they’re willing to pay more for it, too.

In today’s digital age, you can no longer afford NOT to provide personalized experiences for your customers.

Literally. If your customers don’t feel they’re receiving the personal experience they are looking for, they’ll find it elsewhere.

Banks and credit unions are no exception here.

Banks have long been struggling to keep up with digital customer experience expectations. In a world where digital trends and mobile apps are the norm, many banks are still playing catch up. It’s time for banks to take their customer experience to the next level.

Let’s dive into 4 ways banks can hyperpersonalize customer experiences at scale.

Hyperpersonalized customer service

In the competitive world of consumer banking, it’s more important than ever to offer an outstanding customer experience. That means providing hyperpersonalized service across all channels, from your brick-and-mortar locations, to social media and voice, to chatbots and beyond.

To do this effectively, banks need to ensure that all customer interactions are authentic, helpful, and personalized. This can be a challenge at scale, especially if you’re a small operation. But with the right tools and processes in place, personalized consumer experiences become attainable for even the smallest credit union.

There are a few key ways to provide hyperpersonalized service at scale:

    1. Get to know your customers through your data. The better you understand their needs and preferences, the easier it will be to provide them with tailored service.

    1. Make use of technology. Automated systems can help you manage customer interactions more efficiently and free up staff. But don’t rely on technology alone – make sure you have a human touch as well.

    1. Don’t forget about your team. Your staff needs to be equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to provide high-quality customer service. Training over customer service shouldn’t just be a one-time, onboarding thing, either. Continuous training means continuous improvement.

    1. Meet your customers where they are. While some customers prefer to pick up the phone, others don’t have the time. While some prefer texting, others want to put in a ticket to have you email later. Communicating with your customers on their preferred channel is a major way banks can differentiate themselves from their competitors, and provide a greater customer experience.

How to Hyperpersonalize Customer Experiences

    1. Use data to understand your customers

    1. Make use of technology

    1. Support your agents

    1. Meet customers where they are

Let’s take each of these a step further.

Using data to get to know your customers

Banks that regularly utilize their data analytics to optimize customer experiences see a growth rate of 3.2x faster than their competitors. Banks have access to a vast amount of data, but they often don’t have the processes set to use it effectively. You might be familiar with BI tools to help digest your data and turn it into usable insights. The only problem is, many BI tools still require you to do a ton of manual sorting. On top of that, you may also need to manually compile data from multiple different channels.

All your data, in one place

When you’re working with loads of customer data, it’s important that all your data lives in one place, regardless of channel. On the SharpenCX platform, for example, all your data is in one spot – saving time and headaches. Instead of spending time sorting through data, the SharpenCX platform makes it easy to gain the insight on your customers that you’re looking for with customizable reports and dashboards showcasing only the metrics you care about.

Once you’re able to aggregate your data, there are a number of ways that banks can use data analytics to personalize customer experiences. After analyzing consumer trends, banks can segment their customers based on their needs and preferences, and then target them with personalized products and services.

Banks can also use data analytics to identify common customer pain points and address them proactively. For example, if your data shows customers commonly complain about the ability to reach a representative by phone you might change your staffing model or advertise customers’ ability to reach representatives on additional channels.

You have the data to own your outcomes. Now, it’s time to make the most of your data to hyperpersonalize customer experiences.

Make Use of Technology

Customer banking needs don’t stop at 5:00 pm. After hours and holiday assistance is one customer service area that is ripe for improvement.

*Enter AI Chatbots*

Chatbots are a type of artificial intelligence that can simulate human conversation. Historically, chatbots have been used in customer service for quick and easy answers to common questions.

But chatbots are not just limited to answering simple questions anymore. AI chatbots have evolved dramatically to handle more complex inquiries (hellooo, ChatGPT).

For example, chatbots can be used to:

    • Help customers troubleshoot issues with online banking or mobile apps

    • Set up appointments

    • Assist with account opening and closing

    • Aid with account access after a customer is locked out

    • Assist with password reset

    • Help customers in emergency situations, such as with locking accounts

With AI chatbots, you don’t need to have a live person always staffed, nor do you need to limit chatbot responses to simply regurgitate your FAQ answers.

More efficient routing

Another way banks can use technology to hyperpersonalize customer experiences is through improved routing. For example, you can use AI to route customers with specific complaints to the agents best suited to handle those complaints. Repeat callers can be prioritized for faster, more efficient service.

Getting your customers to the right agent at the right time shows your customers they’re valued.

Don’t forget about your agents.

Happy agents = happy customers.

Banks need to remember that great customer experiences start with their agents. In order to provide personalized experiences at scale, banks need to invest in tools and training for their agents.

Solve problems faster with a 360 customer view

When all your data, including previous interactions, on a customer is in one spot, customer service reps gain the ability to know what the customer is concerned about without them having to rehash points over and over.

When banks have a 360 view of the customer they are able to see not just what products the customer has with them, but also how those products are being used. This helps banks identify cross-selling and upselling opportunities in order to provide products that will help customers reach their financial goals. It also allows banks to troubleshoot issues before they become bigger problems.

Having a 360 view of the customer starts with the right solution. This solution should be able to collect data from all interactions across all channels and provide insights that can be used to improve the customer experience. With the right tool in place, banks will be able to provide personalized experiences at scale without sacrificing quality.

A.B.T. (Always be training)

Training your agents can be expensive, time-consuming, and exhausting. But, training not only has a major impact on your agent retention rate, it also plays a major role in customer satisfaction. Four out of ten workers remain actively disengaged when they get little or no feedback from their employers. And, we all know disengaged agents are not providing the personalized service your customers are looking for.

Training doesn’t have to involve a half-day seminar. Training needs to be ongoing and can be done in a variety of ways. For example:

    1. Use your highest performing agents to “buddy up” and coach their peers.

    1. Create healthy competition with a leader board or performance tiles. 

    1. Develop a resource library for your agents with training materials, sample scripts, and more.

    1. Provide constructive feedback based upon call recordings.

Your training programs shouldn’t stop after new agent onboarding. Remember, A.B.T., and you’ll see the impacts of your efforts on customer satisfaction.

Meet your customers where they are.

Customer communication preferences have changed over the last several years. According to Forrester, during the COVID-19 pandemic, telephone support saw the largest decline behind in-person assistance.

Customers now view automation less as a nuisance, and more as a bona fide, personalized option for getting help with their issues. 90% of customers globally expect brands or organizations to have an online self-service support portal.

Banks and credit unions need to be able to support customers on their channel of choice – whether that’s:

    • Voice

    • SMS / MMS

    • Webchat

    • Email

    • Tasks

    • Tickets

    • Social Media

    • Video

Consumers are no longer spending time tolerating long hold times and poor customer experiences. With limited time and attention, customers prefer to interact with brands that make it convenient to communicate.

Hyperpersonalization at scale isn’t as challenging as it sounds.

Consumer demands have changed rapidly. Long gone are the days where a smiling face at a brick-and-mortar storefront was enough. Now, consumers expect banks to offer a personalized touch in every interaction they have.

While this may sound daunting, use the four ways highlighted in this post as your foundation. From there, you can continue to find opportunities to hyperpersonalize throughout your customer’s journey.