We are living in the “Age of the Customer,” when technology and economic forces have put customers in control of their interactions with businesses. A recent study of nearly 400 global decision-makers — commissioned by Accenture and conducted by Forrester Research — highlighted three key findings related to the customer experience.

  1. The customer experience is at the heart of digital transformation, meaning that businesses must create positive and relevant customer experiences across channels and touchpoints.
  1. Businesses are on the path to digital transformation, but have a ways to go, with many businesses – including banks – offering a digital experience that is average at best.
  1. Third-party solution providers plug the gaps and manage the drive for transformation; they can help banks preserve internal resources and overcome gaps in capabilities.

As we reviewed the Efma Awards candidates, we were struck by the way Allied Irish Bank transformed the customer experience in developing its AIB eMortgage product. As seen in the video below, AIB eMortgage puts customers in control of their own mortgage process. Customers choosing digital can complete the entire mortgage process on the web. The only papers they need to touch are the documents they scan to send with their application.

The eMortgage solution reduces the time it takes the customer to complete the mortgage from 6 to 7 hours down to just one hour. And the process is transparent, so customers understand the steps required and where they are in the process at any point. In AIB’s case, the transformation of the customer experience has paid off; the eMortgage solution has been highly successful and is accounting for nearly 10 percent of AIB’s new business in this sector.

Lebanon’s Byblos Bank is another example of a successful customer experience transformation. The bank’s Asra3App is a B2B communications and marketing app aimed at getting car dealers to refer auto loan applicants to Byblos Bank. The app provides both the dealer customer and the end client with a faster, simpler way to fund auto loans, meeting the customer at the key point in the purchase decision and helping remove any obstacles between the customer and the final purchase.

AIB and Byblos Bank are good examples of banks aligning their organizational structure, company culture and business technology to serve customers and deliver the digital experience they seek. Attracting, winning and retaining customers requires a concerted effort across the entire organization, with profitability, ROI and customer satisfaction all key measurements of progress.

Are you seeing financial service organizations providing their customers with unique experiences? If so, please share them below in the comments sections.

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