Home Business Financial leaders report omnichannel customer experience as biggest challenge during COVID-19

Financial leaders report omnichannel customer experience as biggest challenge during COVID-19

by Jackson B

The Innovation Equation Report has surveyed leading decision-makers to reveal the top challenges facing firms right now 

The focus on enhanced, omnichannel customer experience is the financial service industry’s biggest headache amid the COVID-19 crisis, according to a new survey.

The Innovation Equation Report has been commissioned by Xpedition, one of the UK’s leading and trusted Microsoft Dynamics 365 implementation partners. The study surveys 148 senior decision-makers working for leading insurers, private equity firms, wealth management companies and banks in the UK to reveal the biggest challenges the financial services industry faces right now.

Key findings include: 

– 50% of respondents report delivering an omnichannel customer experience as one of their key challenges, as they face pressure to provide 24/7 digital access

– 34% of respondents stated agility as a concern arising from COVID-19 as the need to adapt quickly to market changes rises.

– Two-thirds stated cybersecurity as its main barrier to initiating a digital transformation programme.

Half of respondents said that delivering an omnichannel customer experience is the key challenge for them right now. This comes at a time when financial services face even greater demand for streamlined, omnichannel experiences that engage customers – across a range of digital platforms.

Financial service providers are under pressure to constantly improve customer experience and modernise business processes, along with battling the pandemic uncertainty. While 34% of respondents stated system agility as a worry, 49% also reported their main barrier as operational resilience, with the need to provide important business services, even in times of considerable disruption, as the UK fell into a recession in 2020.

Financial institutions also find themselves operating in an increasingly complex regulatory environment, reflected by 72% of respondents who noted regulatory changes as their most challenging day-to-day process. In an industry characterised by its regulations and increased scrutiny, there’s little room for error. Some firms stated that legacy systems and data silos were making it more difficult to stay on top of burgeoning regulatory changes.

Almost two-thirds of respondents said a significant barrier to initiating a digital transformation programme is due to cybersecurity worries. Concerns come after a record number of incidents amid COVID-19. Nerves are also reflected after news that 65% of financial service firms have suffered a cyber-attack in the last 12 months, and the move to home working increasing the chances of cyber attacks.

And when it comes to optimising customer engagement processes, of those surveyed, 53% said they would consider cloud-based applications to optimise their customer engagement and marketing. Only 7% of respondents indicated that they would not be interested in using cloud-based applications to enhance the customer engagement experience.

Dean Carroll, Managing Director at Xpedition, commented on the report: “The COVID-19 pandemic has brought significant disruption to the financial services sector, with many firms setting aside longer-term plans for digital transformation in order to tackle more urgent day-to-day challenges.”

“The key challenge for anyone in an organisation tasked with driving change through innovation initiatives is making sure that they consider all of the issues identified in the survey, whilst also navigating the requests from each division – and all the while thinking about the wider business strategy. It’s a difficult task, not made any easier by the current situation, so you should consider an experienced, trusted partner that understands your challenges and can help you envision your digital future with modern, cloud-based business applications tailored to meet the needs of the financial services industry.”

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