October 16, 2017
A business process that customers love, that makes you more efficient and saves you money ... all at the same time. Those are the kinds of benefits you expect to hear in a pitch from an over-eager salesman, yet banks are beginning to realize exactly those benefits through the power of self-service.
Financial service providers are starting to reap major benefits by recognizing the needs of a growing sector of the market and adapting their products to suit those needs.
It starts with embracing digital transformation in every aspect of your respected industry, to support the rapidly changing technological needs of modern consumers. With the right technology and processes in place, your businesses can better meet the demands of consumers who are accustomed to using technology on a daily basis to interact with business services and products.
One of the casualties of the market has been traditional working hours. With markets always open, and deals always being made, consumers have come to take for granted they can work wherever and whenever they want, and they expect the same from their service providers.
Obviously, it’s rather difficult and expensive to provide round-the-clock personal support. Self-service is a natural fit for these kinds of demands as well as reflecting the ways consumers want to interact.
Consumers needs self service solutions such as 24/7 automated customer support, AI tools that understand consumer needs, detailed FAQ’s, and instructional videos.
THE MILLENNIAL MINDSET
Banks that are able to provide these types of services are securing huge market share with millennials.
For a generation of people who grew up with the internet and mobile devices, self-service is often their preferred method of interaction. This age group doesn’t want to communicate with reps and customer service. They want applications they can download onto their devices, customized in ways that work for them, having the option to interact with it whenever necessary.
And they’re willing to pay more for exactly that arrangement.
Studies have shown millennials value convenience above all else, including price. They are willing to pay more to do business on their terms and they often spend more money than they initially planned to with self-service platforms. In fact “50% of customers think it’s important to solve product or service issues themselves and 70% expect a company’s website to include a self service application.”
For banks and mortgage providers, engaging with millennials is the key to a growing business. This generation is coming of age and starting to invest in homes and property. “Millennials represented around 45% of all purchase loans, up from 42% the same month in 2016.” That’s a large market, and it requires a change in thinking in order to connect with them.
Millennials are well educated, flexible and brand loyal. They have grown up with technology all around them, and they are at ease using multiple channels to interact with brands. They gravitate towards companies with a strong online presence, a ‘positive story to tell’ and a good reputation amongst their peers. They are distrustful of traditional advertising strategies, relying on more subtle signals to build their understanding of a brand.
Giving them control over their data, offering them flexibility and a strong online and social media presence are surefire ways of getting them interested in your brand.
BOOSTING YOUR BOTTOM LINE
Transferring the responsibility for data capture and account management onto the consumer should mean a cost saving for the bank. “Websites, mobile apps and support portals are cheaper than brick-and-mortar storefronts and one-to-one assistance,” explains Salesforce.com. There is naturally an up-front cost in establishing effective systems of self-service, but they are a cost saver down the line and they build trust and loyalty amongst consumers.
Customers are more accurate when inputting their own data than when a third-party does it for them; therefore, this reduces the number of errors in the system and the amount of time wasted fixing the problems. Furthermore, employees are able to focus their time and energy on more productive and profitable activities when they are relieved of an overwhelming amount of customer support.
BALANCING THE FINE LINE
It’s a tricky act to get right. Millennials want automated processes, yet they still want trusted professionals who they can turn to if there is a problem. And there is some data that suggests when a process is completed too quickly and too easily, then consumers begin to wonder why they are paying for it in the first place, which is a classic Catch-22 situation. Be fast … but not too fast!
Ultimately, the amount and the quality of self-service delivered via mobile will be a tremendous differentiator for younger, tech-savvy consumers searching for mortgage providers. These consumers will use their social networks to learn about your organization and how you operate, then they will test your online presence and determine how well your services correspond to their needs.
That’s why it’s critical for banks and mortgage providers to work with organizations that understand digital transformation and have experience in transforming standard processes to digital solutions which work for consumers.
Practices and procedures that have been developed over many years do not need to be discarded, they simply have to take into account changing consumer needs and ways of working in order to be effective.
AI Foundry is a leader in the transformation of mortgage provider to a digital-first world.
Download the AI Foundry White Paper on Successful Digital Transformation today.
To learn more about how you could implement self-service and increased automation for your mortgage process, check out AI Foundry’s Agile Mortgages solution here.