54 percent of global banking executives believe that customer buying behavior is shifting from wanting products and services to experiences. Consumers are no longer going through life looking for mundane transactions that will either succeed or not; the everyday consumer is now on the hunt for a more enjoyable banking experience and will go to great lengths to find the right business that will provide them with exactly that.
Banks and financial service companies are notorious for their strictly transactional interactions with customers, and use none of the touchy-feely CRM tactics that retailers typically rely on. This is changing as recent studies have come out stating that not only are banks lagging behind retailers when it comes to customer experience, but that financial service companies are facing a huge transformational challenge as the world digitizes. To emphasize the impact that the need for an omnichannel business strategy has on how banks perform with customers, Ted Moynihan, Oliver Wyman’s managing partner for financial services, stated in a recent study conducted by the global management consultants:
“Very few firms have articulated a digital equity plan which establishes how their investments will generate future shareholder value in a digital, modular financial services environment. Thus, while the largest global banks and insurers saw shareholder value grow by an average of 10% per year, major fintech firms both new and old delivered value growth at more than twice that rate.”
More than half (55%) of bank executives plan to spend more on customer experiences in 2017 according to a recent study by Computer Services, Inc.
Many banks and financial service companies have taken note of the trend and are putting real money into it. This is a major change in priorities for financial institutions as this sector has been identified as a key area of growth for the industry as a whole. 47% of respondents stated that using new omnichannel technologies, such as offering access to financial services across a variety of channels and introducing more consistent interactions with the bank across a variety of touchpoints, in order to attract customers is one of their top priorities this year. Bankers plan to prioritize customer experience third behind their priorities on the financial industries list including cybersecurity risk and information technologies.
“In a crowded marketplace, financial institutions must prove their value to the customer, which includes offering service experiences on par with other providers, especially those outside the banking industry,” said Steve Powless, chief executive officer for CSI
A separate study, by American Bankers Association, surveyed 780 banks and found that 66% plan to increase spending on social media resources and three out of four banks believe that social media is important to their banks.
The most important omnichannel technology to implement this year is a customer relationship management solution.
As the financial industry continues to evolve and respond to the digitized world we live in, it has become increasingly more critical for banks to deliver on their promise to better the customer experience. However, attempting to accomplish this is no easy task. The very first step a bank should take when attempting to improve their online reputation is to develop an overview of their current position online. Only after the company knows where their branches stand, can the bank properly know how to proceed with improving the customer experience. Companies need to implement review management and SEO strategies to help them address and improve overall customer experience and brand reputation. As banks go digital, they will require:
- A software tool that will manage the influx of reviews at the branch level and processes for handling both positive and negative reviews
- The ability to perform sentiment analysis on the reviews they receive giving them useful, at-a-glance summaries of what customers are feeling and writing about the company and its locations
- Implementing operational changes and training programs to improve customer experiences across all customer touchpoints
- Implement a customer survey software which measures improvements over time and asks happy customers to post positive experiences on local search sites
Implementing a review management and review generation software will allow banks to see, manage and act on what real customers are saying about specific branch locations, drastically improving the customer experience. Interacting with customers online by responding to online reviews, both positive and negative, could improve the customers omnichannel experience and their overall relationship with the bank, resulting in what every business is looking for-loyal customers.
Banks must provide services that allow consumers to access financial services how and where they want. Customers today desire more than mere transactions when they make a purchase - they want an ‘experience’. If you need to know where your bank or company stands online and exactly what consumers have to say about your individual locations, schedule a FREE brand audit with us today and Chatmeter will help you to keep your customers happy.