Digital disruption: rite of passage for Asia’s banks

Bill McMurray, Managing Director, Asia Pacific and Japan, Qualtrics

Asian millennials are among the fastest to embrace mobile technologies – spending close to a full day of each week plugged to their smartphones. It’s a natural extension for this to mold their behaviors, including around personal finance and how they bank.

Mobile technology will dominate the banking industry as most millennials do not consider the bank branch as their first point of contact. In an era of Digital Darwinism, banks must continue to innovate to succeed. To remain relevant, the Asian banking industry must interact with customers in new ways – to connect and engage with mobile-first, potentially mobile-only customers. Customer feedback and actionable insights are key to achieving this. Compounding this changing landscape are competitive pressures exerted on banking and financial institutions from their nimble, smaller, leaner start-up counterparts.

A Channel NewsAsia’s panel discussion on The Future Of Fintech highlighted that more businesses are established to make online financial services more efficient, flexible and varied for consumers. This will increase the risks of banks in losing millennials to these newer, younger businesses. For instance, one Singaporean start-up is currently developing an app called SoCash, which will allow retailers become cash dispensers and earn a small commission from the bank for providing customers with cash when they need it. This could potentially render ATMs obsolete.

"Transform the banking experience or risk irrelevance"
banks today must collaborate with Fintechs because the truth remains that the institutions that can deliver convenience, speed and flexibility to customers.... read more

Presented with this, here are three key guidelines, which can help financial institutions collect feedback across digital customer touch points:

1.The mobile experience

Institutions should use a targeted post-experience survey that asks users to indicate their level of satisfaction. Simple page-level feedback questions or static feedback links allow visitors provide feedback when and if relevant, without disrupting the user experience.

It is essential for banks to have an effective voice of customer (VoC) strategy in place. Asking customers for feedback helps businesses improve their customers’ experience and develop new services to keep those customers and, ultimately, increase revenue.

2.Engage directly with the customer at the right time

It is important to understand how customers are using the website, so as to use the information to make the experience feel more personalized. Timing is key: if banks can intercept a visitor who has been idle on a page for 30 seconds and ask if they need help, they could capture relevant insights about how the website works for different people, as well as helping an individual customer.

3.Focus on changing behavior and improving the digital experience

Companies that use digital feedback to improve visitors’ experiences are more likely to have more deeply-engaged customers, which manifests as improved business metrics. It is not enough to simply collect the data and feedback. Banks need to analyses the feedback and use the insights to adjust customer experience and, most importantly, act on negative customer feedback.

As digital disruption shakes up the banking industry, there is a need for banks in Asia to embrace digitalization. This will ensure that they stay relevant to millennials, and minimize the possibility of losing customers. They need to find out exactly what their customers want, and then deliver it in an appropriate timeframe. Companies should be able to see customer feedback in real-time, through role-based dashboards, so managers are equipped with the right customer information to make impactful decisions.

Hearing and acting on customer insights is the starting point for digital transformation and it is essential to get that process right to build a strong foundation for future success.