Banks: Your Customers’ Cross-Channel Experiences Are Shoddy (Or Worse)

Note: If you’re a Forrester client, you can jump straight to the full report here.

The other day, I stopped by my bank’s ATM to get some cash. After entering my card and PIN and while waiting for my money (during which I was a captive audience), I was presented with an ad for a new service from the bank. Unfortunately, the ad’s call-to-action was a message telling me to call the bank’s 1-800 number to find out more.

I had just encountered one of the broken or inadequate cross-channel experiences that millions of customers face every year.

This is a lose-lose situation: In this case, the bank knew — or should have known — a heck of a lot about me as a customer, yet it failed to use context* to design a better experience and guide me seamlessly across touchpoints. And as a result, the bank also failed to cross-sell me any products or services.

Forrester defines cross-channel behavior as any instance in which a customer or prospect moves from one touchpoint to another when completing an objective. Today, cross-channel goes way beyond online-to-offline transitions; going forward, these interactions will only increase in frequency and importance. Digital executives at banks are left with a tangle of customer journeys across various touchpoints (see image below).

In our new report, Design Better Cross-Channel Banking Journeys, we show that:

  • Bank customers frequently move across touchpoints for sales and service. Among US online adults who researched and applied for a financial product in the past 12 months, more than half moved from one touchpoint to another during the shopping and purchase journey. This proportion varies a bit by market, but cross-touchpoint shopping is common across all developed countries. And this cross-touchpoint behavior continues once people become customers: 47% of US bank customers have had at least one cross-touchpoint banking interaction in the past 90 days.
  • Too many of these cross-touchpoint experiences are either broken or bad. Many banks do a poor job of supporting cross-touchpoint journeys. For example, most banks do not offer branch appointment scheduling tools on their mobile apps or sites. Other cross-touchpoint transitions prove difficult, frustrating, unpleasant, and ultimately fruitless for customers. Secure websites, for example, often require customers to fill in form fields — like home address — that the bank should already know about the customer.
  • Firms can gain competitive advantage by focusing on cross-channel design. Our report details the steps that executives and digital teams at banks should take to get ahead of customers’ cross-channel needs and expectations. The three main steps are identifying critical cross-touchpoint interactions; planning for customer journeys; and managing the transitions from one touchpoint to the next. Banks should focus on pairs of touchpoints, and they should appoint a multirole team that includes digital business executives, analytics experts, CX leaders, and business technology partners to lead their strategies.

I encourage you to read the full report here. Also, please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

*Forrester defines context as everything you know about a customer or prospect at the point of engagement






Post new comment

If you have an account on, please login.

Or complete the information below to post a comment.

(Your name will appear next to your comment.)
(We will not display your email.)
Type the characters you see in this picture. (verify using audio)
Type the characters you see in the picture above; if you can't read them, submit the form and a new image will be generated. Not case sensitive.