How to create and implement an effective omnichannel customer journey for your financial institution.

How to create and implement an effective omnichannel customer journey

The traditional customer journey includes a series of touchpoints that lead to a single transaction. In finance, and similar to other businesses, the omnichannel customer journey provides customers with multiple ways to transact with your organization.

The customer experience in financial services is quickly becoming one of the key differentiators in the financial services industry today. To compete in today’s market, you need a customer experience that stands above the rest. With an omnichannel customer journey, you not only improve your customer experience, but also build customer loyalty.

Why does an omnichannel customer journey matter to a financial organization?

Providing customers with an integrated payment processing journey allows them to interact with your organization and perform multiple transactions with your institution across multiple channels. Because of the versatility of your payment offering, your customer experience is one of ease, convenience, and personalization. Financial Institution’s core systems have created strong solutions for retail banking customers, but what is the experience for your commercial or wealth customer? 

As customers interact with your organization on multiple platforms, they are guided through a consistent branded experience, no matter what their banking needs may be, that allows them to connect in whichever way is meaningful for them. 

Ultimately, your financial organization benefits from a loyal customer base eager to try new products and services within your omnichannel customer journey.

What is the omnichannel customer journey?

The omnichannel customer journey engages your customer through multiple touchpoints with various ways to transact with your financial institution. This journey involves a series of integrated steps that include awareness, consideration, customer onboarding, retention, and advocacy.

1. Awareness

The first step of the omnichannel customer journey is awareness. In this initial stage, the customer grows aware of your financial institution through multiple channels or touchpoints. 

Perhaps they are introduced to your organization by a friend or family referral,  through a transaction with a partnering third party, or are exposed to your marketing outreach. They are now familiar with an aspect of your brand (the name of your organization, your logo, your services, etc.) and hopefully have already connected your brand to your services. 

The goal of the awareness stage is to initiate a point of connection with your potential customer and pique their interest in learning more. This includes word of mouth, advertisement, community outreach, third-party partnerships, sponsorships, and more.

The omnichannel customer journey engages your customer with various ways to transact with your financial organization.

How to optimize the awareness stage of the customer journey:

Highlight the benefits of your financial services, not just the types of services you offer. 

For example, rather than advertising that you offer mobile payments, advertise that your mobile payment option brings ease and convenience for payments on the go. By highlighting the benefits, you help potential customers envision their life with your services which build a stronger connection and awareness of your brand.

2. Consideration

In the second stage of the omnichannel customer journey, your potential customer is aware of the benefits you might bring and is considering trying your services. The biggest question customers ask themselves in the consideration stage is: will this make my life better? 

The awareness stage spoke to the emotional decision-making process by highlighting the benefits of your services. The consideration stage should now appeal to their logic and paint your financial institution as the reasonable option for the services they desire.

Do you have the services they’re looking for? Potential customers have expectations of the services they desire. Your organization should be prepared to meet these and present them plainly, as well as offer complementary services that they might not be aware of yet. 

Can you meet the needs of many different customers through personalized service and a diverse product and service offering? The omnichannel customer journey is designed to allow customers to control how they interact with your organization. Across a variety of channels, your solution empowers the customer based on their personal preferences.  

How to optimize the consideration stage of the customer journey:

Give your potential customers a preview of the kind of personalized service they can expect from your organization. From the initial interaction and every subsequent interaction, prospects should feel welcome as an individual, not just as potential customers. 

To do this, personalize your interactions as much as possible and keep a record of customer communications so you can answer inquiries intuitively, offer services that pertain to their current needs, and keep the customer journey moving forward rather than requiring the prospect to repeat themselves. Consequently, you’ll establish a deeper connection with your potential customers and increase the likelihood of moving to the next stage of the journey: onboarding.

3. Customer Onboarding

Consistent personalized service is key to the omnichannel customer journey. In the third stage, Customer Onboarding, your customer is officially introduced to your complete offering of services. It is vital to keep personalization and customer experience top of mind to establish a strong customer relationship to carry each customer through to the remaining stages of the omnichannel customer journey.

Organizations can sometimes reduce the level of attention and service a customer gets once they are officially onboarded. Be sure to avoid this common pitfall and find ways to further enhance the customer experience during onboarding to help your customer feel confident in their decision to partner with you.

How to optimize the customer onboarding stage of the customer journey:

Create a custom customer profile and account that is integrated through all service channels for quality customer service at every level and every touchpoint. Include personal access for your customer to their profile and account, as well as through all internal departments. 

This is best done through an omnichannel payment platform like FirsTech’s. This integrated and versatile payment system provides a singular solution to providing consistent high-quality service to your customers through numerous payment platforms and also serves as a unified data network to efficiently connect each customer to your services.

4. Retention

Once your customer has completed onboarding, the fourth stage of the omnichannel customer journey is retention. It’s at this stage that most customers will remain for an extended period during their relationship with your brand. The goal of the retention phase is to provide consistency to your customers and to build customer loyalty.

Customer loyalty is gained through consistent positive interactions with your brand. This is even more vital in an omnichannel platform where there are many different touchpoints for your customer to engage. It’s important to regularly audit your services to analyze their performance in brand consistency, quality of service, and effectiveness.

Returning and long-standing customers also appreciate a variety of service offerings to enrich their customer experience over time. In the omnichannel customer journey, you need a variety of transaction touchpoints that remain branded and secure.

That’s where FirsTech comes in. Whether you’re looking to expand your current offering or refresh your entire payment platform, we offer a wide variety of payment services from traditional lockboxes, eLockboxes, mobile payments, in-person payments, interactive voice response, and more. With our custom payment packages, you can choose what you need now and scale at your own pace as more customers enter your omnichannel customer journey.

How to optimize the retention stage of the customer journey:

Stay focused on consistency. Within the omnichannel payment platform, there are many services to provide to your customers but make sure that every channel is providing the high-quality brand experience you’ve built. 

Partnering with an experienced service provider like FirsTech can help you create a consistent branded experience across all channels without exhausting internal resources. You can focus on the brand and your customers, and we’ll keep your services and logistics consistent and secure.

An effective omnichannel customer journey is seamlessly integrated with personalized customer service.

5. Advocacy

The final stage of the omnichannel customer journey is advocacy. At this stage, customers have completed the journey and have built a strong loyalty to your brand along the way. Now your loyal customers will spread the word about your quality service, versatile offering, and consistent performance through their own channels. 

Perhaps the most rewarding stage of the omnichannel customer journey, your customers’ satisfaction and advocacy of your financial services will be heard far and wide, making new potential customers aware of your brand and starting the omnichannel journey all over again.

How to optimize the advocacy stage of the omnichannel customer journey:

Continue to engage with and reward your loyal customers as they spread the word about your brand and services. If they give your brand a social media shout-out, reply with a thank you. Instill a referral reward program for loyal customers and their referrals to enjoy. Just as you did throughout the customer journey, pay attention to the details and keep the focus on your customer’s experience.

How to Build an Effective Omnichannel Customer Journey

An effective omnichannel customer journey must be seamlessly integrated, offer multiple transaction channels, and offer personalized customer service.

  • Seamless Integration

Your omnichannel customer journey should be seamlessly integrated into your payment processing system. This is best done with layered APIs to maximize the capabilities of your core system. 

Layered APIs allow you to connect the backend for efficient data retrieval across multiple platforms—a necessary function for any omnichannel system. 

With an emphasis on secure and scalable technologies, look for omnichannel solutions like those offered by FirsTech for innovative and flexible technology that can maximize your efficiency and improve your customer experience every step of the way.

  • Multichannel Offerings

The omnichannel customer journey doesn’t speak to how many channels you interact with your customers, it relies on however many channels you have connected by providing the same quality experience across every channel, or touchpoint, of interaction.

An effective omnichannel journey offers multiple channels to transact with your organization. These offerings add convenience for your customers, allowing them to complete transactions on multiple platforms no matter where they are.

With FirsTech’s omnichannel payment platform and numerous payment processing services, you can offer a wide range of transaction touchpoints to your customers that include:

    • Mobile Payments: pay-by-text, interactive voice response (IVR) payments, pay-by-phone
    • Online Services: personal account services, online payments as a member or a guest
    • Traditional Payments: lockboxes, eLockboxes, and in-person payments at over 6,000 payment locations
  • Personalization

Providing personalized customer service along the omnichannel customer journey increases conversions and builds loyalty. Once your customers have reached the retention stage, your personalized service can expand even further with a secure payment platform through FirsTech.

Data-driven omnichannel networks provide customized experiences for customers by leveraging the power of modern technology and artificial intelligence. This interconnected backend allows customers to access the same information from multiple touchpoints and for customer service representatives to access real-time information across multiple service channels. 

To further the personalization of your omnichannel journey, 3D secure and biometric security secures customers’ transactional data and finances through personalized security— a customized way to keep your customers’ data safe.

The combination of these layered personalized experiences further contributes to a positive customer experience within the omnichannel journey, securing customer loyalty and adding to your bottom line.

Create Your Omnichannel Customer Journey with FirsTech

Partnering with the omnichannel experience of FirsTech gives you a significant advantage in developing your own omnichannel customer journey. By leveraging FirsTech’s powerful technology and dedication to security, you can build an effective customer journey across multiple platforms and services.

With nearly four decades of experience, you gain a partner in the industry who is dedicated to your success when you partner with FirsTech. 

Talk to a specialist today about starting your omnichannel customer journey.

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