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3 min read

‘New Year, New Me’ CX Edition

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In 2024, Smarter Banks will go on offense and differentiate with the customer experience.


When it comes to client experience in banking, the last three years have been a long, reactionary grind of responding to COVID, a white-hot labor market driving up turnover, and rapidly shifting competitive dynamics. In the spirit of New Year’s resolutions, here are three ways “Smarter Banks” will flip the customer experience (CX) script in 2024.



The customer experience for most community financial institutions is often the byproduct of a series of isolated decisions made by an assortment of business lines and product owners. While these efforts are well-intentioned, the resulting experience is frequently inconsistent, inefficient and frustrating for customers and employees alike.

Do any of these examples sound familiar?

  • Personalized offers are presented in digital banking but are invisible to the contact center agent who has dramatically different product knowledge than their counterpart in the branch.
  • New client onboarding is mapped out with automated marketing touchpoints if an account is opened digitally. If it originated in the branch, clients get a call at two weeks if (and this is a big if) bankers can find the time.
  • The multi-year CRM deployment is losing steam due to low adoption by the lending teams (“We already have a tool to manage pipeline”), and customer profiles are unreliable and a far cry from an aspirational 360-degree view.

Smarter Banks will deliver a truly differentiated experience by getting serious about who in the organization has “design authority” (think Jony Ive during his tenure at Apple). Put simply, exceptional CX requires clear ownership of key “moments of truth,” regardless of channel or organizational fiefdoms.


Related Article - ATM-as-a-Service – A Strategic Step on the Transformation Journey?



CFOs everywhere have watched with alarm as annual spend on CX software has increased three-fold (or more). Vendors are pushing lucrative subscription-based SaaS models and point solutions have proliferated to an unsustainable level. Today, it’s not unusual for a $2 billion credit union to cobble together a half dozen different providers for advanced authentication, intelligent virtual agent, digital engagement, text messaging and routing/queueing.

There are, without question, potential benefits (namely: security, flexibility and expanded interaction options) but the price tag and challenges with integration and vendor complexity make a positive return on investment elusive.

In 2024, Smarter Banks will ruthlessly prioritize must-have capabilities and make hard but necessary calls on functionality, complexity and cost trade-offs. There is market share to be gained for technology providers that deliver on specific, actionable use cases and help clients reduce tech stack bloat. This portfolio of capabilities will be overseen via a more formal roadmap for CX improvements and use case deployments, and this continuous delivery of CX will be made highly visible throughout the organization.



Now more than ever, CX is a mosaic of self- and assisted-service and blurred delivery channels. Yet community financial institutions are organized in rigid, channel-centric structures, and frontline employees are woefully underequipped to curate an experience leading with digital delivery, process automation and intelligent data integration.

In the year ahead, Smarter Banks will re-imagine their frontline workforce to reflect the all-important employee role in CX delivery by:

  • Elevating and investing in employee development with an emphasis on delivery across channels and fluency with digital tools as a non-negotiable.
  • Pragmatically deploying tools to improve the employee experience like intuitive co-browse and screen-sharing, interaction summaries created with generative AI and pushed to CRM, and agent-assist functionality that taps into existing knowledge bases.
  • Designing goals and incentives that match engagement objectives. (Emphasizing low average handle times will always be at odds with relationship-deepening conversations.)


Related Article - The 2022 GonzoBanker Awards


Ask any community financial institution CEO how their organization distinguishes itself from the competition and “customer experience” will be at or near the top of the list. 2024 is an opportunity to go on offense and make CX a true point of competitive differentiation.

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