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The customer service efforts in any financial business can determine if its current customers will be loyal patrons or eventually leave for better customer service.
A study from Qualtrics revealed that poor customer service was one of the top reasons why most consumers left their old bank or credit union. Banks have a chance to convince these wavering customers to stay with them, but many don’t make an effort. Specifically, the study showed that 56 percent of customers said that their old bank didn’t make an effort to lure them back.
This brings up an important question: How do banks improve their customer service to prevent customers from switching to a competitor?
Based on our research, improving customer service in finance can be simplified into two major tasks:
- Adapt to modern customer service methods
- Gather and utilize customer feedback
Adapt to Modern Customer Service Methods
The traditional customer service model involves people speaking to a representative of the bank via phone, but that method is slowly becoming out of date especially when you consider new digital innovations.
A 2016 report from Sprout Social showed that consumers’ top choices for customer care are social media (34.5 percent), live chat or a website (24.7 percent), or email (19.4 percent). Only 16.1 percent of consumers prefer calling a number.
This further cements the fact that banks will need to adopt a multichannel strategy to stay successful and retain customers. In addition to managing physical branches and ATMs, banks need to be active on social media and have a functioning website and app to make it easier for customers to engage with their finances.
Allocating resources and money across physical and digital spaces shows customers that you’re adapting to new standards and the model of customer service offered is suited for today’s customers.
Gather and Utilize Customer Feedback
The voice of the customer (VoC) is vital to any business, and banks should utilize the insights that come from its online listings to improve customer service. For example, finding the right trends in online reviews allows banks to create a modern customer service strategy while easily spotting and resolving any customer issues before they escalate to a major pain point.
A real-world example of this idea in action involves U.S. Bank. With the help of review management software, U.S. Bank’s social media team was able to monitor the online reputation on the bank and its 3,100+ locations – which consists of over 24,000 reviews spread out on 23 review sites – in addition to monitoring the bank’s official social media accounts.
U.S. Bank’s strategy allows its social media team to easily respond to customer feedback questions whether it’s on a U.S. Bank review site listing or on its official Twitter account. This allows the team to nip problems in the bud while also providing a modern customer service model that is quick to respond, informative, and helpful.
By monitoring this broadly banks are also able to keep an eye out for any issues that could turn into compliance problems if not handled correctly.
Planning a modern solution to customer service doesn’t happen overnight. Banks will need guidance to create the right customer service solution, and that starts by listening to the customer through reviews.
The Catalyst for A Great Customer Experience
Excellent customer service is the backbone of success for any financial organization, and more institutions are becoming aware of its importance.
A 2018 Forrester study revealed that 70 percent of consumers think that their bank has great customer service, but banks should strive for higher customer service satisfaction. With that mentality, banks can execute a customer service strategy that meets the customer’s expectation.
Great customer service also leads to better customer experiences, which consumers will gladly mention in their review, and people are more inclined to leave a review of their bank after a positive experience.
More importantly, great customer service and experiences opens the door to higher revenues as well as better customer retention and acquisition.