December 13, 2013
Banks can start to build a seamless omnichannel experience by delivering consistent product and service recommendations across channels.
This article was originally printed in Bank Systems and Technology magazine.
Consumers and businesses are increasingly embracing digital technologies and devices in all stages of their buying process. Although banks have embraced a multi-channel strategy where customers are able to research and buy financial products through multiple channels, including the branch, online, and customer service, banks have yet to embrace an omnichannel strategy. The primary difference between multichannel and omnichannel is that omnichannel banking provides a consistent experience across channels with seamless access to financial products and services where and when they are needed.
The first step to bridging the gap is to implement guided selling. Guided selling is a process that helps potential buyers of products or services to choose the product best fulfilling their needs. Guided selling simplifies and accelerates the sales process by automating the first part of the process.
Guided selling provides the following immediate benefits:
- Consistent product recommendations – Automation creates consistent product recommendations across all channels.
- Reduced complexity – Guided selling takes the complexity out of determining eligibility and product recommendations enabling bank representatives to focus on overcoming objections, closing sales opportunities and developing long term relationships.
- Qualified leads – Highly qualified online leads are generated based on the prospects’ needs today, not outdated demographics data.
- Real-time market snapshot – Customer data collected at the point-of-sales is representative of real-time market conditions and can be used for marketing and product development. With real-time data bank executives can quickly spot branch trends, gain actionable insights about their customers and reveal potential fee-generating sales opportunities that are otherwise difficult to find.
- Robust management tool – Once banks are able to make consistent product recommendations they are able to track what has been recommended against what was sold. Management is able to quickly determine whether the revenue in each channel is generating fee income or interest income. They have real data that shows which channel and which branches are profitable and which branches need coaching or even closing. The knowledge of real data helps banks efficiently allocate resources, improve profitability and enhance banks value.
Guided selling is a practical first step to transform a multichannel strategy into an omnichannel reality. It is easy and quick to implement and provides significant immediate benefits.
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