Omnichannel Opportunities for Customers – Panel Discussion

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In this discussion, the panelists talk about financial institutions are looking at how they can provide better experiences for clients and make those experiences seamless across all channels. 
Category: Enterprise Solutions
Subject: Omnichannel
Detail: Beginner
Lenght: 51 Minutes
Author: Soprano Team

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  • Kamesh Moola – Sr VP Barclays
  • Jennifer Borchardt – VP of Omnichannel Digital Design and Strategy – US Bank
  • Imelda Lawrence – Manager, Online Banking – Fremont Bank
  • Matt Thompson – VP Global Marketing, Soprano Design
  • Jonathan Katz – Head of Bank and Financial Institutions – Linear Technologies

Customers want a seamless experience in whichever channels they use. They want to be able to switch from channel to channel for the services they need. 

According to Jennifer Borchardt, VP of Omnichannel Digital Design and Strategy for US Bank, the way they are providing omnichannel experiences is to have frequent conversations with product and business owners internally to stay aware of what’s happening across other channels. That allows them to stay consistent in digital channels by having knowledge of what’s happening in branches and offices as they start to open. This includes the telephone experience as well. For US Bank, it’s all about open relationships and making sure the branding and experiences they are providing in digital align with what’s happening in non-digital channels.

When asked how the panelists’ digital teams are involving the customer-facing employees in the development of the digital channels, most stated they interface with them to find out what clients are telling them, both when they have issues, but also proactively when they have their quarterly check-ins. They work closely with other advisers and call centers to find out what clients are saying through those channels. They actively use VOC data, which they get from the call center to identify pain points and to get direct feedback with a particular interest on digital channels. The end goal is to maintain relationships internally and align their roadmap with the VOC data to ensure they are focused on the right things when it comes to digital.

According to Matt Thompson, VP Global Marketing at Soprano, “working with banks all across the globe, we have a unique view of how the finance industry globally is using omnichannel mobile communication channels. What we are seeing is that banks are reinventing workflows and optimizing them around mobile. One example is being able to accelerate the mortgage application process by having more communication touch points along the way, and even using mobile channels internally to speed up decisions, which can ultimately be a differentiator.”

Consistency across channels was a key stated by all participants. According to Immelda Lawrence, Manager of Online banking at Fremont Bank, “no matter how anyone comes to the bank as a customer, whether through digital or physical channels, the experience has to be the same. “

Of course, there are challenges in providing a seamless omnichannel experience.  Resource constraints are a big challenge, according to Jonathan Katz of Linear Technologies. Because banks also tend to be somewhat conservative and slow to change by nature, getting buy-in to digital transformation can be difficult. The generational mindset shift is one of the biggest challenges many banks face today when moving to progress on a large-scale digital transformation. 

Organizational structure can be a challenge as well. According to Borchardt, “one way to meet this challenge is to have a Chief Digital Officer, who has responsibility for the entire digital structure and is coming from the very top.” This role plays a critical part in prioritization and ensuring that the digital organization has what they need from a resource standpoint to be successful and innovative. Borchardt stated that the way US Bank is getting senior stakeholder buy-in is from the bottom up and then they are positioning the benefits of digital in terms that are meaningful to each stakeholder. Many times, this involves demonstrating how digital transformation projects can give their bank competitive parity or even differentiation by making certain investments. They also frame it in terms of additional assets and revenue growth, aligning customer experience goals with the overall business goals. 

According to Lawrence, the digital side of designing a good omnichannel experience is often a moving target. Social channels will become a place where customers will want to be able to interact rather than in mobile apps, but banks aren’t there yet. Looking ahead at those channels keeps banks looking ahead to where the digital relationship occurs in a variety of places, not just mobile apps, but in social media and other business banking channels. 

Matt Thompson stated that Soprano is starting to see this already with their banking customers. “What we are hearing from CDOs is that they are putting a lot of emphasis on mobile apps and websites, and a lot of great thinking is going into this. However, they are neglecting other areas where customers are already engaging – things such as mobile alerts and two-factor authentication messages that are being sent to customers all day long – and they’re not thinking about how much more they could be doing using mobile messaging and they’re not seeing the threats from mobile wallets and other fintech apps.”