Digital transformation has opened the doors for personalised services and product offerings to customers across industries as businesses have more insights into their customers’ needs, expectations, and behavioural patterns. The finance and accounting services are no exception, with over 70% of the customers regarding tailored service offerings as highly coveted for banks and other financial institutions and over 60% expecting personalisation to the level of e-commerce platforms like Amazon. Ironically, the banking and finance industry lacks personalisation services as only 14% of the banking institutions offer a contextually relevant personalised experience.
One of the major hurdles in developing personalisation strategies for finance and accounting business process services is the inordinate complexities in finance and accounting services personalisation. These complexities can send finance professionals down a rabbit hole, trying to balance cost and effectiveness. But revisiting fundamentals can be the key to simplifying these complexities and achieving personalisation success.
Four key roles for personalisation success
Starting with the people interacting with customers, the four key roles in the finance and accounting services industry that can facilitate personalisation success are:
- Accountants: Accountants are uniquely qualified to identify customers’ needs and facilitate service personalisation as they create, keep, and interpret financial records.
- Advisors: Integral to identifying issues and opportunities in a company’s financial position and strategising for the future, advisors can drive personalisation strategies to help the finance and accounting services industry serve their customers.
- Analysts: Analysing industry data and contextualising it for the company, analysts have insights into emerging market trends, which can drive personalisation strategies.
- Institutional investors and portfolio managers: Personalisation is fundamental to institutional investors and portfolio managers’ services as they invest money or manage investment portfolios on their clients’ behalf.
Working cohesively with professionals can be the key to personalisation success for finance and accounting business process services.
Four key imperatives for personalisation success
Facilitating digital transformation in finance and accounting and building the finance department of the future will require a shift in priorities and approaches from finance executives. Four critical moves for better efficiency and personalised services are:
- Go beyond transactional activities: The banking and finance industry is not limited to transactional activities. Focusing on strategic areas of finance and accounting services can allow you to offer more personalised services.
- Focus on data: The size and importance of data are growing rapidly in the digital world. Consistent, high-quality data can help the banking and finance industry create a sustainable competitive advantage while ensuring regulatory compliance.
- Integrate advanced analytics into decision-making: Advanced analytics can provide clearer, richer, and faster insights for better decision-making. This can help resolve pressing business problems and improve service quality for a better customer experience.
- Reimagine operations with new capabilities: Digital transformation in finance and accounting has given rise to the need for new capabilities and skill sets to understand and operate in the data-driven market. Reimagining finance operations with these new capabilities can help create value in the global customer-led market ecosystem.
These steps can deliver more effective next-gen finance functions, keeping customers at the core and offering tailored services for their needs.
Four key strategies for personalisation success
Revisiting these four fundamental strategies can also ensure personalisation success in finance and accounting services:
- Creating the “Ideal Persona”: Do not fall into the trap of establishing a very broad target segment when personalising services. Instead, focus on building a single dream customer and compare them to the customer you are best suited to serve. The difference can be a starting point for actionable insights and personalisation efforts.
- Give customers a decision-making agency: Personalisation goes beyond simply offering tailor-made services to the customers, with you making all the decisions. Giving customers the decision-making agency can further customise the services available and improve their experience by allowing them to feel more in control of their finances.
- Map your customers’ journey: Focus on mapping the customer journey instead of simply focusing on customer touch points. This way, you can become a partner in their journey instead of being a service provider, which can lead to higher customer engagement and satisfaction.
- Don’t drown in data: Data is important, but that does not mean you need to utilise every single data point. Not all data is well-structured, accessible or relevant, especially when it comes to personalisation efforts. Only focus on relevant data points to ensure your personalisation efforts are on target.
Focusing on these four fundamental strategic points can become the foundation of your complex and technology-driven personalisation efforts.
Personalisation in finance and accounting services may be complex, but focusing on some key roles and strategic steps can simplify it. Every financial institution, however, may not have the expertise and resources to leverage available data and technological solutions to offer personalised services to its customers. Relying on leading BPM organisations for f&a outsourcing can help you effectively navigate the digital transformation in finance and accounting. This allows you to leverage emerging technology within the finance and accounting services industry.