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6 banking leaders insights on the value of orchestrating the customer experience

Many financial institutions are switching their focus to customers and members. They are also finding ways for improved customer servicing. This blog explores how a number of banks and credit unions are tackling this to create an engaging banking experience.

Vince Bezemeer 150x150 - 6 banking leaders insights on the value of orchestrating the customer experience Written by Vincent Bezemer, SVP Americas, Backbase
6 banking leaders insights - 6 banking leaders insights on the value of orchestrating the customer experience

Interacting with your customers is one thing, but engaging them is the golden key to unlocking true value in the engagement banking era.

The banking industry has been long restricted by legacy systems and outdated ways of working. Unfortunately, many financial institutions are falling behind competitors because these strategies are no longer sustainable in meeting the demands of customers. Some banks attempt to address these issues but it’s done in a siloed fashion. Often technology departments are put in charge of updating legacy systems to respond to market changes. But this just doesn’t cut it.

Moving forward, banks and credit unions need to re-architect their thinking by taking ownership of the complete customer journey from beginning to end. This holistic approach is at the heart of engagement banking and gives customers everything they need on a single platform. In turn, the business impact can be impressive  – lowering cost-to-serve and customers purchasing multiple products with your financial institution.

This transformation process can often be daunting for banks, but it doesn’t have to be done alone. Many successful companies are utilizing a technology partner to enhance their engagement and improve time to market.

Let’s take a look at insights from six industry executive leaders who have taken control of their technology and orchestrated the engagement of their customers.

Bremer Bank; customer-centric digital experiences

Bremer Bank has committed to focusing its resources on its main customer segments to improve its overall customer experience. The bank partnered with Backbase to bridge the gap between traditional bank-centric processes and customer-centric digital experiences. Following the partnership, Bremer Bank saw an improvement in its digital transactions.

Bremer Bank Chief Strategy Officer, Dan Flanigan said, “Bremer is designing all of its digital assets around the customer, who are at the center of decision-making, and how we can determine where we can add value.”
He added, “Customer centricity with intuitive digital experiences and human relationships at a time of need will be the winning combination going forward.”

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Royal Credit Union drives digital innovation

Calculating every digital innovation based on members’ unique needs is at the forefront of what Royal Credit Union is trying to achieve. This ensures that digital engagement not only provides a great member experience but the credit union lowers its costs and improves its operating efficiency. Royal Credit Union implemented robotic process automation (RPA) in its lending processes to increase productivity and speed for loan decisions, while also minimizing errors.

“As a member-owned credit union, we are always looking for digital tools to enhance our members’ experience yet not launch new technology just for the sake of technology,” revealed Brandon Riechers, Royal Credit Union President & CEO.

He continued, “We use business intelligence and data analytics to learn about member behavior and predict the future solutions they need.”

Vantage Bank’s technology overhaul for improved customer service

Vantage Bank underwent a complete overhaul of its technology, with customers and members at the heart of its strategy.

While many banks often begin their digital transformation journey with an attractive front-end, Vantage Bank focused on its middle office. The company adopted a new digital layer for its data-sharing capabilities, leading to impressive efficiency gains. For instance, Vantage Bank can now complete a commercial loan in only 14 days. It’s also able to onboard treasury management clients in two hours compared to what used to be a 72-step process.

Jeff Sinnott, Vantage Bank President & CEO said, “Concentrating on the middle office gets teams to understand shared perspectives and improves our ability to work with fintech’s, plug them into our middle layer, share data with a common backbone, and become really agile as we tie in channel services.”

F&M Bank on why digital is a necessity

F&M Bank believes that branches aren’t dead, but understands that digital is a necessity in order to achieve a great customer experience. The company also views partners as a key way of reaching their vision of one-touch banking while also focusing on onboarding gen z and millennial talent with fresh ideas to build its clientele.

“In the next two years, we will make dramatic changes in our digital delivery,” said Sammy Stuard, F&M Bank CEO.

Stuard continued, “But we also recognize that we need the right people to support our digital efforts. This isn’t Field of Dreams— if we build it, they will come. We need to combine digital with relationship banking to grow our bank.”

WSECU’s digital transformation

Despite seeing the importance of physical branches, WSECU has made it clear that digital transformation is the credit union’s top priority. To implement its digital and mobile banking solution, WSECU created an internal team of developers. The team then transformed the way in which the credit union approached project management.

Gary Swindler, WSECU CEO stated, “Digital isn’t something you do and then walk away; you need to constantly iterate and enhance your offerings to stay relevant to your members.”

He continued, “We are digital-first but we want to offer hybrid options – including branches – for our members who want to talk to someone for advice or have more complex transactions.”

MSU Federal Credit Union highlights the importance of ‘human touch’

To ensure customers could still stay connected during the COVID-19 pandemic, MSUFCU launched a video solution so they could feel the ‘human touch’ from a distance. Agile methodology is what fuels the credit union’s digital transformation – making sure a holistic approach always stays top of mind.

“The human race is designed to interact with each other, ” said April M. Clobes, MSUFCU President & CEO.

She added, “Our goal is to provide as much information as we can digitally to our members but deliver face-to-face when members want it.

“Member behavior is changing due to our overall social, financial, and health environments—and those environments will impact who people choose to do business with and how they interact.”

The business impact of orchestrating the customer experience

Overall, engaging customers and members should sit at the heart of all digital transformation strategies. A simple interaction is not enough; it’s vital to establish an underlying connection across every interaction. Financial institutions must look to continuously improve each aspect of their digital journey, ensuring the overall customer and member experience is as frictionless as possible.

By embracing change, financial institutions can break free from siloed technology architecture and bring engagement to the forefront of their operations. They can create a leaner and more flexible, digitally focused financial institution with a lower cost-efficiency ratio and higher profitability.

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