Guest blog: Future-proofing technology for slicker customer experiences

BSA guest blog by Amanda Beesley, Managing Director, Financial Services & Insurance at Paragon Customer Communications.

Amanda Beesley, Managing Director, Financial Services & Insurance at Paragon Customer Communications examines how future-proofing technology can help building societies adapt quickly to change and deliver clear, concise customer experiences (CX).

Technological innovation is driving radical change in consumer attitudes. Today’s building society members have high expectations when it comes to the quality of customer experience (CX) and this is forcing organisations to explore technologies that deliver accomplished digital experiences.

Fierce competition around CX has raised the bar in terms of what brands are offering their customers, in particular, there are a growing range of digital products and communication channels that deliver personalisation and cater for individual preference.

Increasingly experience-led, existing, and prospective members will expect their building society not just to deliver enhanced CX, but to keep on innovating in the future. Indeed, according to a recent survey, 82% of respondents expected the digital experiences from their building society to be equivalent or better than those of other digital providers.

The future of member communications

When it comes to member communications, delivering enhanced CX requires several crucial building blocks to be put into place. The first of these is an omnichannel communications infrastructure that not only delivers consistent experiences across today’s traditional and digital channels but can easily adopt new ones in the future.

Equally important, is the unification of customer data which allows the customer journey to be mapped across touchpoints. By achieving this, building societies can improve CX by ensuring the right messages are sent to the right members, at the right time and via their channel of choice.     

Putting both the infrastructure and the data into place is essential to deliver more positive and meaningful experiences and to enhance CX in line with members’ expectations. To overcome the challenges involved requires the enabling technologies of an advanced Customer Communications Management (CCM) platform that is capable of facilitating digital transformation.

The latest CCM systems carry out a critical role in shaping consumer engagement and CX, enabling building societies to connect with members across the spectrum of channels and do so in deeper, more meaningful ways. Using a single, centralised, CCM delivery model, they support frictionless customer communications across the range of digital and traditional channels and provide complete omnichannel control that minimises off-brand messaging, inconsistency and risk, while improving compliance and efficiency.

With many members still preferring to discuss financial matters with another person, especially when it comes to making major decisions such as taking out a mortgage, a key role of the latest CCM platforms will be to enable ‘human digital banking’. In this way, digital technologies can support human interactions, such as video calls and online chat, while digital services can be given a more human touch by being personalised for the needs and preferences of individual members.  

Adaptation and innovation

A major obstacle for societies is their reliance on legacy IT systems. The advantage of the modern CCM platform is that they become the integration layer between legacy systems and desired outputs, providing a layer of market leading technologies that enable organisations to adapt to and take advantage of change immediately. In this way, they can provide streamlined and slicker digital experiences for members with increased agility.  For instance, they can quickly incorporate new communications channels as they evolve and swiftly amend messages, simultaneously, across all channels.

Indeed, the promptness at which the latest CCM platforms implement change and deliver communications can vastly improve speed to market, helping societies not just to adapt to external change but to take the lead through innovation. For example, improving document management by digitally converting paper documents that can be stored and accessed securely through a central portal.

The ability of a CCM system to adapt to change enables societies to personalise communications and deliver support that meets the evolving needs and preferences of individual members. As a result, they can maintain the sense of community, increase trust and build the stronger relationships that differentiate mutual organisations from the wider banking sector. 

The final building block, of course, is the expertise to ‘inform’ the communications being shared with members, removing friction points by design, and driving mutual benefit. By working alongside an experienced communications partner building societies can start to deliver their digital transformation ambitions and empower CX managers immediately ensuring that the magic of mutuality continues.

For more, visit: www.paragon-cc.com

The views, opinions and positions expressed within guest blogs are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the BSA.

The BSA's next Digital Mutual virtual event will be a deep dive into how Open Banking and Open Finance can work for mutuals. Sam Seaton, chief executive officer at Moneyhub Enterprise, is one of the speakers and Newbury Building Society will also be talking through how it has worked with Moneyhub to provide an Open Banking proposition for its customers. To book tickets for the event, click here