Just when companies think they’re getting the hang of the customer service game, the game changes. While it’s nice to think that all companies in all industries push as hard as possible for a positive customer experience, let’s face it…there are certain industries that must try harder than others, depending on their level of competition.
Banks have spent decades, if not centuries, trying not to be just one more option in a community. In decades past, giveaways of gadgets and household appliances were how they lured customers in their doors. In these days of multichannel banking – in person, at ATM machines, online and even via mobile apps – any bank that doesn’t try hard to please customers won’t be a bank for very long.
Financial organizations have been struggling mightily to provide the best possible customer experience to help them stand out from competitors. Just when they think they’ve got the customer experience down pat, the customer changes.
According to the 11th annual World Retail Banking Report (WRBR) released this week by Capgemini (News - Alert), banking customer service is on the decline, with customers reporting fewer positive customer experiences than in years past. In fact, one quarter of the nations surveyed in the report saw a decrease of more than 10 percent in the share of customers with positive experiences. It’s not because they’re not trying hard to offer high-tech, multichannel options: it’s because younger customers – those from Generation Y – are expecting more of their banks than ever. This new reality requires banks to digitally transform as well as leverage social media, according to the study.
"The decrease in the percent of customers reporting positive experiences signals an early warning alert for the industry," said Jean Lassignardie, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Capgemini Financial Services Global Business Unit. "To reverse the troubling decline in positive experiences, banks need to fully understand evolving customer preferences and the expectations of 'Gen Yers', who are driving current and future demands in banking and its digital transformation."
Given that banking customers who have a positive customer experience are more than three times as likely to stick with their bank, it’s critical that banks evolve to give these younger customers what they want. So what do they want? The study found that about 10 percent of banking customers today interact with their banks via social media, yet few banks are fully equipped to offer customer support via these evolving channels. It’s not simply enough to build a Facebook (News - Alert) page and hope that suffices.
According to the report, banks have some homework to do. They need a strategy that will see them developing appropriate platforms to develop and host apps, put in place expansive big data analytics to process customer data and generate insights, and hire dedicated support staff to provide live customer care and address reputational issues particularly via social media channels. At the same time, they need to ensure quality, consistency and risk mitigation (no rogue social media posts to damage the brand). Finally, they need to ensure all this data is secure and that customers feel safe using these channels.
At the same time, banks cannot ignore more traditional channels, since a large percentage of their customers still expect those to be as robust as the online channels. And most important, these traditional channels and newer digital, mobile and social media channels must be properly integrated and not isolated from one another.
In other words, going forward, banks have their work cut out for them when it comes to building the customer experience.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi