With digital disruption impacting almost every industry, clients have come to expect personalised service that can be accessed anywhere, at any time, via their preferred touchpoints.

In the current reality, these expectations are no different. With high volumes of queries flooding the channels of those in essential services, clients will want these resolved with ease and speed so as to not further contribute to already heightened stress levels.

This is where big data, automation and artificial intelligence have a role to play. The way in which companies interact with clients has evolved significantly as a result of digital innovations.

Instead of a single (face-to-face / phone) contact, technology has paved the way for customers to connect with brands across multiple channels. With customers increasingly using multiple channels to interact with brands, they expect to do so in a way that is seamless and integrated.

This has been a challenge to the industry, as traditional models have had to evolve and transform to cater to an omnichannel approach. This means engaging with customers and capturing insights on a much wider scale.

However, if further digital structures are implemented to support teams with capturing and analysing data, it leads to a better understanding of what customers are looking for. This also gives a brand the ability to match their desires proactively by developing solutions tailored to those specific needs. 

By means of example, Standard Bank is leveraging data and artificial intelligence to better understand each client as an individual. Live data points are analysed to provide informed insight for improved product development. This information ensures that it is providing customers with bespoke solutions.

Standard Bank has also made strides to harness technology to drive more integrated solutions. The My360 app, for instance, provides a global, consolidated view of someone's entire financial life across more than 20 000 global financial institutions from one touchpoint. 

While technology holds the power to reduce friction for the client and to provide them with tailored solutions, to be truly successful requires an approach that sees digital and human capital working alongside one another.

The automation of tasks, for example, will allow employees to focus on areas where it matters most. Artificial intelligence can also be used to manage other processes. For example, WhatsApp-based chatbots can allow customers to use a familiar interface to get questions answered 24 / 7. This always-on solution is likely to see high volumes of activity by consumers. 

It is important to note that, if technology is leveraged correctly, the end consumer will feel the impact, as we will be better equipped to deliver exceptional, universal financial services solutions delivered in a digital and human way.

For more information, visit www.standardbank.co.za. You can also follow Standard Bank on Facebook or on Twitter.