Leveraging data and analytics to improve customer engagement in Kenya’s financial services industry
By James Gachie, Senior Manager – SaaS Sales, at Infobip Kenya.
In Kenya, as in much of the rest of the East African region, customer satisfaction in the banking and insurance space is becoming increasingly dependent on the quality of engagement between consumers and brands, rather than based on the differentiation offered by products and services.
Customers are expecting interactions that are informed by insights into their preferences and behaviour, meaning that they are demanding customisation and context to significantly shape customer engagement.
According to a report by Capgemini, about 81% of consumers would be willing to pay more for a better Customer Experience (CX), as they have been left frustrated by organisations that do not listen to their feedback or reward their loyalty.
East African banks are responding to this by employing new data-driven personalisation strategies, allowing them to combine customisation and context. These strategies are cross-channel, leverage customer profiles, context, history and behaviour data to tailor experiences to a customer’s specific needs.
Big Data and data analytics play a pivotal role in personalisation strategies, whether it is in terms of CX, internal communications and/or other stakeholder communications. Data-driven customer engagements allow banks and insurance companies, as well as enterprises in other verticals, to address customer-specific needs.
These institutions typically build vast profiles of their customers based on data collected about their shopping and spending habits, employment and personal lifestyles. Armed with this data, enterprises can target customers with the right products and services.
Customer data profiles also allow organisations to personalise conversations and provide context within those customer interactions. In addition, financial institutions can set behavioural triggers, that collect data about when and how customers use their apps, visit their websites or enter a physical branch.
In this way, they can monitor the dynamic behaviour of their customers and identify behavioural outliers, as well as patterns and the context of interactions. Similarly, data is also key to identifying patterns among various customer demographic groups, enabling enterprises to determine the context for interaction with specific subsets of customers.
Thus, banking and insurance companies in the East African region are increasingly using a combination of data and analytics to inform their business-to-customer communication strategies, which – when coupled with technology-based communication channel solutions – allows them to engage with customers in real-time.
Omnichannel smart contact centre solutions give businesses the power to personalise customer interactions and offer intelligent recommendations on products and services. This is based on the historical context of interactions that inform the context of current engagements.
Smart contact centres are, therefore, key to providing data on historical behaviour patterns to agents handling customer interactions, empowering the agents to make informed decisions when communicating with customers.
Also, deploying Artificial Intelligence (AI) -driven chatbots in a smart contact centre allows enterprises to do high personalisation at a very large scale, giving organisations access to vast and unconstrained markets.
For example, this is especially important for institutions such as regional banks that could have a client base of 20-25 million. Chatbots are not bound by the same physical constraints as human contact centre agents and are thus able to provide hyper-personalisation at scale.
However, it is important to note that even as AI-powered chatbots are becoming ubiquitous across the world, with this trend also growing across the East African region, customers still have the option to request human engagement at any time during the interaction.
In this modern era, businesses must realise that a solid CX strategy is one of their biggest assets, and customers are increasingly using technology as a means to communicate with brands. Organisations must, therefore, place a higher emphasis on digital communication channels in response to customer demands and in that way improve CX.