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How banks can proactively transform the way they engage with customers

Today, most people are indifferent to their bank and simply think of it as a utility, and it’s easy to see why. Most people have direct deposit, which means far fewer trips to the bank. In today’s increasingly cashless society, people visit ATM’s only occasionally. When banks proactively reach out, it’s typically with a generic credit card offer or something else that feels impersonal. Considering all this, it’s no wonder that nearly 80% of consumers consider their banking relationship to be merely transactional – up nearly 10% since 2014. Younger people value their banking relationship even less; in the last 12 months 20% of millennials have changed banks.

How do banks buck this trend and rebuild strong relationships with their customers? It starts with recognizing that customers are enjoying hyper-personalized experiences in other areas of their lives. They have access to curated playlists from their favorite bands as they select their custom coffee order in the Starbucks app every morning. What if banks could be personal, customer-focused, and friendly in the same way?

To delight customers, banks must change the way they engage. That involves knowing the customer and tailoring their experience using that knowledge.

With mobile and cloud technology, banks can thrive in this new era of personalized banking service and re-frame the way customers think about banking by becoming lifestyle enablers. Imagine a bank that notifies a customer who loves Beyoncé that they have exclusive ticket packages for sale. Or that informs a customer who purchases lots of movie tickets on their credit card that they are hosting an early screening of the next blockbuster in the neighborhood. That is a bank that will be more relevant to their customers and inspire more loyalty.

Transforming insight into action

Thanks to new digital solutions, banks can be more than just a savings account or a mortgage lender. Using the vast amounts of data they have about customers, they can share customized suggestions and useful offers, rather than only engage with customers through utilitarian interactions.

This opens up an entirely different type of engagement. Because banks have visibility into incomes, they can suggest neighborhoods and realtors when customers are considering home ownership. If they see repeat trips to a mechanic, they could offer a great rate on financing through a local car dealership. Because they can see purchase histories, they know when a customer might benefit from travel discounts. This is information that banks have always had access to, but they’ve never been able to use it in a consistent, unified way across the company.

Enabling personalized banking service starts with a complete view of the customer

The key to enabling personalized banking service is breaking down the barriers between divisions in the bank itself. Historically, deposits, loans, and credit cards have been tracked through a variety of systems. Once these silos are broken down, it becomes possible to present a complete view of the customer through any channel.

For example, when someone makes a call to their bank, the call center representative can now see a holistic view of all that customer’s data in a single dashboard. They know the last time the customer visited a branch, what offers they have received over email or via the website, and how many other calls they have made that week. When associates have a full view of a customer’s interactions with the bank, they are better-equipped to put each interaction into context, and to reduce friction for the customer.

More broadly, this unified view enables different departments to understand and address customer needs as a single organization, which is exactly what the customer is expecting. By bridging the barriers between channels, banks can provide customers with a consistent experience anywhere, anytime, on any device.

How Microsoft can help

This 360-degree, unified view of the customer is now possible with Microsoft cloud technology. Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Insights is a new SaaS solution that helps employees know exactly what to do with each customer, every time. By merging all available customer data, bank employees can see a holistic view of each customer’s past interactions. From greeters to tellers to customer service reps, Customer Insights provides employees with the information they need to deliver an exceptional, personal service experience. This includes automatic suggestions that take some of the guesswork out of the process.

As a scalable cloud-based solution, Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Insights is ready to implement immediately. It comes with pre-made dashboards but is flexible enough that you can create views relevant to all employees with minimal effort. The solution combines customer data from multiple systems and presents insights visually to give employees the best possible context for every customer interaction.

Built on Microsoft Azure, Customer Insights also meets a broad set of international and banking-specific compliance standards. Banks can rest assured that customer data will be secure with a solution that has received more compliance certifications than any other cloud provider to date.
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Get a first look at Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Insights here and start exploring how you can transform your customer relationships.

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