In the last few decades, technology and the digital era have played important roles in transforming how business is done and how customers are served. The financial sector is no different. Also, with a number of newer banks coming into the picture, it has become imperative for all banks to improve customer experience. However, unfortunately, the financial services industry is not known to be very customer-centric; only a handful of the banks are amongst the most customer-friendly ones in the world.
Here are a few pointers that banks could use to enhance customer experience.
1. Enrich the in-bank experience
As per Accenture’s 2016 North American Banking survey, 87 % of the respondents surveyed would still want to go to a branch to get their tasks accomplished. This proves that while many customers do prefer making their transactions online, there are others who would like visiting a branch for the same. It is imperative that the customer feels relaxed and comfortable as soon as he enters the banking arena. Further, a move as simple as extending the bank hours to accommodate the different type of customers can greatly enhance the customer experience.
First Direct, one of the banks with the highest Net Promoter Score, is one of the pioneers of easy banking. It is a bank that is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, making it one of the most loved brands in the world.
2. Use social media to stay connected with customers
Social media usage has increased in great magnitudes in the last few years. Apart from leisure, customers use it to interact with brands. Banks must be aware of the scope of the same and must leverage social media to their advantage. The quicker they respond to any such queries, the higher the trust customers have in the brand.
3. Work as a whole and not in departments
Normally, when a customer enters a bank or calls a helpline number, he expects an easy and quick procedure to sort out his query/grievance. However, when multiple departments are required to address the query, the time taken to resolve it increases, making the customer disgruntled over the entire banking experience. Moreover, because the customers are exposed to multiple departments and employees, the information that they receive could become contradictory. To avoid such a situation, it is advisable for departments to work in a holistic manner rather than in silos. It is important that information is shared between departments so that when a customer comes to you, he sails through the entire process smoothly. Thus, mapping the customer journey and having a deep understanding of this journey is imperative.
4. Use technology effectively
Another great way in which banks can improve the customer experience is to embrace technology to bring more convenience to the customer. For instance, because most customers today use mobile phones, banks must improve their mobile apps and services and educate customers to use these services. Also, they can use innovative methods of enhancing the security of an account.
One of the finserv companies with the highest Net Promoter Score score in the world, USAA leverages technology in very effective ways to add more convenience to its customers. For instance, it offers a new technology for customers who have been involved in car accidents whereby affected customers can take the pictures and attach voice recordings as well as videos to initiate the process of their claims. Moreover, all the claims can be processed remotely.
5. Use data effectively to serve the customer
It is vital that banks understand what their customers want and need before making any attempt to woo them. The data that is collected can give a clear and accurate idea of their needs and preferences. This can, subsequently, be used to provide personalized services to customers. For instance, for a customer who is still a student, it is not advisable to pitch in a home loan; a student loan would be a much better option.
How else can banks ace the experience provided to their customers? Do let us know if you have more pointers.