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Is ALL Digital ALL Right?

Posted: 24 July 2019

Modern day technology has enabled many traditionally-physical services to be delivered digitally, particularly when it comes to banking and financial services. The explosion of digital banking users and the rise of digital-only banks that provide real-time spending notifications and in-app support is a great example of how a digital revolution has spread throughout financial services.

Costly ‘bricks and mortar’ branches staffed with teams of people are increasingly being replaced with remotely-delivered services, via telephony or online portals. The recent growth of digital-only platforms, such as Monzo, has only fuelled the transition from the real world to the online one.

Digital Customer Experiences: Perks and Pitfalls

Digital channels enable people to access services 24/7, typically from anywhere in the world. This has many significant benefits for customers with on-demand access to information and services being the main upaide. Such digital access also enables businesses to minimise their dependence on physical branches, offices and staff thereby reducing costs with an arguably small impact on the majority of customers. With 100% digital services, the physical costs of delivering their products and services are negligible.

However, whilst digital services can provide a simpler, more accessible and a more inviting user experience, there are some pitfalls that come with them that can be challenging for customers:

  • Onboarding
    Getting started with digital only services can still take some time and, in situations where a hybrid service is applicable, new users may be asked to go into a branch to complete their account creation
  • Authentication
    While authentication is a big part to play with security for digital-only services, it can be difficult to get a balance between having the right security measures in place without inconveniencing users. According to a Visa study, 86% of consumers are interested in using biometrics to verify identity or to confirm payments and about half of them would switch away from a card network or bank that doesn’t offer biometric authentication in the future
  • Customer Support
    Users will inevitably run into issues with digital products or services and may have to contact someone from the customer support team. When companies outsource customer support to call centres to save costs, users can become frustrated if they do not get the level of reassurance that they require. Having such a bad customer experience (CX) can cause users to cancel their account and migrate elsewhere. The lack of human support can often be significantly amplified by simple issues if a 24/7 instant response isn’t offered to customers.
  • Complexity and Ambiguity
    The average user may simply use digital financial services to check balances, statements and make payments. However, when the service becomes more complex and uses language and features that the average user would not understand, human intervention may be necessary. Digital-only services would run into this problem and have no way to reassure their customers.
  • Connectivity Requirement
    It makes sense that users must be connected to the internet in order to access their account or complete transactions, but in situations where you simply cannot get a signal or have restricted internet access, digital services are futile.

What are Digital Users on the Lookout for?

With so much choice available, customer experience is often seen as the key benchmark for digital service performance and should be ranked highly as a priority for digital-only services.

Customer experience is the product of an interaction between an organisation and a customer over the duration of their relationship, which includes UI, customer service and how a company’s brand interacts with its customers. Gartner reveals that 89% of organisations now expect to compete solely on the experience they can offer – after all, when your service is fully digital, experience is the sole source of competitive advantage (providing you don’t want to compete on price alone!).

Additionally, a survey commissioned by D3 Banking Technology and conducted by Harris Poll indicated that thirty-two percent of U.S. adults age 18 or older reported that they would be willing to leave their current bank or credit union for a better digital experience.

How can Digital Platforms Deliver a Better Customer Experience?

Digital service companies should consider how different customers are going to interact with different touch points to reach them – and then must be there to meet them at the touch points of their choice. With a growing variety of channels that customers will use to contact digital services, such companies should have the appropriate human interaction set up to meet the users’ needs.

Consumers will want to be able to reach some form of human interaction when they reach their personal threshold of worry and doubt. This could be due to outages, confusion, misunderstandings, general queries, worries, or even user error. Although according to Gartner, the average cost of IT downtime is $5,600 (£4,420) per minute, all of the other reasons that users will contact a company can result in additional costs and potential customer losses if a great experience isn’t delivered.

When a nationwide retail bank introduced online banking, customers who adopted it increased their total transaction volume and began visiting and calling the bank more, increasing costs and decreasing overall profitability. Similar dynamics can be observed in health care. Patients who adopted e-visits, for example, actually began showing up at the doctor’s office twice as often. One explanation for this pattern is that current technology is functionally limited, requiring people to seek out in-person help in addition to using automated services. But as innovation progresses, functional limitations are bound to fall by the wayside – innovation is essential!

Think Phygital: Video Signing Rooms Deliver Better Digital Experiences

The smaller transactions such as paying a bill, transferring money, or the equivalent of sending an email are perfectly suited for completely digital solutions.

However, when it comes to making the most important purchase of your life – like buying a home – human communication is often unparalleled. Complex transactions demand advisor assistance either because it’s a regulatory requirement or it’s simply good service. With the right technology, service providers can bridge both human and digital experiences so that they complement the other and help build the ‘trusted advisor’ relationship between company and client.

Service providers, such as financial planners, often have to present documentation and sign contracts with their clients. Whilst they can have preliminary video meetings to agree on terms and conditions with clients, the signing process will require either a physical meeting, a physical signing process or a separate digital signing process – all creating ‘process friction’, therefore slowing down client acquisition and delaying revenue generation. By combining digital meetings and digital signing in a single event can eliminate process friction, accelerate client agreement and generate revenue quicker.

An additional upside of using video signing rooms into a SuiteBox’s VideoSign technology is that the combination of capturing a signature and video simultaneously not only guarantees the authenticity of attendees’ signatures but it also allows service providers to evidence their compliance with law, regulation or standard procedures. Incorporating VideoSign evidence into your record keeping will strengthen your regulatory compliance and maintain strong chains of custody for evidencing this compliance.

SuiteBox is an example of how humans can be introduced to digital processes at scale, enabling businesses to drive better digital experiences. By allowing users to sign documents while having a complete recording of the meeting for both parties to review at any point. VideoSign technology confirms compliance and guarantees authenticity of attendees’ signatures which enables the opportunity for companies to both meet and transact in an online meeting room.

What human/digital hybrid solutions do you use as a business? We’d love to hear! Get in touch or contact us on any of our social media outlets.

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