Improve digital journeys to keep customers connected to your bank


By DJ Haskins

AWhile financial institutions are rushing to embrace new digital technology and transform their online capabilities, many overlook defections. Almost 25% of households are vulnerable to a change of financial institution.

Since this metric depends on a variety of factors, the first step is to understand why customers are drastically changing. By identifying the reasons why clients want to switch and marketing your strengths in association with these weaknesses, financial institutions will be able to attract vulnerable clients to their financial institution.

Rivel, a data-driven management consulting firm, recently completed the Rivel Banking Benchmarks, the world’s largest syndicated brand and customer experience study. The survey interviewed customers and prospects of more than 3,000 banks and credit unions across the United States, performing more than 180,000 interviews annually. In 2020, the survey was able to assess the effect of COVID-19 on defections and highlight weaknesses for vulnerable customers.

The investigation found that during the throes of the pandemic in 2020, bank switching was almost nonexistent. This could be attributed to the physical barriers of going to an agency to close an account, but also the tendency of clients to avoid change in times of crisis. However, as more and more people operate under the new standard, the rate at which customers switch financial institutions increases. About 7% of households changed in October 2020. Currently, the total number of people vulnerable and open to changing financial institution is around 29.9 million households and 8.3 million businesses. But what are the reasons for them to change and how can financial institutions benefit from it?

The survey continued to research to find that two of the top four reasons customers give for leaving a bank or credit union have to do with their customer experience, not pricing: lack of proactivity on digital and human channels. and inadequate technological training when on demand. for digital media.

To truly reduce customer frustration and account holder no-shows, financial institutions need to assess their own current customer experience to make sure it is succeeding in the areas that cause customers to leave. Self-assessment can be a key tool in retaining these vulnerable customers. Here are five key concerns:

Do you surround your customers with access to information?

Not all customers are the same. Some clients may wish to use search, while others may turn to virtual assistants. They all want to access information when and where they need it. By providing navigation beacons, financial institutions can improve the customer experience while meeting individual customer needs. Navigation beacons, such as live chat, search, virtual assistants, and pop-up FAQs, guide customers by providing easy-to-find answers through a variety of channels. In addition, by providing these options, it increases digital adoption and conversion while reducing the volume of contact center inquiries.

Are you providing the right prompts at the right time?

While this can often be overshadowed by more urgent customer service components, it can have a big impact. Contextual guidance, such as inviting customers to ask questions or pose content at a convenient time, is key to creating a meaningful and streamlined digital experience. By being proactive and attentive to detail, financial institutions will be able to create a seamless experience that increases adoption, reduces abandon rates, makes customer support requests less frequent, and removes friction. Offering appointment scheduling to directly connect customers with subject matter experts is another opportunity that banks can seize to deliver exceptional customer experiences.

Additionally, banks should look to business leaders from other industries to inspire their own digital experience. For example, many digital-only brands, such as Amazon and Netflix, anticipate the next stage of a customer interaction and provide contextual advice to consolidate that action. By turning to these industry leaders for inspiration, financial institutions can create a self-sustaining digital presence.

Do you offer access on all digital channels?

Financial institutions should seek to provide customers with access to information through the customer’s preferred channel, be it in-person, online or mobile banking. Mobile and online banking services are often seen as tools that banks provide to their account holders. However, mobile and online banking are best viewed as extensions of the branch.

Are you empowering your frontline staff?

If the financial institution provides navigation beacons, contextual advice, appointment booking and access via digital channels, the number of requests for assistance decreases considerably. These components allow customers to use self-service to answer their simple requests at their own pace and in their own way, allowing front-line staff to spend more time guiding customers through complex questions. By eliminating the time spent answering simple questions, banks and credit unions can help staff guide customers to the right answer, faster.

However, to be productive and efficient, staff must be able to receive the most up-to-date information quickly and without friction. By centralizing up-to-date information, knowledge management tools provide employees with easy-to-follow and easy-to-find information to share with customers. With this knowledge, staff can better inform and educate customers about their demands and needs. Enterprise Knowledge Management enables front-line staff to provide quick and consistent answers to customer questions at their convenience.

The bottom line

Since lack of proactivity on digital and human channels and poor technological training when requesting digital media are two of the main reasons customers change, financial institutions should think about how their own customer experience fits. to these problems. By providing better service, support, and a better customer experience, financial institutions can prevent the loss of ready-to-go customers, while attracting those seeking an enhanced customer experience.

DJ Haskins is Senior Director of Marketing at TimeTrade SilverCloud, headquartered in Tewksbury, Massachusetts, offering self-service, knowledge management and appointment scheduling solutions.

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