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FSI Blog Series, Part III: Personalization

Post Author: Joe D365 |

Welcome to Part III of our blog series exploring the partnership that exists between HCL-PowerObjects, Microsoft, and Seismic – the world’s most powerful storytelling platform. Our three businesses together provide a unique set of partnership benefits for our customers that includes execution deployment, data analytics, and customized content.

This series focuses on the power of this triumvirate through the lens of the Financial Services Industry (FSI). Our first installment was devoted to Digital Selling, while the second post explored Sales and Marketing Collaboration. In today’s post, we’re looking at Personalization. Enjoy!      

Personalization in Financial Services

Personalization and technology first intersected way back in 1999 when Amazon began making personalized book recommendations to customers based on search and purchase history. And while that was just over 20 years ago, today it is hard to even imagine a world where we are not constantly bombarded with personalized marketing messaging. Whether it’s traditional “snail mail,” email, social media, or our internet browsers, we are inundated with messaging directed at each of us individually. Even our televisions tell us which shows to watch based on our viewing history. This is truly a fact of life – and the result is that, to remain competitive, businesses in the Financial Services industry (FSI) must be capable of delivering unique personalization to their clients. Or put a different way, they must meet their customers precisely where personalization and technology intersect.

Personalization at every point of communication with your client is key to creating stronger ties and long-lasting relationships. It allows for a more connected customer experience, giving you insight into what your clients want and, more importantly, what they need.

Research proves that across all industries consumers are expecting, if not demanding, highly personalized experiences.

  • 8% of consumers are willing to switch half – or more – of their spending to a provider that excels at personalizing experiences without compromising trust.
  • 33% of customers who abandoned a business relationship in the past year did so because of a lack of personalization.
  • 72% of consumers say that when contacting customer service, they expect the agent to know who they are and what they’ve recently purchased, as well as have insights into their prior interactions with the company.

The Right Technology Is Key to Personalization

We’ve talked repeatedly about success in FSI being dependent on technology and personalization intersecting in the right ways for you and your clients. At this point, we understand that personalization is the new norm across all industries, as well as the benefits of a well-coordinated strategy in the property industry specifically.

What may not be clear yet is which technologies are relevant – that is, what specific technology solutions will we find at that all-important intersection with personalization? It usually starts with a robust Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution – something like Microsoft Dynamics 365 – that serves as the backbone for your entire operation. But true personalization requires so much more. Let’s explore two key technology solutions that are especially relevant in the FSI channel:

1. Self-Service Portals

There is a self-service revolution happening in the world today, and FSI businesses are certainly not immune.

  • 90% of consumers prefer to solve issues themselves rather than relying on customer service.
  • Across the board, consumers now say they are using self-service FAQ pages on a company’s website for customer service more often than speaking with a live agent on the phone.

  • For millennials, self-service is a primary channel—69% say they feel good about themselves and the company they are doing business with when they resolve a problem without having to talk directly to customer service. But the key is choice – whether it be portals, mobile access or alternative channels like Facebook and Instagram – clients not only insist on self-service, but options within self-service, as well.

Indeed, it has become an expectation of consumers that their banks, firms, and carriers provide a self-service option. In other words, the age of self-service has undoubtedly arrived. And self-service portalsput the power in each client’s hands to make the right financial decisions with the option to contact you immediately if needed. While this is a tall order, it’s one that can be met with an intuitive portal, available on mobile devices and seamlessly connected to back end systems.

2. Connected Omni-channel Experiences

More than half of business in the FSI channel report their most critical customer experience issue as being able to provide a seamless experience across multiple channels. Even though advanced technologies are making waves in this area, many in FSI still struggle with providing a full omni-channel engagement that allows clients to connect anytime, anywhere, on the channel of their choice and convenience (chat, email, phone, social, etc.) The problem is that your clients expect a seamless and consistent experience across the growing number of channels they are using to interact with you.

In other words, the ability to provide connected, customer-centric, omni-channel service should be a priority for banks, investment firms, and insurance carriers. And providing a connected experiencefor your clients has an added benefit for you: an unmatched, 360-degree view of your customers across channels, as well as connected data across sources. This includes front office and back office integration driven by automation, with AI providing access to everything necessary for highly personalized resolutions and communications with clients.

Conclusion and Next Steps

From a technology perspective, there are so many additional tools and solutions designed to enable personalized service delivery. Just as important to success in FSI is the ability to personalize the content you’re developing for your customers and prospects. With Seismic, buyers can tell more personalized stories and serve up the right content, at the right time with the sales cycle, to compel action from their clients and prospects. Learn more here.

Next week, we will conclude our 4-part blog series exploring the HCL-PowerObjects/Microsoft/Seismic partnership with a post focused on staying agile. We hope you enjoy! 

By Joe D365
Joe D365 is a Microsoft Dynamics 365 superhero who runs on pure Dynamics adrenaline. As the face of PowerObjects, Joe D365’s mission is to reveal innovative ways to use Dynamics 365 and bring the application to more businesses and organizations around the world.

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