Customer Experience

How to Improve the Customer Experience in Banking

March 15, 2019

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Customer experience is growing steadily as a top priority in the banking industry. Computer Services surveyed more than 160 bank executives in 2017 and 55 percent of that group said they planned to put more money into “customer experience initiatives.”

A major factor in this shift to customer experience is because of the potential for more revenue. Research by Forrester revealed that banks that suffered even a one-point decline based on Forrester’s CX (customer experience) Index score would lose out on $124 million in revenue.

That’s a hefty sum left on the table, but banks can still turn their fortunes around by focusing on two specific areas to improve their customer experience strategy.

  • Have a multichannel approach
  • Make customers feel valued

Improve the Customer Banking Experience with A Multichannel Approach

Research from FIS shows that mobile devices are now the primary way for customers to interact with their bank, and standard online browsing comes in at a close second in terms of customer engagement.

The data all points to the fact that digital platforms are a must-have for any bank. Banking websites have to work on desktop and mobile devices with a standalone app to follow in its wake. Doing so allows customers to easily interact with their finances at their convenience.

However, national and local banks alike shouldn’t throw all of their resources on a single digital approach. Doing so means that you won’t offer the same quality of experience at a local branch or ATM, and it’s important that you evenly spread out customer experience efforts across multiple channels of engagement.

The Forrester report noted that 70 percent of consumers think that banks already perform well in terms of customer service. The right distribution and execution of your customer experience plans across the digital and physical representations of the bank means that you keep that majority of customers satisfied when they visit a local branch or the app. The “multichannel approach” also means that you have more chances to acquire and retain more customers.

However, there’s more to improving customer experience than just creating a strategy for different mediums. You also need to…

Improve the Customer Banking Experience by Making Customers Feel Valued

Think of the last time that a customer wanted to feel like just another entry in the database (it’s never happened). In fact, they want the opposite. Consumers want their bank to see them as a valued customer, and that starts with going above and beyond the expectations of what a bank should provide.

One example is Monzo, which is based in the U.K. and operates as a digital, mobile-only bank. Chris Skinner, chairman of The Financial Services Club, loves Monzo because it provides a modern banking experience.

Monzo customers can use the app for more than just monitoring their finances. They can set budgets and make well-informed changes based on the app’s reports on their spending habits. Skinner even pointed out that Monzo can even offer loans or other services as a way to save money in the long run on things like your daily commute.

However, Monzo engages even more with customers through content, specifically its blog page. Skinner pointed out that they even published an article that talks about the links between mental health and financial debt. When was the last time any other bank cared about its customers’ physical health?

Another way to make a customer feel valued is by responding to their reviews. Our 2018 online reviews survey showed that 19 percent of people are more inclined to leave a review of their bank after a positive experience. That’s a major difference when you consider that only 13 percent of people were willing to do the same thing in 2017.

Responding to reviews also puts a bank in a small group of businesses that actually go out of their way to respond to feedback, which doesn’t occur for 66.3 percent of consumers.

With the help of review management software, U.S. Bank was able to easily monitor and respond to any one of the 24,000 pieces of customer reviews that was spread out over 23 review sites. Doing so also allowed the bank to find different ways to improve the customer experience across 3,000 locations.

Why were reviews a priority for U.S. Bank? Troy Janisch, VP of social intelligence at U.S. Bank explains that review monitoring “provides us with a more accurate view of our locations through the eyes of customers than we’ve ever had.” Reviews provide the clearest understanding of customer experience.

Placing this type of value on the customer bodes well for customer retention. The Forrester research showed that this approach means that 77 percent of customers will stay with a multichannel bank.

The Path to a Better Customer Experience in Banking

The planning and execution of an improved customer experience strategy will take some time, but the benefits are worth every penny.

A 2018 Kantar study used its own “CX+ Index” score – which combined the customer experience score with the “Experience Gap,” a number that shows the difference between a brand’s promise and the actual result of the customer experience – to grade the performance of multiple banks.

It found that banks with a higher CX+ Index score not only had a recommendation rate 1.9 times higher than its competitors, but current customers were also 2.1 times more likely to try more the bank’s other services or offerings.

Better customer experience is a win-win for everyone. Banks get more customers and revenue while its consumers enjoy a financial institution that values their patronage and feedback.

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