Now is the season for predicting what 2022 will bring. We read all the prominent articles and did the sifting for you. Here are three issues worth your focus.
Everyone agrees a clear peek into the future can be helpful for institutions as they plan for the coming year. Without a functioning crystal ball or a DeLorean-turned-time-machine, we are left to trust industry experts to make their educated predictions. As the requisite “2022 Trends” articles hit the ether, the sheer number of future views can be overwhelming. We decided to cull through the expert opinions and distill the multiple long lists to the most interesting and the largely agreed-upon predictions.
1. Customer Experience (CX) is a Product
This idea is not so much of a stretch for financial institutions since customers consistently rank customer experience as a deciding factor in where they decide to bank. With the continued expectation of supply chain lags and product scarcity in 2022, thinking of CX as a powerful and reliable product you have, and one that will never be missing from your shelf, is a helpful perspective shift.
Judy Weader, Senior Analyst at Forrester, believes “customers are demanding more accessible experiences, and brands are going to respond in 2022 with deep investments in associated improvements . . . with tech vendors and services firms that develop and deploy accessible solutions.” For financial institutions this begs for increased and improved functionality for digital tools and better windows into customer needs and desires. More customer knowledge and the infrastructure to act on it translate to better CX.
2. Every Financial Institution Will Become a Technology Company
With the increasing entry of digital-savvy fintechs into parts of the banking space, the pressure is on for traditional financial institutions to step up their technology game. Integration of data and on-time customer information available across the organization will become non-negotiable. Most institutions are already housing demographic and wealth data on their customers, stepping up the tech game means gathering experiential data like activity tracking data (e.g., details like when, why, and outcome of a customer appointment) or substantive service resolution data including creating and tracking real customer issues. Capture this information in a CRM or data warehouse, and then tailor customer interactions accordingly.
BK Kalra at The Financial Brand emphasizes, “To stay competitive and meet customer expectations, banks and credit unions will increasingly pursue the holy grail of a single, 360-degree view of their customers,” and “to obtain this single customer view, organizations will consolidate a wide variety of internal and external data.”
3. Omnichannel is the New Normal
Omnichannel servicing is here to stay. When systems are integrated, customers can access the same information from the bank’s mobile app, the website, a self-service kiosk, or live chat with a bank employee. This type of seamless interaction removes friction in the customer experience and creates alignment across channels. “If there’s one task that should be atop financial services organizations’ 2022 to-do list, it is to continue improving the omnichannel customer experience to capitalize on the goodwill and momentum generated at the height of the pandemic,” says Karl Dahlgren at BAI. He continues, “A leading-edge user interface can’t solve the customer experience problem on its own. Banks first need to break down data silos and improve technology integration and platforms to deliver a consumer experience that truly attracts, engages and retains consumers.”
Monitoring customer touch-points at every exchange is a best practice. Gathering data on every channel not only provides important information about all those customer touch-points, but also indicates the strengths or challenges of the particular channel. Pursuing a robust and reliable omnichannel service will be time and money well spent.
Honorable Mention—Human Connection is Still Central
The trend lists are long and varied and that means an honorable mention is in order. Notwithstanding the obligatory talk of AI and machine learning and the inevitable entrance of cryptocurrency into the banking space, the rise of fintech partnerships (particularly for smaller institutions) are mentioned more than once.
All these focus on the digital arena, but the honorable mention goes to one of the most frequently mentioned trends: human connection. The human engagement that occurs in branches, and perhaps more importantly, through contact centers continues to be a top indicator of customer satisfaction. Customers are more likely to trust the institution that consistently engages them successfully with personal and human interaction. The digital tools are necessary for support with a large customer base, but the personal, human exchange is not only a differentiator, it apparently never goes out of style.
360 View CRM Platform
If you need a robust technology platform to fuel your digital customer experience, that’s exactly what 360 View offers. We’ve designed our growth platform to be the launching point for all customer experience activity, so you can achieve your customer engagement goals and maximize overall performance.
 Weader, Judy. Karpinski, Sam. “CX Predictions 2022: The Year of the Grand Pivot.” October 27, 2021. Forrester.
 Kalra, BK. “9 Pivotal Trends That Will Shape Banking Strategies for 2022.” December 14, 2021. The Financial Brand.
 Dahlgren, Karl. “The New Normal in Banking is Omnichannel.” January 12, 2022. BAI.