EY: Building trusted relationships through analytics and experience

EY: Building trusted relationships through analytics and experience

Davide Gobbo, Executive Director and Bernhard Schneider, Senior Manager; both EY Financial Services

Zurich – We all know that today’s marketing landscape calls for the development of superior customer experiences in addition to great products and services. With consumers it is about creating real-time personalized experiences that are relevant and inspire confidence with customers, all by harnessing the power of data and analytics to build and measure trust. Building upon these insights, EY (former Ernst & Young), in partnership with Forbes Insights, released the research report “Building trusted relationships through analytics and experience”, which explains in five key insights how organizations can take a forward-looking approach to build trust and inspire confidence with customers by leveraging information and analytics.

From Bernhard Schneider, Senior Manager, and Davide Gobbo, Executive Director; both EY Financial Services

Among CMOs, 91% feel that building trusted customer relationships is a critical focus of their departments’ strategic and competitive vision. In recognition of the need to fully embrace and adopt all the latest analytics and data techniques, 87% of CMOs say their strategic vision includes the customer experience. A recently conducted study by EY on the topic of “Getting ready for the customer of future” supports these findings. In concrete terms, 45% of the Swiss financial services customers stated that trust is the most important criteria when selecting a bank or insurer.

„Executives are more confident about their in-person touch points in comparison to mobile and social.“

Customers are nowadays increasingly better informed about companies and their products and services. Their expectations are higher and they are constantly changing in the way they interact with the company. With data and analytics companies have powerful insights and tools to empower trust. At the same time, customer data collected by companies is a privilege. It is given to them by customers in good faith that their information will be safeguarded and used for doing the right thing.

Most CMOs struggle to understand where trust is eroded with customers
Less than a third say with full confidence that their department or company has a full grasp of where in the customer life cycle the trust is breaking down. What still remains a bit of a mystery, according to executives, is how that erosion of trust affects their brand equity.

Also, the study revealed that executives are more confident about their in-person touch points in comparison to mobile and social. Especially in light of the current disruptive landscape of mobile and digital and the ubiquity of smart phones, where increasing numbers of consumer transactions take place every day, however this finding underlines that, as a touch point, there is more to be done in charting or understanding mobile. Overall, executives seem caught between new media and old media. Building trust and brand equity in the 21st century means moving toward a more social model, underscoring the importance of two way communication touch points. In light of this the EY Customer Pulse 2015 has shown that for the Swiss Financial Services market the mobile and online channels are becoming increasingly important but the personal relationship to the bank or insurance advisor is still key. To understand clearly where trust is eroded firms need to understand the key moments of truth of their customer experience.

Data and analytics is an important tool with which to build and measure trust
Executives could do more to use all the data and analytics at their disposal to enable them to understand and build trust with the customer. Just 38% of respondents strongly agree that they are leveraging analytics to understand where trust is being eroded in the experience life cycle. The positive finding is that, at least half of those surveyed have a forward looking approach and mention that the ability to use data to build trust with their customers will become critical as a competitive differentiator over the next two years. In terms of actual implementation of analytics — such as making relevant or personalized offers — many companies lag behind the curve. In the Financial Services sector, offers to customers are still standardized and sometimes not even known by customers, as the EY Customer Pulse 2015 showed. Customers are not aware of the full spectrum of products and services that are offered by banks and insurance companies.

Significant opportunity in the use of analytics for customer insight and in expanding the use of external data sources to understand customer behaviors
Marketers know their customers well, but could know them better. Executives have to gain better understanding and confidence about their own company’s ability to use and apply analytics; this will be a step toward knowing their customers better. When it comes to applying analytics to understanding the customer and their experience, executives have yet to demonstrate that this is a tried and tested approach for them. Just 37% say they have the capability to use analytics to tailor communications and outreach to the customer. This is a low number, considering that many marketing executives see personalization as the next big trend in marketing. There is some work to do so that real-time analytics become an industry-wide standard. Only 50% of executives use digital channels to drive segmentation, content personalization, and messaging automation.

The EY Customer Pulse 2015 supports these findings. It was shown that banks and insurers are losing the majority of their customers along the customer journey, which starts with the consideration of a potential partner, followed by the search for information and the advice phase and concludes with the purchase at the preferred partner. This is compelling evidence that Financial Services providers do not sufficiently know and tailor their communications to their individual customers.

Collaboration across various business units is required to manage and improve the customer experience
Customer experience cannot be controlled by marketing alone as responsibilities are distributed among numerous business units. Among survey respondents, 67% agreed or strongly agreed that the customer experience requires collaboration outside of marketing and that the responsibilities are distributed among numerous business units. However, having a better grasp of the data and analytics part of marketing may help marketers take more control of the customer experience. Changing customer experience does often also require a change in the organization as well as a cultural shift in mindset of employees in order to be able to deliver this experience on a day-to-day basis.

There are already some companies who are taking a forward looking approach to garner trust with privileged customer information and analytics. In order to generate these customer insights they use customer insights from the database across all communication channels. Another company uses predictive models to improve their decision-making. Furthermore, there are companies which would like to see real-time marketing recognize patterns quickly in order to deliver even more personalized products and services to the customer.

Overall, the study reveals that consumers are deepening the integration of 21st century technologies into their purchase and consumption patterns, and expecting more from their brands. As such, they are seeking companies that stand out from the crowd.

Information on the research report “Building trusted relationships through analytics and experience”
This analysis was drawn from over 300 survey respondents. Fifty-two percent of respondents are employed at companies with US$1 billion or more in revenue, and all have more than 1,000 employees (21% employ 50,000 or more). Almost half of respondents are C-level, and executives’ functions are spread among finance (13%), management (17%), information technology (20%) and marketing (49%), with 1% serving a strategy function. The EY Customer Pulse 2015 can be found on the website at www.ey-customer.ch

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