Getting closer to the customers – the omnichannel way

The traditional banking system is changing fast in India. Indian banks are not the same anymore as they used to be ten years back. If I think about the banks of the past decade, the picture that comes to my mind is a small room full of people lined up to do tasks like updating passbooks or depositing/withdrawing money.

The same banks today are using the power of technology not only to reach out to the customers but also helping them invest or spend their money intelligently. 

Due to the increasing competition, it is essential for the banks to reach out to the customers, rather than asking them to connect with the bank. Banking is a crucial aspect of everyone’s life, and in today’s world, no one wants to get in the queue to do simple but critical tasks like checking account balance or transferring money. Customers now want to access their account at a place and with the pace of their comfort. It is their hard earned money, after all!

With a wide range of customers that banks have, there is no “one size fits all” solution to the different mediums or channels that banks can focus on to reach customers. Banks today mandatorily need to cater via multiple channels.

Moreover, all those channels should coordinate with each other seamlessly.

Reaching customers via multiple channels

An omnichannel environment allows banks to always stay connected and serve the needs of their customers. 

A customer would want to have complete control over his money, although it is stored safely in a bank account. He would like to access the money any time of the day including holidays or odd night hours. Giving this feeling to a money holder is very important. 

Imagine, you are waiting for the cab to arrive to go to the office and in those few minutes, you need to apply for a loan or to check your eligibility. While you were doing the calculations in your home desktop and had semi-filled the loan application form, the cab arrived, and you had to leave the house. It would have been a delight if you could continue completing the form on your way from your mobile app. It would save so much of time and effort.

The feature, as mentioned earlier, is something which Gmail does very nicely with emails, where a user may resume writing an email from a different channel (mobile/web). However, this facility is not prevalent in the financial sector despite the long forms that spread across multiple pages.

Disconnected channels in banks may cause delays in implementing updates (e.g. a change in government policy or a new exciting offer) as these updates need to be reflected across different disconnected channels individually.

The solution for connecting channels is investing in an omnichannel platform. This platform is a software application, that is deployed on the client-facing end of a bank’s existing software architecture. The omnichannel platform would orchestrate the requests from different channels to a common pathway, which can then be controlled and modified at one place.