By Andrew Stacy, Business Development Director at Glassbox Digital
Post the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) a number of financial services businesses did away with their direct sales advisors and as a result, obtaining face-to-face financial advice in the UK is to a large extent the preserve of the relatively wealthy.
However, on the back of the new pension freedoms and the continual changes to taxation and allowances, customers still need access to basic information and advice to help them accumulate and manage their wealth. Consequently, a growing number of Wealth Managers are looking to provide these services via digital channels, and this trend is likely to accelerate following the publication of the FAMR Report earlier this year.
Having confidence in online
For Wealth Managers to offer such advice online they need to have the confidence that they can do so whilst still meeting all their regulatory obligations and be in the knowledge that they are able to help their customers when they need additional support and information.
Equally, Wealth Managers must know that the Customer Experience is what their customers’ expect and that they know when there are issues with the digital journey – and can fix them.
What do customers want?
Customers using digital channels are looking for:
- A good Customer Experience
- Information that is clear and relevant
- Tailored to the circumstances of each individual Customer
- In the event that something needs to be clarified or explained, they want to be able to speak to someone who can quickly answer their questions and knows what they have done so far on your website.
What is the problem?
In order to support these basic Customer needs, the design of websites and the systems to provide the necessary information is becoming ever more sophisticated, dynamic and personalised.
Information presented to an individual Customer:
- May include information generated from multiple sources/systems which are visually reconstructed by the browser (using frames, Ajax and other technologies)
- May have to include disclaimers, caveats and warning messages specific to that Customer, that investment, that product, at that time, based on the then current circumstances of that customer
- Will be subject to specific versions of the T’s & C’s
- May be displayed differently depending upon the device the customer is using
- Can look different depending on the browser/browser version the customer is using
- Will vary as the layout and content changes constantly
- May be based on specific circumstances that day, or could include a time-limited offer, end of tax year deadline, etc.
In order to provide the quality and level of service and support that customers expect, Wealth Managers need to be able to see exactly what information has been provided so far (in real time) so that they can pick up the thread and answer the customers’ queries.
In addition, the firm needs to have a complete record of exactly what information was shown to the customer so that in the event of claims or disputes in the future, or if they need to undertake reviews or investigations, they can see and prove exactly what happened. Additionally, if there are problems with the Customer Experience, they need to know immediately what the problem and have the information to fix it.
The problem is that the typical system architectures that support digital channels are not able to support these service and record keeping requirements.
It can take days or weeks of skilled and costly resource to re-assemble the information from a number of different sources and even then, it will potentially only give a partial picture of what the Customer saw – especially if the session in question happened months or years in the past.
It may be possible to retrieve relatively easily the data relating to the Customer’s interaction (e.g.name, address, salary, etc.), but not the context (i.e. the actual screen, the questions asked, the information provided, etc.). This is the problem.
What is the solution?
The solution is to use Record and Replay technology, the key features and benefits of which are:
- The ability to record and replay every session on a firm’s website and mobile app, exactly as seen by the Customer regardless of the device or browser used to access the site
- Incomplete sessions should be captured so that the customers can be contacted and offered the opportunity to complete the journey – increasing the success rate and ROI of marketing campaigns and generating leads
- The data should be capable of being stored affordably for the long term
- The record should be tamper-proof
- Sensitive data should be masked
- Access to the data should be controlled by function
- The data should be capable of being searched and interrogated to facilitate reviews, investigations and monitoring, as well as giving new insights into how customers are responding to new products and services
- Enable collaboration between functions (e.g. marketing and IT) to solve issues and improve the Customer Experience
- The data should be capable of being retrieved immediately to respond to Customer requests
- The solution should be capable of including changes to the website design or layout as they happen without having to make additional changes to the record and replay technology i.e. it should happen automatically
- The ability to identify where customers are struggling with the website – spending too long or too little time on specific pages so that the website can be continuously improved.
Managing and optimising the online experience
Record and Replay technology enables Wealth Managers to provide their customers with the level of service and support that they expect. By keeping complete records of every digital session exactly as seen by the customer; the technology enables firms to respond faster and more effectively to issues.
Record and Replay technology empowers organisations to manage and optimise the entire digital lifecycle of their web and mobile customers. It enables firms to see not only what online and mobile customers are doing but also why they are doing it. Most importantly, it informs and facilitates action based on those insights that can lead to enhanced Customer Experience, decreased customer disputes, improved ROI from your marketing spend and improved regulatory compliance.