Consumers today expect financial institutions to provide the products and services they need, when and how they want them.

The personal connection — or relationship — between consumers and their financial institution has been largely lost as a significant number of transactions and day-to-day interactions move to digital, says Jenni Palocsik, director, solutions marketing for Verint Systems.

Palocsik says, as a result, banks are coming to realize that re-establishing this personal relationship with customers is more important than ever. ‘’Data from a survey conducted by TimeTrade of 1 052 consumers1 reveals that a majority still visit bank branches approximately five times each year. Financial institutions have an opportunity to improve their engagement with customers during these visits and provide a high-quality customer experience.

‘’This same research found that outside of these occasional branch visits, consumers are banking online or using their mobile devices to perform research or complete transactions.

‘’So, to better engage customers across both face-to-face and digital touch points, banks need data. And, they need to be able to analyse this data about the customer journey and consumer pain points – to provide the personalised, high-touch customer experience consumers now demand,’’ says Palocsik.

She says that, in 2015, banks and credit unions will leverage richer analytics-driven insights to enable a more personalised approach to targeting and engaging with consumers. From location-based offers to improved service delivery, organisations will use spending patterns, product use, and channel interactions to enable improved experience-driven banking.

Palocsik says it is also clear from a recent report on retail banking by TimeTrade that increasing customer expectations – as well as consumers’ ongoing ‘disregard’ for the limitations of existing (and outdated) banking silos – will force retail banking organisations to provide employees with contextual data for smarter consumer engagement, and provide management with robust analytics for ongoing decision-making and for mitigating regulatory risk.

‘’It is only by empowering banking employees with a 360-degree view of each customer’s history of inquiries and transactions regardless of touch point — and providing visibility to each customer’s relationship with the financial institution — that will enable banks to offer the right recommendations and offers to meet their needs. Banks that take advantage of advanced analytics will be better equipped to re-establish and maintain relationships with customers to differentiate themselves from the competition and provide more services their customers want,’’ Palocsik says.