Email Anxiety and the Omnichannel Opportunity for Financial Firms (Part 2 of 2)

Email AnxietyLast week, I covered the concept of Email Anxiety and the Omnichannel Opportunity for Financial Firms. I mentioned several recent articles that indicate the time to reduce email reliance is now, including security risks, competitive pressures, new workforce entrants and more. So, what’s the solution?

My colleague Kate Chatzopoulos and I brainstormed a bit. This led to four thematic questions and the beginning of some answers that could help solve the puzzle:

Human collaboration is a complex thing. But there are patterns. So why are there not more best practice guides and even corporate training for how, when, how often and why to use communication forms? Be it email, chat or other?

It’s an interesting concept, isn’t it? Think about an interactive digital guidebook for using email so that the burnout doesn’t occur. Email is such a great escape from doing creative type work and is often the source we go to when we need something but it’s also a place where you can go and feel like you’re being productive when in fact the opposite is true. Sifting through emails is not productive, emailing 100 people in one email is not productive.

What should the rules of engagement be when using email, chat, collaboration in general? It’s a way to get information to the right people to solve challenges of course, and to communicate ideas and requests for information but when and how should they be used and when should other tools be used? What about bots? What about automation? When should an email not be sent? When does an email chain get so long that information is lost or stale?

It’s 2021 and technology has improved so much in our personal lives as consumers so why hasn’t it evolved much in the institutional financial services world?

Digital transformation is happening, and has in fact accelerated. But so many processes, especially in the back office, continue to be tedious and manual. Sometimes it feels like processes are held together with paperclips and duct tape. Some organizations are so reliant on email and spreadsheets because they don’t have the tools needed to create a better experience for their employees and in turn their customers.

Why has technology evolved so much but not for our operations clients? In all fairness, new fintechs have risen to support various functions across Client Lifecycle Management and Transaction Lifecycle management. They are actually quite game changing. Will the banks and buy sides adopt them is the question, and if and when they do, how do they all get elegantly stitched together?

Why hasn’t interoperability between FinTechs really evolved?

My colleague Katherine Kilpatrick has a great expression “herding jellyfish.” Sometimes it feels that way for Fintechs working together. What if we were more prescriptive, what if we created more and better interoperability and what if it was designed to set priorities, to create automated alerting, notifying and collaborating in a way that wasn’t disruptive or stressful but empowering, synthesized, elegant.

Symphony is making efforts, our recent announcement with Access Fintech is one example. Creating clear lines of value, mapped to real use cases and lowering barriers to adoption are all key to building a rich ecosystem focused around collaboration, content and context. I bet 90% of email would go away quickly as systems connect and speak.

What Does an Elegant Omnichannel Approach Look like?

While there are several ways of interpreting omnichannel, one common thread is the need to streamline communication and interaction across channels. Do business when, where and how your clients and counterparties want to do business. Secure chat on the website. Federation with consumer apps like WhatsApp and WeChat. One click, secure video and voice meetings and interactions. And layering in the workflows, bots and development tools to remove a lot of tedious manual processes, including those that may typically rely on email.

In Closing

I am just glad to say I do not have 1000 emails waiting for me after writing this. Thanks partly to my reliance on Symphony. For those leveraging the Symphony community, we are committed to offering easier, faster ‘on ramps’ into our community and micro communities while reinforcing our commitment to high security and strong compliance. We are dedicated to reducing reliance on email. And we are building an ecosystem that helps deliver on the promise of omnichannel. Stay tuned. Much more to come!

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