Is your business paying digital lip service to customer experience?

Customer expectations are growing rapidly, in line with today’s constantly evolving technology. New players in fintech and the wider tech scene, such as Stripe, Grab and Facebook, are making the customer experience more seamless, personalised and instantaneous. The convergence of e-commerce’s convenience and social media’s speed of customer engagement are rapidly cutting down the time it takes for a transaction. Added to this are emerging solutions such as digital wallets and blockchain. In this era of unprecedented disruption, financial service providers need to totally rethink the customer journey for this new environment.

Over the last five years, AdParlor has consulted numerous CEOs, across finance, telco, and automotive industries on how to embrace digital as an end-to-end philosophy. We’ve seen how banking and customers have transformed. In Malaysia for instance, there are 31 million people who own 43 million mobile phones – significantly more than one mobile per person. This is creating a mobile-first, digital-first approach to customer engagement. With this shift, understanding the customer is not just possible, but essential for the highly personalised content that mobile is capable of.

At the same time, the finance industry’s prominent role in everyday business and life makes it subject to compliance and legal scrutiny. Finding the right person to be brand ambassador, with an understanding of both the sensitivities in finance and the digital savvy to bring the offline customer experience online is a challenge.

To address this, the most successful companies do not have customer experience as function, but make it central to everything they do. The CEO is no longer just a chief executive officer, but the customer experience officer, with a mandate to ensure customer satisfaction.

To start, think of what customers expect from banking. They want their money to be safe, to grow their assets, and to make deals and payments seamlessly. Some customers are avid shoppers on Lazada. Others will google to compare investment plans and credit card schemes to find the best deals. Understanding how each customer is different, creating a tailored experience for each, and ensuring the entire process is smooth, fast and secure, is critical.

Business intelligence and analytics forms the foundation of understanding the customer. This unlocks enormous personalisation opportunities for both marketing and the customer experience. At a customer experience event I attended, DBS digibank shared how they made every function digital from end to end, yielding 5,000 customers a day. From customer acquisition in the marketing department to retention and support in customer service, data is available to group customers by their usage habits. This then connects to the rest of the organisation, such as the strategy team, for high-level oversight.

Customer experience is as much about the back end planning as the technology adoption on the front end. Understanding how customers use your services ensures customers are truly valued. Heavy users can get the engagement and priority they need, while data can identify points for automation to streamline the most common transactions for light users. A trusted partner and consultant to advise on connecting and integrating the key platforms is essential. Ultimately, lifetime customer value is the “god-metric” which all initiatives should feed into, and as customer behaviours shifts, so must our approaches.

Want to learn more about how AdParlor can integrate digital into your business from end to end? Reach out to me at

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