Comarch – Championing Digital to Boost Both the UX and the Employee Experience
Krzysztof Maurer, Managing Director of IT solutions provider Comarch, is spearheading the firm’s thrust into the wealth management and financial sectors in Asia. He told delegates at the Hubbis Indonesia Wealth Management Forum why well-honed digitalisation is more critical than ever to help improve the customer experience, but also stressed the importance of an enhanced employee experience, noting that their greater satisfaction is also a vital driver in the growth of businesses in the wealth management, or indeed any, sector.
Maurer began by reporting that Comarch is a 25-year plus, highly experienced provider of innovative IT solutions for many industries, including telecommunications, banking, airlines, resources and utilities.
Here come the new generations
Maurer began by contemplating the evolution of the customer base in wealth management. “The Millennials and Generation X are increasingly important participants in wealth management,” he observed, “and we estimate that by the end of 2020 half of all the investible assets will be controlled by them. To address the needs of this specific group of clients, it is vital we understand their expectations.”
He explained that these generations are highly focused on technology. He noted that Comarch, together with the European Financial Management Association (EFMA), had surveyed private banking executives globally and asked several questions regarding trends and challenges they saw in private banking and the top places were occupied by digitalisation and improving operational efficiency.
“There is no surprise that going digital was so high a priority at that time,” he said, “and according to Ernst & Young, some 41% of clients were willing to change their financial services provider if the provider lacked the necessary skills and interface they expected.”
“For example,” he elucidated, “two-thirds use social media to check the profile of their professional advisers. HNWI millennials expect all the perks of modern technology and at least 40% of them remain actively looking for enhanced services. It is therefore essential that we all realise the importance for financial services providers of improving the customer experience through digitalisation. However, Maurer added that achieving a better employee experience is the number two priority, as it in turn drives productivity, sales and improves operational efficiency. But as I will clarify later, it is also vital to boost the employee experience, as that impacts productivity, sales, and efficiency.”
The three elements of UX
With that he explained more of the customer experience from the user perspective. Customer experience, he commented, is the product of the interaction between an organisation and the customer and comprises three key components. The first element encompasses the various touchpoints such as website, the mobile app or any kind of communication, including person to person. The second is the customer journey, while the third element is the environment, which is the whole digital ecosystem where touchpoints and the digital journey are interconnected.
“In this third category,” he noted, “accessibility, the advancement of technology, its adaptiveness, security and productivity all play important roles.”
And three focal points for digitalisation
He turned his attention to the focal points for the digitalisation of wealth management. “We can surmise that the customer journey in wealth management can be divided into three stages - awareness, engagement and transaction. He explained that is just as vital to have top-class digital solutions and interface for every one of these three stages, not only for transactions but right from the start, as wealthy millennials greatly value seamless communication throughout.
“The most dynamic and competitive financial institutions in this wealth management space,” he stated, “do not ignore any part of the customer journey in their quest for digitalisation. “For example, a couple of years ago everyone said robo-advisory would quickly replace traditional wealth management activity, but there have been many hindrances to this, and as yet only 3% of HNWIs indicate that they require robo-advisory for their selection of an adviser.”
Enhanced employee experience also vital
He moved on to the importance of the employee experience and how it impacts their companies. “How many of you think about your employees as your first customers?” he asked rhetorically. “Nowadays, an estimated 90% of businesses compete primarily on the customer experience, but actually according to consultancy and research firm Gartner, developing the employee experience is just as vital.”
He then referred to a report from Cognizant, which found that most facets of the touchpoints of employee experience will be automated in the future. “However,” he added, “we see that even well into the foreseeable future there will be a place for the regular forms of contact with a traditional wealth management approach and this should satisfy millennials that will still prefer this high-touch protocol.”
The Four Pillars of Digitalisation
Maurer concluded that to achieve the best results during digitalisation, firms need to define the optimal strategy. “This differs from firm to firm,” he remarked, “but we see four major pillars as essential foundations of the best user and employee experiences.”
With that, he highlighted the opti-channel pillar. This, he said, goes beyond multichannel and the omnichannel and involves communication through the optimal channels for each objective in order to be in the right place at the right time with the right delivery and interface.
The second pillar involves the automation of the activities of both the adviser and the customer. The third pillar revolves around personalisation and the understanding of and prediction of the users’ needs and preferences and then adjusting the systems to address these needs effectively.
And the fourth pillar is the automation of repetitive tasks. “There are so many mundane tasks that can and should be replaced during digitalisation and both your employees and your customers will thank you for that, as they will both have more time for what’s most important.”
The result of this rigorous approach to user and employee experience, he said on closing his presentation, could, according to research from a 2017 report by Jacob Morgan titled The Employee Experience Advantage, result in profits as much as four times higher, revenues up to two times larger, and enhanced reputations for both innovation and satisfaction.
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