Why Back-office Technology Turns Away Customers

Ron Shevlin of Cornerstone Advisors did some great research on how different generations of consumers think about choosing their bank. Full results can be found here, but across all generations, consumers unequivocally view cost and convenience as the two most important factors.

Costs that consumers weigh include fees, interest rates, rewards programs (especially the younger crowd), and the perception of getting good value for the services being provided. Convenience is a bit more nuanced — younger generations are focused on online and mobile banking products, while older generations like closer branch locations.

There’s More To It Than Apps & Portals

It’s possible that most banking executives intuitively know this tidbit about cost and convenience, and many other industries have similar drivers. But what’s interesting is that most “back office” technology in banking (and elsewhere) doesn’t address either of these issues. We’re not talking about mobile apps or online portals, but the software employees use to handle 95% of other tasks when fulfilling services for customers. Quite frankly, most of the tools we see are really outdated, expensive, difficult to use, impossible to enhance, and generally lead to employee frustration.

When we first launched Encapture, we spent tons of time thinking about how our platform could directly impact the two driving decision criteria by consumers — cost and convenience. After all, if our product doesn’t help our clients better serve their customers (and consequently grow their business), then what the heck are we doing?

Encapture Directly Reflects Back-Office Benefits; Employee & Cost

Of course, when implementing Encapture, the cost reduction benefits are the easiest to measure — eliminated courier costs and paper storage, no more time wasted tracking down lost documents or manually entering data, etc. Most of our clients see sub-1-year payback on their intelligent capture investment, which directly impacts their ability to offer more aggressive rates and lower fees to their customers—a pretty clear win.

What has been just as impactful, yet not as obvious, is the convenience benefit — both for customers AND employees. We’ve designed Encapture to help both parties feel like the document submission process is easy, secure, and transparent.

For example, Encapture allows a customer to submit documents however they choose (email, web portal, mobile device, or even “old fashioned” paper), and it tracks the status of those documents through the entire process. Further, it provides an avenue for the customer and employee to provide helpful context about that document that may help expedite the process—a small feature, perhaps, but with big implications.

How Encapture Would Have Helped Me…

Here’s why — a true personal story. When I recently refinanced my mortgage, my employer’s name that I provided on my application didn’t match the name on the paystub I submitted, as my company is split into a few different legal entities. I explained this to the loan officer when I sent him my paystub, but he didn’t have a way of communicating that info to the underwriter (clearly not an Encapture user!). Consequently, my application process was held up in a queue for a few days until the underwriter could find time to reach out to me directly and hear an explanation of why the names were different.

That relatively small issue took a meaningful amount of effort for both the underwriter and me, not to mention delaying the closing process. Coupled with a few other document-related hiccups, the entire application process wore me down, and by the end of it, that bank had not built customer loyalty with me in how they handled my mortgage. Sure, I got a good rate, but the experience wasn’t smooth enough to make me want to stick with them the next time I need a mortgage — it wasn’t convenient.

As maintaining and growing market share becomes more competitive, companies must be relentless in their focus on providing the best experience for their customers, which generally means equipping employees with the right tools. In banking, not every service can be facilitated via a 100% digital experience, which means banks need to think through how their enterprise technology impacts the convenience that customers demand. By the way, in my real-life example above, the loan officer was as equally frustrated as me throughout the process, as he didn’t have visibility to help manage my expectations.

Encapture not only saves companies tons of money by automating a complicated process (acquiring unstructured documents and pulling out relevant data), but it empowers both customers and employees along the way—providing a convenient experience for all parties involved.

If you’re ready to increase productivity and revenue, let’s talk about how Encapture would bring intelligent automation to your workflows. Schedule a demo for a sneak peek at the platform.

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