Digitisation has transformed how we do day-to-day tasks, particularly changing how we handle our money. A few years ago, visiting a local bank branch to withdraw funds or deposit a cheque was common. Today, it’s out of the norm to be faced with a situation where money can’t be sent and received from anywhere, anytime.
Recent research by Quantum Metric reveals that almost half (48%) of consumers now choose to bank exclusively via digital services. This new relationship with money has unearthed new customer pain points and demands. As such, banks’ priorities are also changing as they focus on new ways to minimise customer frustrations.
1) Offer a knockout digital experience
As more consumers now expect a frictionless digital banking experience, the level of patience shown to banking providers whose online platforms aren’t up to scratch is diminishing. Bad customer service (CS) can lead to customers leaving or simply abandoning their bank, with 57% of consumers admitting to closing an account because they encountered poor CS or found an institution with the same offerings that potentially provided a better experience.
Banks must take appropriate action to build loyalty and prevent consumers’ eyes from wandering in the first place. This can be achieved by tracking key customer frustrations and innovating to meet customers’ changing needs – not just fixing occasional glitches and bugs. Additionally, banks can use data-driven analytics to offer personalised products and services to deliver an improved customer experience (CX).
2) Develop omnichannel customer service
Although there has been a clear shift to digital, more than a third of people still choose to ring customer service when they face an online banking issue. Moreover, 30% say their biggest problem is finding it hard to resolve issues online. Each customer has different preferences, so attempting to minimise the frustrations of everyone via one contact point is not adequate – an omnichannel solution is an answer.
Banks must become agile organisations that provide digital and human-powered contact points that work together. They have to cater to those customers who prefer to pick up the phone by ensuring that call centre agents are armed with the right insights and tools to solve issues quickly and efficiently. In addition, they need to offer 24/7 online chatbots, available on desktops and apps, to support those customers who prefer to manage things on the go.
3) Demonstrate empathy
Economic uncertainty and political instability are causing consumer stress and anxiety that can be mistaken for frustration. With 67% of people revealing that the state of their finances regularly impacts their mental health, the link between financial and mental health must be acknowledged by banks.
Vulnerable customers struggling with mental health often have different banking needs, so banks have a moral responsibility to recognise these cases and respond effectively. Vulnerable customers are also at a higher risk of making impulsive or poor financial decisions, like falling victim to scams, such as phishing emails and telephone calls, and tricking them into transferring money out of their accounts.
These situations can worsen if they receive sub-par support from their bank, emphasising the importance of quality customer service. More banks are now recognising the value of working with platforms that help them to improve their customers’ digital journeys and deliver more empathetic experiences. For example, these platforms can provide real-time visibility into exactly where vulnerable customers are struggling and help determine the best ways to resolve any pain points.
Why change now?
As the world becomes ever-more digitised, technology will continue transforming consumers’ relationships and frustrations with their finances. Banks that acknowledge these changes and demonstrate innovative responses will be the ones who successfully retain customers, and those who fail to adapt will see their customers quickly go elsewhere.
About the Author:Kristina Leach is the Director of Global FSI Insights at Quantum Metric.