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April 21, 2017

Most retail banks are aboard the cloud train, enjoying the collaboration, uptime, scalability and automation this computing model brings. But what many banks are missing is that the cloud can actually impactand improvecustomer engagement.

This is critical, especially for traditional retail banks whose survival depends on their ability to compete against aggressive fintech firms by making the most of every customer interaction and improving the customer experience across all touchpoints.


Thats why personalized customer engagement is so important. It enables retail banks to deliver meaningful customer communications, services and products across their customers connected journeys. Studies show customers pay more attention to relevant engagement thats delivered in the right context. They respond better to marketing and offers, tell friends about you, provide you with their feedback and purchase your products and services.

Here are three ways the cloud can improve how retail banks approach customer engagement:

1. Reducing customer frustration.

Thanks to its redundancy and scalability, the cloud ensures your websites and online services have less downtime than if they were hosted on-site. A bank CIO who sees mortgage submissions are down because customers are struggling to upload paperwork can address the problem quickly, reducing customer frustration and increasing the number of submissions.

The cloud also provides a more consistent and seamless experience across devices and channels, ensuring data from any customer touchpoint is available. A customer who starts a loan application on her desktop computer at home can easily finish it on her bus ride to work using her mobile phone.

Hosting applications in the cloud means banks can offer incremental updates to their software so bugs are fixed quickly and innovative features can be deployed faster. Customers appreciate the ease of use since theyve become accustomed to their mobile apps being constantly updated and improved.

2. Increasing personalization and relevance.

With all the mergers and acquisitions in the financial services industry, banks continue to struggle to get a single view of their customers. Its not uncommon for a bank dealing with a couple applying for a mortgage not to know they already have a car loan if it was through another financial institution the bank acquired.

Cloud computing can help solve this problem. Used in conjunction with big data solutions, the cloud makes it easier to aggregate and serve up all customer data in one place, in real-time. That means banks can get a single, 360-degree customer view by merging identity and behavioral data, online and offline patterns and customer service. Through data aggregation, banks can predict what a customer will want next for improved cross-selling, more compelling marketing offers and personalized products.

Customers respond well to companies that know them and deliver relevant content and products. With the cloud, a teller using an iPad can immediately be notified that a customer he is greeting just purchased a new home. The teller can then offer her a credit card that earns points for new home expenses and purchases knowing the customer is already qualified for the card.

3. Improving products, services and customer service experience through real-time feedback.

Since the cloud supports big data applications, pulling in information from many databases, locations and applications, it can serve up information that front line bank employees need to handle customer requests on the fly. This provides staff with customer insights that inform their work solving a customer service issue or offering a relevant product and improves products because actionable feedback is delivered in real time.

When banks address customer concerns in a timely manner, customers feel heard and are more likely to return and recommend your company to others. For instance, if a branch manager sees the net promoter score is down, she can review customer data to identify the problem. It may be due to customer frustration with lobby wait times. In that case, the branch manager can add a new sales kiosk to reduce the wait time and improve the customer experience.

Retail banks can deepen customer engagement using cloud computing with TCS Digital Software & Solutions Groups Customer Intelligence & Insights for Banking and Financial Services. This solution is now certified on Cloudera Enterprise, the popular machine learning and analytics platform, and is available in a cloud-based version.


Kathleen Holm is Marketing Director of the TCS Digital Software & Solutions (DS&S) Group. She has more than 25 years of experience marketing technology software and services to enterprises worldwide. She leverages her extensive background in enterprise software technology to help organizations develop effective marketing strategies, create targeted messaging and positioning, and implement effective go-to-market plans to improve corporate performance. Prior to joining TCS, Kathleen was a Senior Principal of technical product marketing for Oracle Fusion Middleware where she was responsible for defining the marketing strategy based on industry maturity and customer trends. She also held positions at IBM including Market Manager for WebSphere Developer Programs, Market Manager for Tivoli Integrated Service Management and Tivoli Brand Specialist. Prior to joining IBM, Kathleen worked with four high-tech startups.


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