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Banking right in a code halo world

Jayajyoti Sengupta, Vice President and Head of APAC, Cognizant | Jan. 26, 2016
For banks, getting to know customers cannot be a matter of speculation any more as having knowledge on their customers could help set them apart from their competitors, says Jayajyoti Sengupta of Cognizant.

The right channel for the right customer
The strength of journey mapping lies in the fact that it allows a bank to benefit from micro-segmentation, regardless of its technology capabilities. Micro-segmentation is an important outcome of journey mapping. It enables banks with sophisticated IT functions to tweak and personalize products and services right down to the level of individual customers. Small- and medium-sized banks, for example, can use journey maps to expand the number of segments they target from a handful to several dozen.

A better understanding of the customer journey leads to banks encouraging more efficient channel use by empowering consumers to take advantage of the channels most suited to them, whether it's digital channel conveniences or hands-on attention that human-assisted channels provide. Conversely, banks can offer mutually beneficial encouragement for the use of human channels. By funneling customers with little digital propensity as well as those with high-value interactions (such as financial advice and complex sales) toward the costlier hands-on channels, they strengthen those relationships that genuinely require individual assistance and improve operational efficiency.

Becoming customer-centric
Moving toward micro-segmentation and arriving at personalization is an evolutionary voyage. It is pivotal to start small, and gradually build a program, fine-tuning it based on latest findings and successes. Banks have lagged behind their retail industry counterparts in embracing digital-and retailers' successes have raised customers' expectations for online experiences-it is time banks started catering to the new digital reality as the industry continues to evolve and accelerate. To get started, here are five steps banks can take to begin creating insightful digital strategies and channels:

  1. Focus on increasing and sharing customer insights
    Determine inherent organizational constraints to sharing customer data across different departments, and identify the changes that will work in your envi­ronment with the least initial disruption.
  2. Determine potential sources of data from all channels
    Prioritise the highest and lowest cost channels, as they will yield the most benefit from the least effort. Audit the data sources for availability and suitability, and assess data gaps and determine remediation. From there, create a data strategy that supports your objectives.
  3. Assess the organisational changes that may be required
    New objectives probably mean organizational change, which typically involves retraining and functional role modifications. Assess sectors which require changes, and ensure your bank grows by following best practices for organisational change management
  4. Review your existing technology against your short- and long-term objectives
    Customer-centricity is more than reframing existing processes; it involves reinventing customer-facing processes through the use of techniques such as customer journey mapping and new technologies.
  5. Examine must-have analytics capabilities and tools
    Analytics is the cornerstone for achieving greater insight into customer propensity and preferences, as well as for correlating the data needed to achieve a suitable degree of digital segmentation. Many of the standard technologies no longer do the job for banks when it comes to predictive analytics, and understanding the new options is a top priority. Be sure your organisation has a plan for integrating the new functionality with its existing data sources. 

For banks, getting to know customers cannot be a matter of speculation any more. It is only by embracing the new digital reality that they can deliver truly personalised experiences and strengthen customer relationships.  


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