As consumer expectations continually change with the times, financial institutions will have to adapt to ensure that those expectations are matched in the customer experience (CX) that they offer. Customer experience is comprised of three key components: (1) the entire customer journey from start to finish; (2) the various touchpoints that the customer will have with the brand; and (3) the environment in which this journey and touchpoints will occur.
Having to contend with shorter attention spans and decreased consumer patience, banks are essentially required to deliver instantaneous digital solutions that streamline the customer journey. However, the banks that will truly stand out from their competitors are those that earn their customer’s trust through honest and value-driven CX solutions.
It’s certainly a must for banks to offer a completely integrated and convenient customer experience for their consumers. That being said, it’s important for these banks not to lose sight of the value of a human touch for a truly enriched CX.
Enriched digital experience for customer experience
From Gen Z to Baby Boomers, consumers of all generations are accustomed to having everything at their fingertips. This has increased the pace at which consumers conduct their personal and professional tasks. When an errand or project goes against the grain of their highly digitized lifestyles, it can become a nuisance, no matter how beneficial that task is (such as getting financial advice, depositing checks or withdrawing funds).
As banks push to digitize in order to keep up with customer expectations, they can ignore the importance of creating personal relationships. Many banks offer convenience, but banks can find true differentiation when they are able to achieve both a personalized and streamlined CX.
Helping customers feel catered to while also meeting their demanding expectations is the key. There is nothing convenient about automated systems that only offer generic and/or convoluted solutions. While an automated, high-touchpoint customer journey will help customers feel heard, having a human at the other end of the support system will ensure that customers are understood.
Although there’s often a gap between where consumers are financially and where they wish to be, banking providers are well positioned to bridge it. Consumers expect banks and credit unions to be trusted sources for financial advice, especially for consumers who want to learn about or hand over their financial management to the institutions.
Therefore, the second priority for banks should be offering trusted financial advice and providing extra value such as education or guidance for their customers. This not only offers consumers convenient access to a critical service, but more importantly, it gives consumers direct access to a person.
Enhanced personal touchpoints
It’s hard to disassociate finances and emotions. Entrusting a bank with their life savings can be intimidating for customers. So, if consumers only receive a cold customer experience while banking on-site, online or over the phone, it can feel like their money is in the hands of strangers.
While many modern consumers will appreciate a streamlined, low-touchpoint CX, it’s critical to maintain the ability to access a real human for customers that prefer a warmer, more personalized CX. In addition to customer preference, more complex issues will require real-time, expert advice.
Banks can strike a balance between convenience and personal feel with expert-led remote video, voice or text guidance. Offering this service allows consumers to get anytime, anywhere access to financial experts. Over time, this can develop into trusted and lasting collaborations.
Whether it’s a teller or financial adviser, banks need to emphasize the importance of a positive CX at each and every opportunity. This means speaking to customers with cheerful dispositions, patience and up-to-date knowledge. Achieving this is a matter of creating and enforcing universal customer service SOPs for all customer-facing employees. Luckily, technology empowers banks to deliver highly personalized CX solutions with speed across multiple mediums.
One of the most daunting challenges for banks is meeting ever-changing customer expectations. For example, they may expect the banks to be accessible at all times or be a trusted long-term adviser. Banks that fail to meet those prevailing expectations will find themselves losing business to their more in-tune competitors.
Banks that are able to pull off a great balancing act by mixing technology, service, products, education and outreach are poised to experience exponential growth as customer wealth increases. Unfortunately, most banks today are not equipped to carry out all of those tasks. With intuitive technology such as artificial intelligence and the possibilities of automation, it has never been so easy for banks to upgrade their systems and add features for customer convenience.
As technologies and consumer expectations change, bank managers may find it challenging to remain agile. Financial institutions, therefore, should focus on efforts to connect on a personal level with consumers and adapt to their needs. A greater investment in a customer-experience strategy will equip every bank branch to meet those needs as they arise.
Meeting the expectations of today’s consumers is a matter of developing a strategy that evolves with you. If you want help in customizing a customer-experience strategy for your bank, schedule a free consultation with EagleONE today.
EagleONE can help you drive your customer experience, lead generation and digital marketing results. We offer total marketing solutions for today’s companies that get results. Contact one of our team members today to discuss.
Mike Hutzel – CEO – mike.hutzel@Eagle1group.com – 513-847-0410
Jim Borum – CXO – jim.borum@Eagle1group.com – 513-847-0410