Having worked in financial services for nearly 15 years, it’s clear that it has one major issue - customers can’t touch and feel the end product. This is a frustration that I’ve experienced first-hand. The good news is, there’s now a real opportunity to do something about this.
Today’s end customers are expecting ever increasing levels of convenience, control and simplicity when accessing services online. For financial services, with complex products, sitting on large scale IT systems that tend to be quite old and a bit unloved, this means the online user experience is usually filed in the ‘let’s look at this again next year’ bucket.
If you were a financial services marketer in the old analogue world, life was certainly not as interesting as it is today. Most companies had a website but this was not regarded as a particularly important part of the marketing mix – paper ruled the world and the webmaster was the geek who only ate cheese sandwiches for lunch. These days if you work in financial services and you have ‘digital’ in your job title, you occupy a increasingly interesting and influential position within your company – you are now a much more popular geek and you’ve probably ditched the cheese sandwich for a relatively exotic panini!
Most financial services companies struggle to engage their customers but today’s digital revolution is opening up a massive opportunity to turn this around. The rise of the smartphone and the tablet has accelerated people’s hunger to interact with financial services digitally.
Smartphones and tablets are enabling financial services companies to turn an intangible service into something people can actually touch and feel. Fidelity customers are now immersing themselves in their investment portfolios on their tablets and Aviva is enabling its car insurance customers to make and track a claim using their phones.
We are at the beginning of an exciting time for those companies that want to seize the opportunity to deliver a new digital customer experience. If you want to deliver financial products that people can hold in their hands and truly value, then digital holds the key.
By Jeremy Mugridge, marketing director at Instinct Studios.
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