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Empowering Customers

Technology is not just a facilitator, but an enabler too. For financial service firms, technology is empowering customers


Vivek Sharma (name changed), a millennial, is a marketing professional from a small town in Madhya Pradesh. His basic expectation, while buying his first insurance policy, is to have a seamless experience, shorter turnaround time and zero paperwork. This digitisation of process has become hygiene in the financial service sector now and benchmarks for great service have been raised by a few notches. A millennial like Vivek doesn’t want to be treated as a policy number or put on hold when he calls the call centre.

Sounds familiar? Well, only technology can help achieve this level of personalisation. Today, technology is not just a facilitator, but an enabler too. For financial service firms, technology is empowering customers.

The Indian investor landscape is changing dramatically. A few years ago, an investor residing in a small town could not imagine having access to wealth advisory. He would typically have his money in a savings bank account or fixed deposit. Thanks to the government’s financial inclusion efforts, today’s investor is well informed, while also being digitally savvy. This new breed of investors is hungrier for information and right content. Companies are utilising their digital strengths and processes to tap this customer segment, which was earlier under the radar and difficult to reach. There is a huge opportunity to become partners with them in their wealth creation journey. Technology can help one achieve high geographic reach, providing relevant and unbiased advisory and customer delight; all at the same time.  

So, what are the new trends in technology which will bring in this transformation in the Indian context? Robo-advisory and artificial intelligence (AI), for instance, has changed the financial landscape completely. According to a Gartner Study, the three big AI areas where there is evident focus and growth are: Improved productivity; Deeper customer understanding; and Improved digital and need-based customer experience.

The right use of data analytics will enable businesses to achieve conversational experiences, real-time personalization, identity resolution, marketing orchestration and process optimisation. Wealth creation cannot happen in isolation. It is a journey that will need involvement of the service provider and customer equally. I believe, ‘humanisation’ of data will hugely help in customer understanding -- what are their traits; what values they believe in; what their expectations from the brand are, etc. With this in-depth understanding of customers, a financial service firm will be a true partner in their financial journey.

So, now when Vivek calls the insurance provider, he would be greeted by name. The call centre executive would have his complaint/issue history beforehand. The executive would, therefore, be able to act empathetic (knowing that Vivek has called twice before for the same issue). Not just that, the executive will share the status of Vivek’s policy through screen sharing.

Once Vivek’s  issue is resolved, the customer support executive will spend few minutes to explain how mutual funds can also help him achieve his investment goals. Without any formal visit, the customer support executive will direct Vivek to a robo-advisory platform where he can create a goal-based portfolio, research and buy his first mutual fund in few clicks.

That is the power of fintech for you! When a company invests in technology it doesn’t just empower its employees to deliver better solutions for customers; it empowers customers too.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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Magazine 28 April 2018 FinTech anniversary special

Rahul Jain

The author is Head, Personal Wealth Advisory, Edelweiss

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