The COVID-19 pandemic radically changed the relations between consumers and businesses, and accelerated digital transformation in thousands of companies of all sizes, industries, and geographies. New, digital sales, payment and customer relationship channels were quickly rolled out to leverage a multichannel strategy and improve customer experience. But how much of this effort was really focused on the customer's financial journey?
Overnight, we found ourselves unable to have a bill delivered at home and with no more face-to-face communication – which boosted customer support across several digital channels (WhatsApp, text, email, social media). As customers started interacting more often, the growth in complaints followed. And amidst all this is the financial relationship.
Have you ever paid an invoice via app or renegotiated it talking to a chat agent, and then got a text message warning that the same invoice was overdue? It usually happens because, in the backstage, data from different channels don’t match. It means the systems don’t communicate at the same pace as customers move from one channel to the next. Companies need tools and automation that enable them to combine and validate this information in an accurate manner. If not, no matter how much you invest in digitalization, you may find the customers getting back to the call center once again – a fail in customer experience that also generates cost.
It was clear that many businesses were not prepared for the digital transformation, but it has to happen. Given this scenario, what are the trends that will help leverage business performance in 2021? Today, I share three priorities within the financial and transactional communications market for the coming years.
1- Analytics and hyperautomation
Using data more intelligently across all operational processes is one of the main trends for 2021. Without data integration, companies make mistakes that can even lead to a feeling of lack of security and fraud suspicion, losing the customers’ trust. Combined with hyperautomation – which, according to Gartner analysts, is something "inevitable and irreversible" when it comes to the use of technology –, this is a key point for digital disruption.
And it proves to be a win-win change. The customer enjoys an easier, faster financial experience; the team saves time with automated data validation, which can make work more analytical and less mechanical; and the company puts in place processes that are more efficient and assertive, less subject to errors with a direct impact on costs.
:hiperstream's Data Validation Automation (DVA) platform is at the heart of this transformation with data. It automates the validation of data in critical communications, pointing out which documents have any errors and giving our clients the ability to correct them before sending – thus increasing control over verification and improving customer experience during the data’s lifecycle.
2- Customer centricity
In 2021, this approach will be powered by the so-called Internet of Behaviors (IoB), also according to Gartner's trends report. The pandemic has significantly increased the number of people who interact with the brands online. And businesses need to follow processes that are in line with today's digital environment, keeping the customer where they have to be: in the center of everything.
As I said, this year's events sped up digital migration. But one thing that still didn’t change – at least in the minds of your customers – is the perception of safety and reliability they were used to whenever a printed invoice was delivered to their homes.
The strategic analysis of behavioral data allows customized communication, generating value to the invoice as a new channel of relationship between company and customer.
3- The future of payments
The democratization of finance is essential. In Brazil, we see a new chapter being written with Open Banking and Pix (the new instant payment system launched by the Central Bank). But it is important to keep in mind that the other channels won't cease to exist, including face-to-face. And that orchestrating all this to happen without friction is a challenge that many companies face. Finance, debt collection, billing and marketing departments have to be all on the same page.
What we pursue at :hiperstream is to improve customer experience, end-to-end. Not only validating payment data, but creating value for this financial document so our clients can also monetize this channel. Just like on a website, clicking on links or certain content on the invoice generates behavioral data that helps Marketing to direct their activities - a process very similar to an ecommerce.
In general, the democratization of financial services brings greater competitiveness, as well as makes operational excellence and risk prevention even more critical. Data validation and intelligent multichannel communication platforms are the way to achieve a financial communication journey with no friction or errors.
In this journey full of particularities, what will be your strategy to make the bond with your customers even stronger? Let’s talk.