Fintech Insights

FIs need data analytics to compete with non-FIs shaping new CX expectations

James Kaster | Data Solutions Group, FIS

February 22, 2021

Amazon, Netflix, Instacart and others have set the standard for customer experiences. They use data to understand their customers’ wants and needs. They use data to match those needs with services and products. And they use data to tailor and personalize the experience. It saves customers time. They feel recognized and even empowered. Their experiences are satisfying. This rewards the seller with sales and repeat business. This is loyalty today. Younger consumers would use a single financial institution if they found one that met all their needs and personalization is key to winning them over.

There’s a deep data black hole

Is there such a thing as nothing? Everywhere you look there is something. Even in empty space, where you expect nothingness, astronomers and physicists have proven there is something. The Hubble telescope peered into the voids only to find many more galaxies that were previously unseen. There are particles and antiparticles popping in and out of the vacuum of space. Philosophers Confucius, Plato and Socrates have all mused that knowledge comes from knowing nothing. For the rest of us, in our business, somewhere between physics and philosophy is the pragmatic and practical realities of our everyday world.

So, how well do you know your customers, and do you know them well enough? Do you know who does know their customers? Big tech and social media platforms, plus a handful of national retailers and service providers have been doing a great job at getting to know their customers – who are also your customers.

Every one of these leaders understands that their reserves of data are a black hole, but that with the right access and insights they can turn nothing into something – something quite exceptional.

Knowing is believing

Super Bowl ads always provide good illustrations. Not too many big games ago there was an automaker that aired a commercial showing a customer initiating and completing a car purchase, digitally, on a tablet. At the end, there was singing and dancing to the song, “That didn’t suck.” I was shocked. I thought it was vulgar. Then the second time I saw it, I found the tune very catchy. Then the third time I saw it, I declared the commercial to be brilliant. This one commercial, without ever showing the app or screen, just raised the bar for customer experience. It had to be fast, easy, preferably without a salesperson and provide dancing-in-the-streets satisfaction. Brilliant!

Think of banking satisfaction in the same way. The fewer clicks or interactions, the higher the worth and value. Customer satisfaction increases as clicks and process steps decrease. Whether you’re interacting with your customers through direct channels (mobile, online) or assisted channels (teller, branch, CSR) anticipating your customers’ needs is key and it requires a data strategy.

Turning nothing into the power of knowledge

In late 2020, The Financial Brands reported that, “Across all generations, 88% of consumers believe it is important for their financial institution to provide recommendations relevant to them based on their product usage and behaviors, similar to what Amazon and Netflix do.”

So, begin by making your data usable for your customers and your associates. Clean up cryptic merchant transaction data with easy-to-read descriptions. Use that data to develop customer insights with lifestyle indicators, then target your customers with meaningful messages at the right point of engagement.

FIS has made major investments in data over the years, and most recently in our new Ethos™ data ecosystem. Ethos is here to help give you access and insights that turn the darkness of nothing into knowledge. Knowledge that can give you the edge you need to meet today’s expectations for customer experience. It’s an ecosystem of data tools and solutions that you can leverage across your enterprise, from analytics and insights on payments transactions, to tools that help modernize workflow processes around loan portfolio management. There’s no single magic answer, but rather a universe of tools and data that collectively help solve the questions you have.

Doing nothing with a growing vastness of data is not an option. Knowing more about your customers helps you to meet their expectations and surprise and delight them with experiences they crave. Audrey Hepburn once said, “Nothing is impossible, the world itself says ‘I’m possible’!” Let FIS help you see the unknown – reach out to learn more about Ethos, the journey has just begun.