By Krishnan Vishwanathan – CEO and Founder, Kissht
Banking and financial services are among the few industries to rapidly adopt technology and innovations on the go. Over the past decade, the entire industry has evolved into an automated, secure, fast, and customer-centric approach ecosystem. All this thanks to technology, today, the bank is at the customer’s fingertips, in a few clicks on his smartphone!
The major disruption has been the advent of digital loan applications which have revolutionized the conventional lending system into a digital platform, now enabling customers to achieve instant gratification and personalization of services. This digital transformation of this business has made it more accessible and convenient for both lender and borrower through faster service, easy registration and secure transactions. However, the throes of customer retention persist due to the plethora of app choices they have in the market. While technological features appeal to the customer, the overall “experience” is also a critical factor influencing their choice.
As the race for customer retention intensifies, here are some steps you can take to improve the overall customer experience:
Know your client
To deliver a seamless customer experience, it’s essential to understand your target audience first. Using big data analysis and calculating the volumes of customer data available, it is possible to plot predictive spending and reimbursement patterns, understand the demographic distribution of customers and their frequency of engagement. In addition, it helps us to assess the choices and preferences of customers. We can identify relevant touchpoints of customer interaction to improve their brand experience every time.
Make the client independent
One of the main reasons for the adoption of digital platforms by consumers today is their autonomy. Consumers like services that are convenient, easy to use, and don’t rely too much on outside help or support. So, businesses need to make sure that the mundane things like creating an account, uploading documents, verifying and other such activities are well defined and convenient to perform and secure. Intelligent interface aspects such as self-service support, chat-bots interaction, autofill OTP system can go a long way in improving customer experience. Besides, provide DYK content nuggets about the product and services across all platforms so that the customer feels well informed which in turn results in better customer loyalty and higher conversion rates.
Be agonistic and Automate
Products or services developed for a wide audience cannot be restrictive in terms of preferences and functions. In India in particular, where there are various languages, a plethora of smart device brands, and a diverse range of infrastructure development, applications / services that offer a wide range of choices are preferred. We should be running on all networks, most devices, signal strength, in short, be in agonist mode. In addition, automate services to reduce formalities closing time, verification process, loan disbursement, dispute resolution, standardized responses, and more. This makes the whole process transparent and efficient, thus improving the customer experience.
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Maintain consistency of messages
Today, consumers have access to multiple sources of information. Thus, it is imperative to guarantee the authenticity and relevance of the information disseminated on these source channels as a service provider. An uninformed customer can become unhappy and be a bad influence on the brand. So, while ensuring accurate messages, we must also have a skillful hand in handling complaints and resolving disputes in a satisfactory manner to ensure a happy customer experience.
Transparency and accountability
Today’s consumers are smart to understand questionable terms and shady deals made to entice them. Businesses with such questionable reputations instantly lose consumer trust and interest, and through social media channels, these customers are reporting other customers and potential users as well. Consumers appreciate the well-documented clauses, the explicit mention of transition costs and the transparency of the entire process. We live in the age of the Internet, where our digital footprint gives businesses and brands the big picture of their customers. Therefore, in an environment where customers trust platforms with sensitive data, they must protect and be accountable for them. Customers feel more secure when applications only ask for required information and contextual permissions before using the information. Consumers appreciate the freedom to decide how much secondary information they wish to disclose.
Improve your product offering
Today’s customers are up to date with the latest technology trends and understand critical features like security, ease of use, affordability, connectivity, etc. Thus, companies must continue to upgrade their product offering with the latest technological solutions to make it easier and more convenient. Integrating mobile payment options, improving security settings with biometrics, improving user interface are some examples of how upgrading the product can help lending businesses appease customers.
Apps can use AI and analytics to track trends and choices in customer behavior to create quick search options, deliver relevant and personalized recommendations and offers. Personalized content via emails, notifications are a great way to interact with the customer because they feel valued and important. In addition, tailor-made engagement builds customer confidence, as it allows them immediate access to information that is relevant and useful to them. Such an intangible experience goes a long way in creating a contagious affable feeling for the brand which spreads in the peer group.
In conclusion, digital lending services have helped overcome geographic barriers, socio-economic diversity and reach the population who could not access financial services earlier. But the emergence of many players in this segment leading to strong competition worries customers about data security, quality of service and possible financial fraud. In addition, they find it difficult to differentiate product offerings, and this is precisely where a good customer experience is essential. Services that closely monitor changing customer needs provide personalized service and leverage technology to adapt to ever-changing market dynamics with relevant offerings, which will always remain the preferred choice of customers.