3 ways to use automation to enhance future resilience in financial services
With lockdown bringing wide-scale remote working, many financial service firms have sought to “build back better”, prioritising the development of automation to streamline interactions with customers, while at the same time re-evaluating essential work and improving the quality of jobs.
Regardless of industry, the foundation of a good customer experience is a streamlined and automated process. For financial service providers, offering frictionless experience not only optimises capacity per worker, but sets up businesses to maintain steady growth long after COVID-19.
Why? Every interaction between organisations and their customers forms their brand opinion. One frustrating form or delay can loose a customer forever.
This is why every touch point should be considered to maximise the benefits of a customer-centric approach. Positive customer engagement can boost sales by reducing product drop-off, improving rate of referral, maximising customer retention, and up-selling current customers with new products.
Trends show that organisations with manual, error-prone and expensive document processes are first focusing their automation goals on connecting documents, people and systems to deliver an experience that delights customers.
If this sounds like you, or you are looking to improve application drop-off rates, here are just a few examples of where you can prioritise automation to enhance future resilience: `
1) Email Automation – (Marketing / Onboarding)
Marketing automation allows you to create cross-channel campaigns, which targets customers with the right message at the right time. Integrating your CRM with automated marketing enables you to connect with your customers on an individual basis with an anticipated outcome depending on where they stand on their journey.
An example of this could be to identify the instances where a customer might need a loan or other financial product (like travel insurance in August) and email them with the right message to give them the final push.
Nivo’s own customers, including CLS, have recently utilised email automation in their onboarding, to create a streamlined and secure experience. Once an applicant has applied for a product on its website, email automation is used to direct the customer to download Nivo, which then will take them directly to their specific onboarding journey where automation allows them to complete KYC, provide evidence, and submit more details. This smooth process is straightforward for the customer and allows CLS to capture important details in its CRM, without human intervention.
2) New Customer Application (Onboarding)
When a customer applies for financial product, like a mortgage or a line of credit with a bank, the provider will need to verify the customer’s identity and assess credit/spending habits. These stages of a process can often be time consuming and clunky for both the customer and onboarding teams, with information and documents being gathered by paper and post, or verbally on the telephone.
Nivo’s built-in automation enables firms to automate identity verification with enhanced fraud protection using Onfido’s biometric AI. Necessary KYC verification can flow to the uploading of documents, to the imputing of information, to connecting with the customer's bank account with open banking. Customers are able to submit their information at their own pace, at any time that’s convenient to them. This lack of time dependency is what makes onboarding automation necessary if organisations want to offer a leading customer experience.
Traditionally these verification and information gathering stages had to be done during business hours, which lead to a high drop-off rate across financial. Customers might not be available to answer phone calls during business hours or might not have access to their personal documents while at work. Often they don’t have the printing capabilities to progress applications at home. A great customer experience not only means ease and clarity, but also flexibility to the needs and schedule of your customer.
3) Insurance Claims Automation (Product)
If you’ve ever filed an insurance claim, you know it’s a long, paper-filled process. Some providers have started using document automation to streamline the claims process itself. Using a similar process to customer onboarding, firms can automate the gathering of documents and additional data needed for a claim, turning what was a slow and high-touch activity into an automated workflow in which a human can step in only where they need to.
Once the data is validated, as well as the amount, customers can be lead down the automation directly to payment.
While simplifying the claims process might not seem like the best strategy for fiscal success, adding ease and flexibility to the full product journey will allow your teams to improve their productivity, which is crucial to grow. Not only will insurance firms be able to operate with a much leaner department, but anything that you do to improve the experience for your customer strengthens brand loyalty, spreads word of mouth, and overall will increase new products opened.
Where to first focus automation efforts?
While the above are just a few examples of where financial firms can use automation to boost productivity and grow, there are countless ways that automation can be used to operate leaner and deliver positive customer experiences.
They key to choosing the initial areas of your journey to prioritise for automation involves mapping processes and understanding where you can see overlap between the needs of your customer and the efficiency of your team. This can be achieved by following some simple steps, marking each to see how they connect:
- Map out your full, end-to-end product journey
- Identify the process bottlenecks
- Identify the areas that would most improve the experience for your customer
- Identify what areas would optimise internal resources
Seeing these strategies for growth, overlapped should help you identify where automation will be the most valuable for your organisation. By understanding bottlenecks you can see how to improve overall capacity and speed, while considering the areas of friction for your customer helps to design processes that they will start and finish, and tell their friends about.