Changing consumer needs in pandemic hit economy

The Indian economy has been harmed in more ways than one due to the ongoing pandemic for the past two years. And consumer behaviour has, too, changed with economic changes, and customer experience has dynamically shaped the economy as well. Amidst all this, lenders like Shriram finance too have been making changes in their efforts towards adapting to changing customer experience and preferences, which is the only way to adapt to pandemic induced economic changes. Let’s have a deeper look at such changes.

Changing customer experience across industries

-The unprecedented challenges of the pandemic induced lockdown and restrictions served as a strong push towards an increase in online transactions, payments etc., by customers, as almost all their transactions had to be conducted remotely and online upon sudden lockdown. 

-Gradually, the post-pandemic era is likely to involve an increased possibility of more digitally savvy customers, implying financial institutions like Finnable and Shriram finance too, have to be digitally ready with the right infrastructure and interface for seamless customer experience.

-All this has led to changes in customer behaviours, expectations and ideas of end to end service completion, resulting in fintech lenders upgrading and optimizing their digital systems and online service platforms to meet up changing customer demand in the new normal.

How are lenders responding to this change in consumer behaviour?

Almost all lenders, including new age fintech like Finnable, were unprepared to absorb this wave of presence less banking when covid hit in 2020.

So lenders are taking numerous steps to fight off this sudden digital boom by taking these efforts.

Shriram finance has focused on operational agility and digital solutions to remain on the path of revenue and operations recovery.

These are some decisions that can help lenders, including Finnable and Shriram finance, to adopt tp ongoing changes in the external environment and consumer behaviour:

  1. Build robust digital infrastructure for banking

The experience of pandemic induced lockdown and restrictions, coupled with economic uncertainties, provided a sudden but much-needed push for Shriram finance and other lenders to go completely digital. 

-The short term challenges that the pandemic threw for borrowers, regulators and the industry made everyone address the need for end-to-end digitized processes to ensure that restrictions on physical movement do not bring the industry to a standstill again in the future.

-While the regulators need to re-look and alter existing regulations to make lending completely digital in the past 2 years, Finnable ensured to become equally prepared with robust digital infrastructure. 

-Creating the right infrastructure and interface for completely digital lending and customer interaction experience could prove to be path-breaking over the long-term in several ways, and even lower lenders’ cost of operations, which can be eventually passed on to customers in the form of lower charges, fees, interest rates, etc

  • Co-create customized products for customers

Fintechs have been looking forward to co-create customized products for consumers in order to narrow the consumer need gap. They are increasingly partnering with banks and other lenders to focus on customers’ needs and create products as per the same. 

  1. Leverage the potential for human/AI collaboration to transform customer interaction

-Many financial institutions have been using artificial intelligence tools in a variety of applications such as credit risk modelling, chatbots, fraud detection, etc. But the need to step up and utilize AI/human collaboration for transforming customer interaction is becoming increasingly prominent. 

Finally has also been able to change the way it interacts with its customers by offering a seamless omnichannel experience through a smart balance of human and AI in the digital banking world.

How organizations are handling employee health and preventing burnout

-Organizations can ensure productivity and efficiency without compromising on employee engagement by taking care of creating working norms that foster social cohesion.-

-Adopt new ways of working that help builds a strong culture, cohesion, and trust even when many customer-facing employees are working remotely and facing communication from customers all throughout the day. 

-Ensure timely reviews, communication and recognition to boost morale and keep up healthy work culture.

– They must be open to addressing issues and take up suggestions from employees frequently, as this promotes healthy work culture.

How businesses are seeing the impact and going for innovation.

-Undoubtedly, the pandemic crisis fundamentally altered organizations’ engagement with customers and made them think out of the way to revive the sudden halt in their revenues. 

-All this set the stage for unprecedented opportunities. Here are some ways in which few organizations can seize this opportunity and drive their customer engagement:

  1. Create forward-thinking engagement models

-Organizations should build real-time channel dashboards to continuously re-evaluate and re-calibrate channel investments that can help them keep ahead of demand and drive profitable growth. 

-Determine which customer touchpoints demand greater investment/resources/efforts and where decreased investment makes sense. 

  1. Cultivate the right workforce mix

-The right workforce mix can provide the balance of consistency and flexibility necessary to meet evolving customer expectations. 

-Hiring for a new talent mix of work from home and non-work from home means that job profiles and recruiting would also need to be adjusted. 

-Performance management and measurement should also be redefined to ensure customers receive end-to-end service, preferably in a completely digital model.

  1. Adopt a nimble approach towards physical space and technology innovation

-With work from the home culture here to stay for long, organizations must re-evaluate their physical spaces for value and viability. This can lead to a lot of cost-saving.

-And when it comes to determining what to offer customers, organizations should invest in advanced, real-time analytics to inform decision-making. 

-Tech infrastructure must possess the adaptability to speed up yet be efficient in the implementation of new capabilities and provide seamless customer experience as well.

Overall, we all agree and have witnessed how pandemic has changed the banking and lending landscape in India. Who would have thought this through two years ago that from opening a bank account to taking a loan or making an investment, all this can be completely digital? Certainly, the pandemic has impacted and changed a lot for both lenders as well as customers and been no less than a revolution.

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