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2022 Financial Institution Trends: Get Personal, Don’t Personalize

Blog Post
November 19, 2021

In today’s digital landscape, consumers have come to expect a certain amount of personalization in their online interactions. This expectation transcends financial institutions.

One of the biggest rising trends in the financials sector is personalization, but not without personal interaction.

For people who grew up in generations less centered around digital usage, services such as online banking can feel impersonal, frustrating, and even intimidating. Consumers want to know that they can still talk to a real person, even with online services.

Even Gen Z, a generation that has grown up with the Internet, desires personal interaction with online financial institutions.

There’s a difference between offering personalized services and offering genuine, personal interactions. Both of these are important for financial institutions to offer, but personalization can not replace personal interaction.

Let’s take a closer look at this concept in the financial industry.

Personalization for Digital Banking

The majority of consumers expect their financial institutions to understand their expectations and their unique set of needs, and more than half of all consumers expect to always receive personalized offers.

As digital banking grows, the number of customer interactions will drastically increase. Most of these will be digital, although interactions assisted by real people will remain important.

With this increase in digital interactions, consumer loyalty will grow, but only if the consumer feels like their provider is still meeting their needs. 

Many financial institutions think personalized engagement is the way to secure stronger consumer loyalty, and customers are starting to expect more and more of it.

Are online banking services meeting consumer expectations about personalized interactions?

The answer is no. The vast majority of financial institutions currently fall short of meeting these consumer expectations.

Website personalization can be a challenge for many financial institutions.

Around 80% of financial institutions report that they are unable to provide much personalization, if any, on their websites. Less than two out of every ten financial institutions believe that they are providing customized, personal website experiences to their customers.

As consumers ask for higher levels of personalized interaction in their banking services, financial institutions must consider why so many of them struggle to meet these expectations.

Many credit unions and banks can collect plenty of data regarding consumer interactions, but they cannot organize it in ways that will provide adequately personalized digital experiences. 

Some financial organizations report not having the skill set necessary to provide personalized web experiences to their clients.

Targeting messages to specific audiences on the Internet also proves to be a challenge for financial institutions. 

These challenges, along with others, keep 75% of global financial institutions from providing personalized web services to consumers.

However, recent trends show that customers don’t need a vast amount of personalization to enjoy their digital banking experience. They need a real, genuine personal interaction.

How to Get Personal

The idea of “personalized services” can be overwhelming and consume too many resources from financial institutions as they search for ways to provide these services to their customers.

In reality, consumers are actually searching for personal interactions rather than personalized content.

What’s the difference between the two?

Personalized services such as digital self-service rely on algorithms to try to give consumers the best digital experience possible. However, for the majority of consumers, this is not an adequate replacement for human interactions.

Consumers are interested in real-time, personal interactions, such as a phone call or another method of talking to a person who they feel cares about their banking experience. Some banks are looking to virtual reality meetings to help satisfy the desire for personal and visual interactions. 

The COVID-19 pandemic is also a contributing factor to the increase in consumer expectations of personal interactions. They now have higher customer service expectations from their financial institutions. Still, many institutions have placed too much effort on moving to fully digital self-service without allowing for continued personal interactions.

Conversational AI features and chatbots can help consumers in their digital banking experience, but they shouldn’t be treated as a replacement for personal human interaction.

Financial institutions in 2022 should shift their focus to increasing the number of personal interactions they can provide to their clients.

Digital personalization isn’t a bad thing at all. However, it can’t fully replace letting your customers know that there’s a real person on the other end of the line who wants to understand and meet their unique needs and expectations.

Find a Solution for Your Financial Institution Today

You deserve to have the best technology and support available for your financial institution, especially in this increasingly digital landscape.

At Teksetra, we have more than 45 years of technology experience in the financial industry. We know how best to support you and are ready to get to work.

Contact our technology experts today to see how we can help you provide the best service to your customers.

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