Messaging is often the channel of choice for customers communicating with businesses, with 85% of customers saying they would rather message with a business than use emails or phone calls.
On the back of this popularity, advanced Rich Messaging experiences have gained traction and there has been an explosion in brand communication channels like WhatsApp for Business, RCS Business Messaging, Facebook Messenger and Apple Messages for Business. Today’s customers expect financial organisations to use these channels and provide engaging, personalised, two-way communications.
As a result, it's now increasingly important for financial institutions to manage their messaging channels effectively so that they can converse with customers using the right message, at exactly the right time, via the right channel.
Three key challenges to effective communications
In this complex, multifaceted world of digital customer communications, effective message management is vital, but many banking and financial service organisations are facing three main challenges:
Fraud prevention and securityFinancial organisations are facing pressure from both customers and regulators to improve security and protect people against the frequency and sophistication of fraud. Rates of fraud – where communications purporting to be from a reputable source try to extract personal information from victims – are increasing year on year. At the same time, upcoming requirements are set to increase the responsibility on financial institutions to reimburse victims of authorised push payment fraud, a type of fraud where victims are tricked into sending money to a fraudster posing as a genuine payee.
Inefficient channel useOrganisations can often suffer from a complex customer communication setup made up of multiple communications providers and a lack of cohesion between the departments responsible for customer engagement and fraud prevention. Bringing multiple channels together under a single view increases the chances of a customer progressing through the entire sales cycle to purchase. It means that, at every touchpoint - from acquisition to purchase and through to retention - the customer is empowered to use their channel of choice and the organisation can respond via that channel in a relevant, timely and secure way.
Personalisation expectationsAlmost 80% of customers want to receive personalised support from their bank, but just 44% of banks are delivering this. Today’s customers expect more than just use of their first name, and organisations should be focusing on meeting or anticipating a customer’s exact needs by using information given by the individual or learned from their behaviour. Creating this level of individualised one-to-one communication at scale is a significant challenge when communication channels aren’t coordinated.
Breaking through those barriers to better communications
Banking and financial service organisations require a carefully structured approach to overcome these barriers to give customers the smooth and efficient messaging experience they really want – and increasingly expect.
The first stage has to be tackling the security issues. After all, without security, there’s no trust and, if customers don’t trust their financial providers, they’ll go elsewhere. We recommend that financial organisations make security their first priority when looking for suitable messaging suppliers, focusing on the provider’s fraud prevention measures and track record.
With security in place, the next stage is to look to streamline the internal communications strategy, reviewing the channels already in operation and the teams involved in using them. Identifying a team to take the lead on messaging and exercise overall control will make sure security is always prioritised and will deliver a consistent brand experience to customers as well as eliminating inefficiencies caused by team overlaps.
Working out how the organisation as a whole wants to use messaging and collating requirements should be the starting point. Only then is the organisation ready to source a single supplier to deliver them as a package via one platform in order to cut costs and maximise operational effectiveness. Potentially, it can create a single view of each customer, paving the way for more advanced uses of messaging.
This single, coherent platform becomes the foundation for evolving services and future innovations, keeping the financial organisation at the heart of customer requirements. This is key to increasing personalisation in messaging. This foundation, for example, will be able to support Rich Communication Services (RCS) that can deliver imagery, video and audio as well as interactive buttons, suggested replies, carousel features, read receipts, and verified sender information.
The smarter, safer way to message
After consultations with financial organisations to establish their optimal messaging proposition, we’ve developed Smart Messaging. We provide a cloud-based communication platform, designed to streamline your two-way customer conversations across a range of channels. It lets you provide Rich Messaging for customers who are ready for that. And it supports new, more effective ways of using SMS that increase customers’ trust in your organisation. Sending balance and overdraft alerts, and flagging up any unusual account activity, for example, can help customers to feel that their money and data are safe and protected. Plus, organisations can switch channels on and off as needed, to suit changing customer requirements.
For the financial organisations we work with, it’s already in use to increase personalisation and deliver connected experiences to customers. Behind the scenes, it’s unlocking real-time reporting, enabling businesses to effectively measure ROI and build a more coherent customer picture. It eases the compliance burden, too. By automating compliance checks and using our platform to verify customer identities, organisations can meet regulations such as ‘Know Your Customer’ and ‘Anti-Money Laundering’ quickly and easily.
Plus, our customers have the reassurance of knowing Smart Messaging will always take security seriously. Our solution is protected by expert monitoring from our security teams, will benefit from every security development we make, and will continue to be shaped by the evolving requirements of regulators.