By Ken Makoid, northeast regional vice president

Rapid changes in financial interactions create a new expected customer experience

The financial services industry is being disrupted at all levels, creating new challenges but also new opportunity. There is no opportunity or challenge greater than when it comes to how customers expect to interact with their financial institutions.

More people are moving to mobile or online interactions with their finances. It isn’t just a preference, for many it is the sole way that they interact with their financial provider. In a recent survey done by PwC, 46 percent of consumers stated that they only use digital channels today, which is a 19 percent increase from four years ago.

With more customers moving to digital, financial services institutions need to shift the way they look at customer experience. It is now more important that your digital platform meets expectations than how friendly your tellers are at the local branch.

Customer experience goals in FinTech

What does a good customer experience look like for financial institutions in this digital age? As with most online platforms, customers are expecting to have 24/7 accessibility so they can interact wherever and wherever they want. Data and personal information should be housed securely and, as with everything in financial services, needs to meet compliance requirements mandates.

These tasks are all standard procedures for any business and are, the bare minimum, what customers expect. When it comes to financial services, there are additional customer demands that go beyond just “keeping the lights on.” These demands are fueled by FinTech organizations, who deliver market features and platforms that are the expectation.

Along with 24/7 access, people also look for smart tools that help them build their financial portfolio and make smarter financial decisions, without having to talk to a financial planner. These smart tools provide instant feedback and suggestions so people can quickly navigate through services and products to get a financial plan that works for them. Not only do people want the smart tools to offer suggestions, but they also want the online and mobile platforms to provide quick decisions. Artificial intelligence and robotic and intelligent process automation, for instance, can help redefine the financial customer experience.

It isn’t just regarding how the platform operates that customers’ demands have changed but also how the information is presented. People want a more interactive and simplified way to view their finances so they can make faster and smarter decisions. For example, some banks offer budget insights with a reactive color-coded message to show if customers spend more or less than usual. Customers can also set goals and it can help them track towards those, streamlining the financial interaction.

With all of these changes, IT teams are seemingly more important to the customer experience than front-end workers. They may not see their faces, but customers are now interacting more with these IT teams and the work they do.

The innovative customer experience starts today

Redefining the customer experience requires a new way of thinking about IT. IT organizations need to spend more time driving business through innovative platforms and less time on day-to-day maintenance. This is just the tip of the iceberg, as new technology like Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and intelligent process automation (IPA) will continue to enhance and expedite services, as well as drive even more customer expectations. There are a few steps that financial institutions can take today to redefine the customer experience:

  1. Outsource workloads and infrastructure to a trusted partner:
    Maintenance activities take up a lot of internal IT teams’ time, which should be spent focusing on the customer. Outsourcing saves money as it allows infrastructure to grow with business needs.

  2. Anticipate future customer expectations:
    Financial companies are delivering new innovative features that increase people’s expectations. They need to be less reactive to these market changes and more proactive in utilizing new technology, whether it is AI, RPA/IPA or an application programming interface strategy.

  3. Focus on performance and reliability:
    At the end of the day, the most innovative app can be brought down by poor performance and/or poor reliability. Financial institutions need a partner that has the expertise to ensure a high performing and compliant infrastructure design and the connectivity options to ensure reliability.

At Flexential, we offer the infrastructure expertise so your IT team can focus its expertise on your customers. With 41 enterprise-grade data center locations and 13 cloud nodes across the U.S., our financial customers can get the solution they need to utilize new technologies. With access to over 80 network carriers, our customers can partner with a provider they trust to ensure their applications run fast and efficiently.

Visit to speak to one of our experts on how we can partner to redefine your customer experience.

Ken Makoid

Northeast Regional Vice President
Ken Makoid Northeast Regional Vice President
Ken Makoid is the northeast regional vice president for Flexential. Ken has 20+ years of experience in managed hosting and has held similar positions most recently at Tierpoint and SunGard. He has also co-founded Safeguard Global Services, a managed services provider that was fully acquired by Safeguard Scientifics. He holds an MBA from Drexel University and a BSEE. Ken also holds a patent in optical electronics.