Digital payments adoption expanded from urban to rural areas in India at light speed after the pandemic — so much so that 73% of Indians now use contactless payments regularly. The increased demand for contactless digital services has required financial service organisations to adapt quickly.
Customers became accustomed to the speed and convenience that online transactions offer and they now expect the same ease in resolving their issues. Along with rapid digitalisation in the financial services sector came the challenge of adopting the right customer experience strategy. It’s no surprise that financial service organisations in India are looking at agility as the go-to strategy to handle change seamlessly.
Take the example of PayNearby, India’s largest hyperlocal fintech network, which brings financial inclusion to the masses by turning kirana stores and small retail stores into money transfer points for the local communities. Its customers include local kiranas, microfinancing and credit agencies, food ordering and delivery services, and businesses in rural areas. The pandemic brought with it many ups and downs for the company and PayNearby’s money transfer business fell from $200 million to $15 million per month within the first week of the lockdown in March 2020. However, it was declared an essential service and allowed to operate. Within the next three months, business was spiked to $400 million. This is when the company began to rethink their approach to CX in an effort to be more agile. PayNearby had six different support teams: retail calls, sales calls, technical issues, finance, onboarding, and enterprise partners. With the goal to centralise customer support, the company integrated the preferred channel of communication for its users — WhatsApp. Adding data analytics to the process improved customer experiences and the company became more agile than it was before the pandemic.
Becoming agile is no easy feat, but here are 3 actions finserve companies can take on their path to delivering great CX:
Make it easy to listen to customers: If you’re helping customers with their finances, it should be easy for them to connect with you. According to the Reserve Bank of India, turnaround time for complaints among financial service organisations in India stretched up to 95 days. Although many financial service organisations offer multiple channels of communication, the buck doesn’t stop here – especially if those channels are not integrated with each other. Fragmented data, insights, and decisions make for a disjointed view of the customer. Making sense of customer feedback and data, and ensuring that this information is visible across teams in a unified window is a key step to improving CX. According to a McKinsey study, Indian payments providers that adopt advanced analytics witnessed a 5-10 percent increase in customer satisfaction with a decline in operating cost up to 20%.
Design teams to handle change seamlessly: Collaboration remains a trouble spot for most financial services companies, especially with remote teams. Rigid processes and knowledge gaps means teams are bogged down by manual work, productivity suffers and ultimately leaders struggle to justify the unexpected cost required to rebuild workflows. Since the start of the pandemic, 41 percent of agents across the world say that it takes more effort to collaborate with teams outside of customer service. And that’s a missed opportunity, since 50 percent believe that more collaboration would help them be more effective.
Knowledge sharing is important. When ticket volumes increase, self service options ensure that agents are not mired with a huge number of simple, repetitive requests. Adding automation means companies won’t have to retrain your agents for every change – allowing you to evolve your operations and test new strategies.
Invest in agile tech to further CX goals: Any tech investment is obviously a large one. Financial services firms should be looking for a CX solution that is open, flexible and works out of the box, but can be customised to suit the companies’ needs. Indian companies are now planning their budgets and teams with agility in mind while looking to build a suitable omnichannel strategy. That means adding social messaging channels, including apps and integrations to enhance CX, and using automations and AI to streamline the process wherever possible.
Agile companies constantly question old assumptions on how they work and interact with customers. They focus on innovation constantly and define new workable ways to meet their customers needs and expectations. With agility comes the confidence that the right data will guide organisations to anticipate which trends to act on. This results in control and flexibility in processes that are easily adaptable to change and makes customer service responsive and smart.
The current crop of digital leaders of 2020 are examples of why agile practices allow businesses to breeze through seemingly hard times. With agility in mind in 2021 and beyond, it is true that CX is indispensable to the financial services sector.
Authored by KT Prasad, MD & RVP, Sales, SAARC, Zendesk