We are committed to helping organizations everywhere stay connected and productive. Read more

Smiling mature businesswoman working at desk in creative office

Banks are contending with a lengthy list of up-and-coming competitors. Fintechs, neobanks, and born-in-the-cloud banks are taking an increased market share thanks in large part to their ability to provide the personalized banking experience that customers now expect.

Today’s customers want personalized banking with the ubiquitous access that comes from a seamless, omnichannel experience. They expect to be able to communicate and interact with their bank anytime they want, anywhere they want. To stay competitive, banking organizations need to meet this expectation.

“A lot of the millennials and Gen Z…expect banking organizations to have the same level of convenience and personalized service they’re getting from Amazon and other online providers.”

– Chad Hamblin, Director Banking Related Solutions for Industry, Worldwide Financial Services Group, Microsoft

Different from hard-goods companies, many financial services organizations offer similar products and services as their competitors—which makes it challenging for organizations to cut through the sea of sameness to attract new customers. In a “switching economy” where consumers are more apt to shop around for the best deal or experience, it’s difficult to retain existing customers. Personalizing the banking experience is one key way these organizations can differentiate themselves, that’s why we’re seeing a lot of them invest heavily in customer channels.

What does a personalized customer experience look like?

Providing a personalized customer experience means delivering the right message at the right time in the right channel. Banks need to go beyond next-best offers and targeted marketing to create relevant end-to-end experiences for each individual customer.

To create this individualized banking experience, organizations must leverage their data in new ways to get a comprehensive view of each customer and pinpoint their individual needs. Banks should focus on four key areas, or pillars, of a seamless customer experience:

  1. Customer engagement
  2. Customer insights
  3. Predictive analytics
  4. Augmented intelligence

“[Your customers] aren’t in the market for a mortgage, [they’re] in the market for a home. So, the question becomes, how can a bank become an integral part of its customers’ journeys?”

– Chris Dickin, Executive Vice President, Ecosystems and Product Marketplace, Zafin

The four pillars of a seamless customer experience in banking

1. Customer engagement

The customer engagement pillar is where banking organizations get a 360-degree view of the customer and track their interactions, usually with a traditional customer relationship management (CRM) system or customer system of record. CRM systems help organizations establish a baseline and serve as an important foundation for customer data.

2. Customer insights

The second pillar, customer insights, provides a deeper understanding of these customers. This might involve adding other data elements like lifetime value and social presence. The goal is to add more context to the data you’ve already compiled so you can better tailor each customer’s interaction with your business.

3. Predictive analytics

The predictive analytics pillar is all about using advanced analytics and machine learning to identify trends and patterns, then using that information to identify latent needs and preferences and take proactive action.

4. Augmented intelligence

The final pillar is augmented intelligence which is critical to the creation of a truly seamless customer experience. Ideally, AI is used in conjunction with human-led channels as a way to augment and complement them.

To learn more about all four pillars of the personalized customer experience, watch the on-demand webinar, Digital Transformation in Banking: Relevant, Personalized Customer Experiences. 

The key to a truly personalized banking experience is combining all four of these pillars in one easy-to-use process. Banking professionals need solutions that not only capture but interpret data so they can tailor offerings to each individual customer’s needs and wants.

Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services

To help bank employees create more personalized, differentiated customer experiences, Microsoft has created Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services. With capabilities to deliver differentiated experiences, empower employees, combat financial crime, and increase compliance, this cloud solution is specifically designed to help financial services organizations reach their current and future goals.

We’ve also partnered with Zafin, a leading cloud platform for product and pricing lifecycle management​. With Zafin, banking organizations can extend and enhance the core capabilities of Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services. This product lifecycle management solution facilitates workflow, collaboration, and communication across different domains of the organization. Relationship managers and banking specialists can empower a smooth journey toward a mortgage application using Microsoft and Zafin solutions. If the potential customer lands on the bank’s website and wants to learn about what loans are available, it will display available products based on how relevant they are for that particular customer.

“So rather than presenting a customer with a whole range of hundreds of products, you can…[show] only those products that the customer is eligible for.”

– George Winch, Senior Director, Ecosystems, Zafin

This kind of data-driven feature ensures customers don’t get overwhelmed with the bank’s entire catalog of products and services (many of which are of no value to that customer). It helps banks improve their customer experience immediately.

Create a customized banking experience today

This is only one potential application of these solutions. To see a demonstration of how the combination of Microsoft and Zafin solutions help customers have a more personalized experience throughout their financial journey, watch the on-demand webinar, Digital Transformation in Banking: Relevant, Personalized Customer Experiences. 

Learn more about Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services and how it can help your organization unlock new value with deeper customer connections.