Cisco attended the Next Generation Insurance Summit (March 11-13) in Newport Beach, CA and the Best Practices in Retail Financial Services Symposium (March 13-15) in Carlsbad, CA. Some of the top minds in the financial services industry were in attendance and it was great to see these leaders deliver ideas and solutions for how to further the customer experience for both industries as well as the agent experience in insurance. Both conferences focused on reducing the amount of time it takes to adopt new technology and innovative ideas for competitive advantage, a current problem many financial institutions are going through.
At the Next Generation Insurance Summit, Cisco’s Michael Cantwell, Financial Services Solutions Architect, delivered a keynote on building a customer centric distribution network and how the expectations of today’s insurance customer has of their insurance institution/agent. He stated that from the end customer’s point of view everything is getting more integrated and simplified, but that insurers have yet to create that agent or customer omnichannel capability that allows for communication channel choice as well as fluid switching during an interaction to answer questions or assist in self-directed channels. Michael also touched on how enabling insurers with new tools and technologies, including sales force automation and mobile devices, will be key to fulfilling overarching business goals of improving sales interactions through traditional channels and, therefore, driving revenue.
Attendees showed immediate interest when Michael spoke about the best methods for line of business executives to work with their IT executives and vice versa. The success of customer retention rates among insurers who have incorporated Cisco solutions to improve customer-centricity was also of special interest to attendees. Read More »
Increasingly over the past several months, I have been working with more and more retail banking clients. A common theme has emerged during these discussions that centers on video and collaboration in the branch. The top of mind question is, “how are banks using video in the branch to grow top line revenue in a very tightly regulated environment and with ever increasing downward pressure on fee revenues?”
As retail banks have slowly emerged from the global financial crisis of 2008, they are increasingly looking for ways to differentiate themselves with their products and services. Studies show that the branch is still relevant in the eyes of the retail bank consumer, but the role the branch will play in the future is beginning to change.
Cisco’s IBSG team published a white paper on this topic, which covers the transformation that banks are currently going through. Retail banks are wrestling with moving from a multichannel environment to an omnichannel environment. The difference is, instead of offering a different experience and set of products and services across various delivery channels, they offer a more integrated and consistent experience across delivery channels. These traditional delivery channels include: branch, Internet and contact center to name a few. Currently, the mobile channel is growing in popularity and use, especially with new applications like remote deposit capture right from a mobile phone or tablet. Read More »
The trends and challenges with the ever-increasing tech-savvy society we live in today are carrying over into the retail banking industry. Retail banking customers are more connected now than ever, with most of our customers’ homes having more technology in them than our branches. Couple these technology trends with major shifts in the way customers want and choose to bank, and it is clear why many in the financial services industry are re-evaluating the way their institutions operate and deliver products and services.
When we take a deeper look at the retail banking industry today, we can see that many of the changes necessary are being driven by consumer needs and expectations. The multichannel approach, while an improvement from disconnected delivery channels of the past, is no longer sufficient to address these new consumer demands.
Multichannel versus Omnichannel: What’s the difference?
An omnichannel strategy can be considered an evolution from multichannel. In essence, the omnichannel approach combines the physical channel that is the bank branch with virtual channels such as online and mobile. With omnichannel banking, customers choose how they want to bank, be that at their local branch; contact center; any other bank branch; from home; or from their mobile device. The challenge facing retail banks is how to ensure a seamless, consistent experience for the customer that results in unprecedented levels of customer satisfaction and growth and profitability for the bank.
At this stage, however, we must understand what the exact needs of the customer are and how we can help retail banks meet their customers’ needs. Read More »
My colleagues Jon Stine and Lisa Fretwell with Cisco IBSG recently published research about consumers that are constantly channel hopping in their shopping journey. We all have personal experiences shopping on the web, in the store and on mobile devices.
I recently in the middle of a conversation during lunch, made a reservation on Open Table app, purchased a case for my phone on amazon app and bought a music album on iTunes (Doctor Who Series 6), and pulled up directions to the local home improvement store, all in 10 minutes. Obviously the consumer trend is shopping across multiple channels, and some retailers are succeeding in this new world, and some are not.
I sat down with Brian Kilcourse, managing partner of Retail Systems Research and this was one of the topics we talked about.