In striving to adapt to digital, have banks forgotten the importance of human touch?
Since their inception, banks have always been physical institutions, requiring customers to visit a branch to avail financial services. The physical presence helped banks in building credibility and engaging customers face-to-face.
The new age of banking has defied all boundaries, going beyond the traditional modes to deliver innovative products and services. With touchless payments, wallets, and online banking, the digital revolution has brought banking to our fingertips.
However, with the rise of digital comes the risk of a diminishing human touch—something that financial institutions cannot afford, especially when customer experience is paramount.
Technology and Human Touch Are Intertwined
According to a study by PwC, 71% of Americans would rather interact with a human than a chatbot or some other automated processes.
Embracing new technologies and prioritizing a human touch are not mutually exclusive. In fact, maintaining a fine balance between technology and physical connection can help banks accelerate their digital transformation initiatives and deliver a superior customer experience.
For example, the current pandemic forced banks to go online and embrace a remote, contactless working environment. Although digital-enabled consumers to avail essential banking services, the human connect via mediums like video conferencing played a significant role in building customer trust and engagement.
Delivering a Delightful Digital Banking Experience
The financial services industry is continually working to improve their digital customer experience. But by focusing only on cost reduction, banks are at the risk of losing out to customer-focused competitors.
Human touch is not confined to physical interactions. The customer journey spans physical and digital touchpoints, and banks must balance automation and flexible human intervention across their processes.
How can banks achieve a fair balance?
Build smart processes: Banking processes must be modern and flexible to deal with dynamic and unprecedented business needs
Map end-to-end customer journey: Process visibility, from initiation to closure, can help customers better understand the process and increase longevity
Empower employees: Empowering employees with new-age technologies can enable intelligent decision making and improved efficiency
Reduce friction: Bridging operational silos and optimizing processes by avoiding lengthy forms and empowering personnel can help enable a seamless experience
Handle exceptions with speed: Managing exceptions, delays, and addressing grievances with speed can ensure a hassle-free redressal experience
What banks need is a robust and flexible automation strategy that combines all the key ingredients of customer-centric processes—the strategy that delivers an unparalleled experience where customers feel valued and connected. As banks continue to progress on their path to digital, it is becoming even more important to maintain a human touch.
Views expressed in this article are the personal opinion of Ritesh Varma, Global Head – Business Solutions, Newgen Software.