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The Adaptive Bank: Integrating Front and Back Office for Superior Customer Engagement

David Villaseca Morales, and Jim Brill

The unprecedented global economic events of 2020 forced financial institutions to reimagine how they engage with customers. The shift in societal norms has heightened the need to improve customer experiences—quickly and in new ways to stay competitive and relevant. Meanwhile, digital consumerization has continued to increase the demand for ultra-personalized experiences. Banks that don't provide the types of experiences that most customers now expect risk losing the strategic brand and business opportunity that only experiences can deliver. 

According to the 2020 Oracle survey "Customer Experience Trends in Financial Services,” 39% percent of banks surveyed stated that their inability to effectively put data to work results in inconsistent customer engagements. They struggle to bring together real-time front office interactions with data, insights, and offers to form a best-in-class end-to-end experience.

At a recent Oracle Cloud CX Virtual Summit, Larry Ellison, chairman of Oracle Corporation and Chief Technology Officer, discussed the evolution of solution development and the impact that front to back-office integration can have on the effectiveness of an organization—particularly sales. 

Ellison said, "As the market matures, we move from selling one-off products like sales or simple integrations, like sales and service, to complete suite." 

The step-change, he offered, is that we now have the tools that combine data from the back-office with other behavioral data that can include recommendations engines for prospecting, reference look-a-likes, and more. These new tools can augment the seller's capacity so that they can help to close more business while providing the client with an improved experience.

Here are some solutions financial instiutions can leverage to connect the front and back office.

A data-driven customer engagement operating model 

Banks that continually reimagine effective customer engagement are more ready to pivot quickly in an ever-changing world. Adaptation is critical to survival, and putting the customer at the center is how many banks are setting new standards for success in financial services. But, many financial services leaders continue to be unsure about exactly how to achieve that. 

Without front to back integration, you can’t create actionable insights from behavioral and operational customer data from within the bank or partners and suppliers. If you were able to, then you could build a 360-degree view across customers and prospects to effectively discover what customers need and serve them appropriately in the moments that matter. In this way, banks can benefit from relevant orchestrated conversations both in digital and assisted channels.

A unified next best offer/action strategy across every channel

By using embedded AI/ML systems and connecting data from finance & risk sources, adaptive banks can offer the next best offer and actions. Embedding AI technologies into enterprise processes can now help financial services firms create deeper insights, orchestrate data sources, define their propensity to purchase, and ensure that pricing is risk-based – all in near real time. 

But without front to back integration, machine learning, and robotic process automation can’t drive more intelligent processes that create large-scale efficiency while increasing speed and reducing cost. But adding ML into an integrated next best action translates to richer and more fulfilling experiences and meaningful solutions for the financial institution's customers. The benefits for banks may include higher loyalty and increasing revenues with new transactions between customer and bank. 

Empowered front line staff enhances front-office relationships

It's no secret that banks and financial services institutions need to effectively deploy new technologies and pivot to digitization in this new world if they expect to win wallet share. But, it is vitally important to remember that at the core, data powers all of this. 

Without effective access to customer data in the front-office, banks cannot deliver a single and complete customer view that can augment the information that relationship managers use to choose the next best action and personalize their customers' offers. Banks get the benefit of higher efficiency, better customer experience, and also enhance their employee’s experience: for example, using machine learning and automation can help shift mundane calls and repetitive chat and emails so that agents can more quickly address complex customer problems that further improve customers' experiences. 

Whether your customer is an individual or a business, putting the customer and customer data at the center allows the financial institution to engage quickly and seamlessly—creating that exceptional customer experience and loyalty to the brand as a result. Many companies try to effect this change by focusing on the front-office and developing a world-class customer experience. 

Still, it's the unification of the front and back-office systems that provide the desired results. Financial institutions that refine and simplify the integration across their front and back systems will adapt and thrive.

Learn more about how to leverage a Customer Data Platform to unify systems and boost the customer experience in Financial Services.

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