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Why Banks Need Guided Selling Now More Than Ever

Are mainstream banks slowly making themselves obsolete because of their reluctance to create better customer experiences?

73% of consumers would be more excited by new financial services offered by companies such as Google, Amazon, Apple or PayPal than their own traditional bank. In fact, 33% of consumers firmly believe that they won’t need a bank at all in the near future.

Banks cannot afford to be seen just as an impersonal, purely transactional money-lending institution. They need to become much more than that. CGI found that 52% of bank customers want their banks to anticipate their needs, tell them where they are spending money and offer advice on how they can save. 55% of customers want their banks to look out for them by providing personalized wealth-building advice.

With customer expectations rising so quickly and digital giants like Google and Apple offering dependable banking services, banks can no longer remain complacent. It’s time to transform banking and create customer experiences that pave the way for a new customer relationship.

Related: Surviving and Thriving in the Financial Services Industry

Guided Selling in Banking

The financial slump of 2008 was a major turning point. Banks realized the importance of adapting the retail model in banking, making both the bank branch and its website more customer-friendly. While this was a welcome change, that was nearly a decade ago and a new disruption is in order. Banks today are beginning to wake up to the importance of customer experience.

Simply put, bank products and services are confusing; EY found that only 16% of customers are both digitally and financially savvy. The rest face challenges when searching their bank’s website for the right kind of account, the right savings plan or the right loan. From varying interest rates to different types of plans that all look the same, there is just so much confusion in banking services.

Your customers need help. Now.

This is why many banks are starting to invest in Guided Selling to transform the digital experience, driven by new customer expectations and the need to deliver seamless and straight-forward online customer experiences.

interactive banking product finder

An interactive finder or selector allows you to ask customers seemingly-simple questions about themselves to provide them with appropriate product recommendations. A well-thought-out Guided Selling solution also explains why the presented option (account, card, loan, etc.) best fits their needs, and how other complementary offerings can get them even closer to their financial goals.

This, in effect, replicates a consultation with your best in-branch associates by enabling customers to navigate your offerings online with personalized, needs-based advice. That customer-centric approach ultimately, helps them make informed and confident decisions without being tied down to bank operating hours, that simply don’t align with rapidly changing lifestyles.

ken hudges on banking customer experience

 

However, there are still bank websites that currently force customers to analyze lengthy charts that compare the terms and qualifications for different accounts along with a barrage of dry banking jargon.

As personal and business banking moves increasingly online, banks must do more to maximize the customer experience in their digital channels by mirroring the consultation and guidance they’ve traditionally provided in person.

For example, take American Express. At the time of writing, the company boasts 19 cards on their website. Each comes with distinct features and benefits. There are travel cards, cash back cards, rewards points cards, no annual fee cards, 0% intro apr cards, no fx fee cards, airline cards, hotel cards, low-interest cards and many more.

It’s easy for consumers to become confused and overwhelmed by the myriad of options.

american express credit card offers

 

To reduce friction and allow online consumers to choose the credit card that fits them, their needs and their lifestyle, Amex introduced an interactive card finder.

With this selector, Amex provides some assistance to help customers cut through a deluge of options and find the perfect card for their needs.

But there are many other, more comprehensive examples online today. These are examples by banks who understand exactly what today’s customers expect: personal advice over impersonal data.

 

SmartAsset

SmartAsset is a personal finance technology company headquartered in New York that uses financial modeling to power advice on major financial decisions.

“We empower people with the information needed to make life’s biggest financial decisions with confidence.”

Find my Card

 

Yes Bank

Yes Bank is India’s fifth largest private sector bank. It is the fastest growing private sector bank that has a clear focus on customer satisfaction and set the benchmarks in customer satisfaction.

“The goal is simple. How do you make life simple for our customers.” (Video)

Banking Product Selector

 

National Bank of Canada

The National Bank of Canada is the sixth largest commercial bank in Canada.

“Thanks to simple, intuitive browsing, users can quickly find the information they need. All the website sections (Personal Banking, Commercial Banking, or Wealth Management) contain tools and relevant content to support clients during the milestones in their lives.” (Press release)

Interactive Account Selector

 

As online and mobile banking redefine the norms, a customer’s banking journey becomes less and less linear. Banks need to let go of the rigid transaction model of yesteryear and embrace an approach where individual customer’s needs and expectations are fulfilled at their time and on their terms.

A personalized experience will help customers easily find the products and services that are best for them and increase their confidence in that institution – and Guided Selling is one of the best ways to accomplish that.

Benefits of intelligent Guided Selling

  • Needs-based support and guidance
  • Deliver an interactive experience that helps users decide the right banking product based on need, availability, and eligibility
  • Shorten the buying journey by aggregating all necessary information in one place
  • Create a personalized experience that simplifies, reduces friction and increases decision confidence
  • Deliver a consistent experience on all channels and devices (Mobile is the most used banking channel and accounts for 30% of all interactions globally (Bain))
  • Provide dynamic, data-driven recommendations using intelligent decision rules
  • Build trust between your bank and online users by extending the trusted relationship to the digital sphere
  • Generate greater lead flow through online channels

 

Want to learn more about how banks can improve the digital customer experience with Guided Selling? Download the Whitepaper ‘Human Engagement in Digital Banking’ here

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Adam Drummond is Sales Director at zoovu. He has been advising banks and financial institutions on software solutions that improve their digital discovery & customer experience for over four years.