The financial industry used to enjoy one of the highest customer retention rates due to the fact that switching banks was a hassle, and there was often little to gain from doing so. However, in the digital age, moving to a new bank is easier than ever before and completely hassle-free, meaning more and more people are willing to move to a bank where they feel comfortable, valued, and appreciated.
Now, with customer retention rates not as stable as they once were, the finance industry has had to adopt a new approach to keeping their clients on-side; primarily in the form of impeccable customer service. Providing a good experience for customers is paramount, because what you fail to do, another provider will do – and your customers will up and leave without thinking twice.
So, how do you improve customer experience (CX) as a bank? Read on as we explain everything you need to know.
What is customer experience in banking?
When we think about customer experience and customer service as a whole, we tend to think about how we’re greeted in shops or how businesses deal with complaints. It’s not something that is necessarily thought about in the context of banking, because most people don’t have a need to actually speak to their bank on a regular basis.
Online banking and apps have greatly reduced the need for people to contact their bank and speak to advisors, but this is where the customer experience in the sector comes into its own. Online banking can be tedious to set up, and customers expect an abundance of features, no app downtime, and instant access to a service agent if they encounter a problem. So, customer experience in banking boils down to three main components: providing excellent customer service in-branch, online, and in app.
What leads to a good customer experience in banking?
With three main bases to cover, providing a good customer experience as a bank isn’t always straightforward. When banking issues crop up, they can often be complex and time-consuming, not to mention stressful for the customer where their money is concerned. With this in mind, the main components of a good customer experience in banking are:
- Efficiency: Customers want their problems to be solved quickly and efficiently.
- Easy contact: It’s important that customers are able to get in direct contact with you quickly, without having to jump through several hoops to do so.
- Personalisation: You might have thousands of customers, but each one wants to feel special and like you’re dedicated solely to them.
- Friendly service: Your customers will expect a kind and friendly service from your customer support agents.
These four elements need to be consistent across all facets of your customer service, from in the branch to over the phone to chat support.
What leads to a negative customer experience in banking?
What constitutes a poor customer experience in banking is the opposite of the above. If it takes you a long time to resolve customer queries, you’re not easy to get hold of, the service you provide is scripted, or the support provided is offered in an unfriendly way, your customers will feel dissatisfied.
Even if your banking system as a whole works well for your customers, if the customer support isn’t there to back it up, they will go elsewhere.
Why is customer experience so important in the banking industry?
The reason why customer experience is so highly valued within the financial services sector is because of the nature of the product you provide. People’s banking information is highly personal to them and security is of utmost importance. Customers need to know they can trust you, and the best way to do this is to provide a faultless, seamless service.
What do customers expect from their banking experience?
When it comes to banking matters, customers expect a professional, fluent, and seamless service. They want to feel listened to, like their needs are being met in a timely manner, and like they’re being treated with a sense of urgency. They want to know that whatever medium they contact you through, you’re there and eager to help in the fastest, simplest, and easiest way possible.
How can CX in banking be improved?
There are numerous ways you can improve your customer experience if you’re in the banking industry, starting with the introduction of new technologies. Oftentimes, banking matters can be complex and long-winded, especially when there are lots of different forms to fill out. With more and more banks closing their branches, customers are forced to move online, but this isn’t easy for everyone.
One way you can improve customer experience is by investing in contact centre technology like screen sharing, where the customer can see your screen or you can see theirs. With this tool, you can talk them through how to use the app or website, or guide them through how to gain access to certain functionalities if they’re struggling.
Software like co-browsing allows you to go one step further. With co-browsing, you can see what the customer sees when they’re on your site or app, and you can press buttons, scroll, enter text, and annotate the screen for them. This is useful for things like filling out applications.
Both of these solutions can drastically improve how long it takes your agents to resolve an issue, as well as increase the customer’s understanding of what’s going on. The experience is swift and personal – two key factors to providing a good experience.
There are a few other ways you can improve customer service, including:
Make support accessible
One of the main gripes customers have is that it can feel like they’re jumping through hoops to access support and help.
When it comes to banking matters, it’s already a high-stress situation for the customer, so it only adds to their frustrations if it’s hard for them to get hold of you. One easy way to improve the customer experience is to clearly signpost where help is available.
Increase customer service touch points
Banking isn’t like it used to be; it’s now online, in-app, over the phone, and rarely in-branch. It’s important that, as a modern business in the finance industry, you have touchpoints across all relevant mediums.
You’ll have customers who want to contact you through an app, on a desktop computer, on a landline, or in person, so it’s important you service everyone’s needs and tailor your service to every customer.
Provide end-to-end customer journeys
Customer support is about more than just providing a service at the time it’s needed; you need to create an end-to-end customer journey. This means creating an intuitive process that seamlessly moves a customer from point A to B in as few steps as possible, while servicing all their needs . You can do this in several ways, including adding clear navigation to commonly-asked questions, providing links to further support, and non-intrusive follow-up services to make sure the customer is happy and they’re having no other problems.
Monitor customer feedback
You won’t always get everything right, so it’s important that you listen to feedback.
It could be that you see a pattern in the number of customers who are having problems with the same thing, indicating that there is a wider issue that needs to be fixed. Customer feedback is invaluable, but collecting it is difficult. Having instant feedback at the point of completion can be used to your advantage.
Be flexible to change
In the same breath, when you ask for feedback, be open to making changes. Any successful business needs to diversify and adapt over time – what worked two years ago may not work now, so make sure you’re listening intently and taking steps to diversify your processes.
What are the benefits of an excellent customer experience in banking?
Below, we detail some of the core benefits you stand to gain from providing a good customer experience.
H3: Increased customer satisfaction
Firstly, the better the experience your customers have, the more satisfied they will be. As a B2C service provider, customer satisfaction should be your top priority, as the longevity of your business depends upon it.
Reduced customer churn
The more satisfied your customers are, the less likely they are to leave, therefore the better your churn rate will be. High customer churn is a red flag because it means there’s a fundamental issue somewhere with your business, and if you don’t address it, all your customers will go elsewhere and you’ll be left with none.
Word of mouth is incredibly influential when it comes to getting new customers and keeping existing ones. If you’re able to provide a service that people are happy with, they will likely tell their friends and colleagues, and you stand to gain more custom and become a market leader – pulling yourself away from your competitors.
Long resolution times aren’t fun for anyone. They’re frustrating for the customer, and they put extra pressure on service teams as they try to get through a backlog of customers. By introducing tools like co-browsing, you can increase the efficiency of your team by simplifying the process, streamlining how you approach problems, and therefore find a resolution faster. This will increase customer satisfaction and reduce stress on your team.
Improve customer experience with Vizolution
At Vizolution, we work extensively with banks and other businesses in the finance industry to better their customer experience, journey, and overall satisfaction levels.
To find out more about how we can help your operations, please contact us today.