Five steps to digitise your data capture
Wunderman Thompson’s five-stage approach to frictionless customer data capture boosts business, drives efficiencies and keeps your customers happy
Data is one of the most valuable assets a business can have and it has a huge impact on potential growth. Used effectively, it informs decision making, shapes product development and drives the customer experience. In fact, Forbes predicts at least double-digit growth in data-related investments over the next two years. And while recent data scandals have raised concerns around the handling of customer data, our latest survey, Experiences Customers Want, tells us that more than a third of consumers are willing to share more of their data if it improves their online experience.
Our survey also shows that 42% of customers say that they fully understand how their data will be used and the same number feel that personalisation is a valuable use of their data. As a result, many brands now recognise that having high quality data is critical for them to develop the insights they need to drive rich, contextual and personalised conversations.
Brands continue to fall short when it comes to data capturing
Despite knowing that data is increasingly critical for brands, many fall short when it comes to actually capturing customer data. This is especially true for some of the more established financial organisations that are trying to reinvent themselves to compete with nimble challenger brands that don’t have decades of legacy infrastructure to contend with. For traditional firms, investment in customer experience tends to focus on the part of the customer journey where people look for information around the products the company offers, but they fall behind in onboarding and application. It’s hard for them to compete with the frictionless sign-up processes adopted by banks like Monzo, which simply require a phone and a single ID.
Why digital data capture makes business sense
Financial institutions that have transformed their onboarding processes using Adobe Experience Manager Forms and Adobe Sign have seen significant benefits. Nedbank saw sign-up completion increase from an average of 33% to 80% after adopting Adobe Experience Manager Forms. The Skipton Building Society saw a 97% reduction in the average time taken to sign a new lending agreement using Adobe Sign. The process was reduced from seven days down to a staggering 267 minutes, saving 750 hours of underwriter resource on error checking.1 Turnaround times for account opening can be shortened from weeks to minutes and, in the current climate, where branch visits are difficult and discouraged, digitising these processes is essential for business continuity.
Digitising data capture and the application process
To help firms digitise data capture, Wunderman Thompson Technology suggests a five-stage approach:
1. Redefine the experience
Digitising what was a physical pen and paper exercise allows for a fundamental rethink of the customer experience. Not least, the opportunity to whittle down any duplication of effort on the part of the customer. Behind the scenes, any data already held on the customer should be used to ensure that all information is only requested once. The resulting user experience should be as personalised and as seamless as those offered elsewhere on the web.
2. Simplify the workflow
The creation of a standard and centralised platform for data capture opens up a whole world of operational efficiencies. No more physical shipping of forms, no more manual data entry from form to digital. Reliance on Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology would be a thing of the past, as well as any manual checkpoints required to validate that data prior to submission. Standardisation of data capture offers a path to simpler digital downstream processes and less room for human error.
3. Back-end integrations
Getting data captured by customer-facing channels into back-end systems that need to consume data can be more challenging. Thankfully, the evolution of cloud-based services, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure, which now provide integration services as part of their wider cloud-based offerings, has helped to simplify the process of sending captured data to back-end systems. In addition, more complex organisations that are dependent on many legacy back-end system data interactions will have dedicated integration service layers, such as Mulesoft, as part of their technology stack. These can also be used to enable data transfers to their back-ends.
Wunderman Thompson Technology can help to apply best practice to ensure the transmission of personal data is kept secure and meets the rigorous security and compliance standards of the financial sector.
4. Ensure seamless adoption
This is not a scenario for an overnight transformation. The platform should initially sit on top of existing physical processes. It should be a utility in its own right, with its own remit, its own operational structure and its own governance. Run your new digital processes alongside any existing physical ones, giving them a benchmark for data quality and operational efficiency. Your digital processes should not replace your existing processes straight away. A transitional phase will ensure alignment with existing operational teams, which is essential to driving adoption and buy-in elsewhere in your organisation. The earlier compliance is bought into the process, the less of a roadblock it is and the more it will actually help drive the innovation.
5. Continuous improvement
Once operational, and with implementation risks successfully mitigated, new ways of working will evolve. Launching a centralised platform is only the start of the evolution. Improving the customer experience becomes an iterative process, ironing out duplication and adding features that enhance that experience continually.
New technology gives rise to questions about legacy documents and legacy processes. Why do we need initials on every page? Is a Captcha or a scribble signature as legally binding as an electronic signature for certain document types? Do we need these documents at all? Or do we simply need to push the data captured to the appropriate system and ensure the action has been logged somewhere as part of a digital record? Improvements can be pushed out as part of a continuous development process.
29 March 2021
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