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Key Challenges Facing the Financial Services and Insurance Industry

Financial services and insurance firms that want to grow – and grow profitably – must treat customer experience as a top priority.

Companies all over the world are coping with drastic shifts in consumer behavior. The financial services and insurance industries are no exception: Customers have higher expectations than ever before when it comes to ease-of-use across all touchpoints, from websites to mobile apps to interactions with your staff. Customers also have concerns about how their data is used and how well it's protected. 

"Companies that offer best-in-class customer experiences grow faster and more profitably. To reach this level, insurers and financial services firms must relentlessly improve customer journeys across channels and business functions." -McKinsey & Co.

The results of a strong CX focus speak for themselves: as an example, over the past five years, US auto insurers that offer consistently outstanding customer experiences generated 2-4X more new business growth and saw 30% higher profitability than firms that lag behind in CX.

Consumers are demanding more sophisticated service.

Banking, financial, and insurance information is sensitive, personal, and can be emotionally charged. Customers often feel a great sense of urgency about financial questions and want immediate answers. For companies in the FSI industry, the pressure is on to provide the kind of ease-of-use consumers have come to expect from today's technology. Consumers now expect that you will instantly know who they are and what they need, and be able to answer questions and provide resolutions on their terms. 

When consumers have a question or problem, their first instinct is to try to find an answer themselves. In fact, 90% of consumers now expect a brand or organization to offer self-service customer support. What's more, customers expect to be able to communicate with self-service interfaces in a natural, conversational way. This trend towards preferring online chat and virtual agents is growing rapidly, according to research from Forrester: From 2012 to 2015, the number of people using online or mobile chat for customer service grew 51% and usage of virtual agents grew 86%.

Nine out of 10 consumers expect a brand or organization to offer self-service customer support.

More than 70% of consumers across the banking, insurance, and investment industries would rely entirely on automated, digital means to manage their relationships. Having grown accustomed to managing so many other types of interactions with brands via self-service, consumers now expect to be able to do more on their own, regardless of channel or device.

In order to be able to support the kind of experiences your customers desire, FSI firms need to begin offering more functionality via self-service, giving customers the power to do more. 

Enabling consumers to complete routine transactions through digital self-service delivers the convenience and speed they demand, while reducing your per-interaction costs. For example, AI-powered self-service technology can now automate routine interactions such as processing insurance claims, transferring funds, answering policy questions, disputing transactions, and so on, with the high levels of accuracy needed for financial and insurance-related issues.

When self-service and chatbots aren't enough, customers want a natural progression through escalation channels. People start communicating in chat, then phone, then video. They do this in their personal lives and want to communicate with your brand in the same way. For example, a customer might use your mobile banking app to check his account activity. He sees a withdrawal he doesn't recognize, and he begins using self-service to search for an answer himself. If he doesn't find one, he can easily click to start a voice or video chat with a live agent who can help him check his account activity. And like 72% of customers, he's going to expect that agent already knows his contact information and history from the moment that support interaction begins.

FSI firms need stringent record-keeping and security standards.

Change is the only constant. When financial consumers ask questions, companies like yours may rely on knowledgebases to provide answers -- but as answers and policies change over time, you need to preserve an audit trail of which answer was given to which customer in the past. For example, let's imagine that last month you changed the free structure on your checking accounts. A confused customer asks a question via email, and the responding agent can see she received an answer three months ago before the fee change, an answer that was true at the time but is no longer accurate. The agent is able to understand where she's coming from and better address her confusion.

Understandably, financial institutions are also concerned about protecting sensitive customer information. Often, customer service systems need to use such information to verify customers' identities and answer their pressing questions. It's important for you to fully understand how your vendors' systems safeguard customer privacy and comply with regulations such as PCI DSS.

Customer engagement software addresses these challenges.

Astute Solutions builds customer engagement software for some of the world's biggest brands. Our solutions can help financial brands like yours face the challenges in front of you and improve the experience for your customers.

Helping customers find their own answers and complete routing tasks. Astute's software allows you to provide customers with quick answers and allow them to perform routine transactions through self-service on your website, in your mobile app, or via messaging apps. If they can't find what they're looking for, it's easy for them to seamlessly transition to talking with a live agent who already has the context of who they are and what they need.

Keeping answers accurate. The same knowledgebase that helps customers answer their own questions (such as, "What's my account balance?" and "Should I refinance my mortgage?") also supplies your employees with reliable, accurate information that changes with your business -- and even tracks past responses in an audit trail, reducing your risk. 

Personalized, optimized interactions. Astute's technology allows you to deliver tailored, personalized interactions leveraging rich customer data, and optimize responses across channels and devices to offer the quick, seamless experiences today's consumers crave.

 

Astute knows how to help financial companies win. Schedule a free demo today.