Successful Digital Banking: Living in the Moment (of Truth)
Two global phenomena distinguish the digital revolution from the technology revolutions that came before. The first is the consumerization of IT, unmistakably illustrated by the recent launch of Apple’s iPhone 12. The technical note states that the phone has the A14 bionic chip, which, at 11.58 billion transistors, exceeds A13 by 40 percent, and processes nearly 11 trillion responses per second. What makes it even more remarkable is that there is no equivalent chip at the enterprise level!
Contrast that with the situation less than a decade ago, when the greatest computing power available could only be afforded by billion dollar companies. With digitization, that power transferred into the hands of end consumers so completely that today, it is their expectations that drive software (and app) development.
The second phenomenon is the democratization of IT. Today, the developed world no longer has privileged access to the latest technologies; thanks to the dramatic reduction in the cost of computing, storage, network and transmission, many developing countries have equal, if not better technologies than advanced economies whose legacy IT often impedes adoption. A case in point is Indonesia, which despite a 75 percent rural population, boasts 120 percent mobile penetration. At the level of the individual enterprise, SMEs, which could never afford expensive ERP and CRM packages, are now subscribing to such solutions from the likes of Zoho and Ramco on the cloud, at no upfront cost.
Banks have been especially impacted by these trends. Once outsider competition, namely fintech, neo banks and then big tech, entered their space offering innovative digital solutions packaged as great experiences that could be enjoyed at any time, from any place and on many devices, they could no longer stick to their old-world policies and practices (limited timings, restricted channels and so forth). Incumbents soon joined the fray, and today almost every bank has at least some digital offerings competing with their non-bank rivals’.
But that is where it ends. In spite of heavy digital investments, no bank comes even close to the success of global leaders such as Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Alibaba and Ant Financial (which made history with its US$ 35 billion IPO recently). This is because the secret lies not in the technology, but in the way these companies capture various Moments of Truth in their customers’ journeys.
In marketing a moment of truth is the moment when a customer or user interacts with a brand, product or service to form or change an impression about it. But a better way to understand it than this dry definition is Maya Angelou’s unforgettable line: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Make your customers feel good at the various moments of truth in their digital banking journey and they will never forget you. There are basically four of them in an average customer journey: the first occurs at the exploratory stage, when a prospect is still in the process of discovery. Prospects will likely research different banks online, check ratings and reviews on social media, and if looking for say, a mortgage or car loan, compare their respective products and offers, before coming to a decision in the zero moment of truth. Unfortunately, a huge majority (~80 percent) of banks don’t track prospecting behavior, choosing only to focus on existing customers. This means they have lost out at this stage itself to their new age rivals like Apple, Google and Ant, that assiduously monitor online search behavior to identify and then capture prospects at the zero moment of truth (to rarely let them go after that). However, DBS Bank is an exception. Through the DBS Marketplace, the Bank reaches out to prospects looking for used cars, housing, travel or electricity providers by presenting a host of suppliers on its website.
The next moment of truth – identified as the 1st MoT – occurs after a customer completes the discovery process and proceeds to engage with the organization, typically by buying a product or service. Apple used to rule over this moment of truth because of its in-store shopping experience, which unfortunately it could not replicate online. From a digital banking perspective, ensuring seamless buying and onboarding, as well as customization, is all-important at this stage. Once again, the DBS Marketplace stands out for connecting prospective buyers with sellers to facilitate onboarding and engagement.
After engagement comes experience. At this stage, the prospect who turned into a lead and then a customer, has certain expectations from the usage experience, including but not limited to, easy downloading, powerful features, compatibility with the latest operating systems, seamless delivery across channels and devices, and empowerment. But the most important expectation, and key moment of truth, is about after sales service. Many a company has lost customers at this stage to poor complaint resolution and shoddy service.
Providers that successfully capture the moments of truth at discovery, engagement and experience, are well positioned to win the fourth, occurring at the renewal stage. This is when a customer is looking to add banking relationships for himself or the family, or advocates privately to friends or on social media to the world at large.
With digital technologies becoming highly accessible, technology is no longer the differentiator it used to be. The best companies in the world, such as Apple, Amazon, Google etc., outperform the rest by mastering the various moments of truth in their customers’ digital journeys. Banks, despite having the latest technologies, haven’t achieved the same success because they neglect these vital moments of truth, especially at the discovery stage when a prospect is still searching for the best options. With digital banking, here is their chance to be present at each moment of truth, and progressively convert prospects to leads, then customers, and finally advocates.