Across every industry, customers want more than just high-quality products and services provided to them fast and with a smile. They also expect their entire journey online and off to fit seamlessly into their on-the-go lifestyle.
Brand interactions are becoming more intertwined within our everyday lives. Rather than an afternoon set aside for errands like grocery shopping, buying new clothes, or meeting with your travel agent (remember those?), we instead find gaps throughout our nights and days to order dinner on the GrubHub app, ask Alexa for the best dress shop nearby, or scan Expedia for a great vacation package.
Back in the “old days,” there were only so many ways to tackle these tasks. But now, people aren’t only bringing these experiences into their homes, a place where we seek comfort. They’re seeking them through a multitude of channels, including online search, social media, mobile devices, voice search assistants, and yes, still often in-person.
The Evolution of the Omnichannel Experience
Multi-location brands today need to master the omnichannel customer experience. If yours isn’t keeping up with these evolving journeys, you’re almost certainly missing out on opportunities to bring in new clients, retain current ones, and increase revenue. That’s why many modern brands have been heavily investing in digital transformation and omnichannel implementations.
Retail banking and financial services, however, have been slow to start. According to International Banker, only 5% of financial services executives say they’ve completed, or are wrapping up, their digital transformation strategy.
Like any other industry, today’s banking customers are on the hunt for more enjoyable, personalized, secure, and easily accessible banking, loan services, credit unions, etc. This will likely include:
- Workflow automation
- Paperless interactions
- AI for personalized journeys
- Secure cloud-based services
- User-friendly mobile apps
- Self-service support i.e. chatbots
- Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology
And those are just a few examples. If your financial institution doesn’t offer these digital features, your current clientele will have no problem finding a competitor that does.
Why Are Retail Financial Brands Bad at CX
Brands in the banking industry are notorious for their strictly transactional interactions with customers. This historically traditional industry has just never prioritized the touchy-feely customer relationship management (CRM) tactics that restaurants and retailers typically rely on — and it shows.
One study says that only 37% of consumers think banks truly understand their needs. That’s probably a big reason why 30% of consumers switched banks in 2020.
To keep up with today’s demands, retail banking brands need to modernize. Emphasizing the need for financial brands to have a strong customer experience and omnichannel business strategy is Ted Moynihan, a managing partner and retail banking expert at Oliver Wyman. He recently stated:
“Few financial firms have articulated a digital equity plan establishing how their investments will generate future shareholder value in a digital financial services environment. While the largest global banks saw shareholder value grow by an average of 10% per year, major fintech firms delivered more than twice that.”
Upon seeing the evidence that the digital world is here to stay, many banks and financial service companies are finally getting on board with digital transformation and putting real money into it. In fact, about 64% said digital transformation was their current top priority. This is a major change for financial institutions and one you can’t ignore.
The Best Technology to Enhance Your CX Strategy
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 well, and ahead of top competitors, is no easy task.
To stay ahead of the competition, financial brands need to integrate innovative technologies designed to provide positive, consistent customer interactions at every touch point. If you’re still rolling out — or haven’t even started — your digital transformation strategy, now is the time to make it a top priority.
Accelerate your financial brands CX strategy wherever you’re at with three tools and programs that your organization can’t afford to skip:
Review and Reputation Management with AI
Review and reputation management software can quickly and significantly improve your customer’s in-store and digital experience by aggregating every online review from every location onto a single feed. In addition to being able to see every new review, users can also reply to reviews directly on the feed.
By responding to reviews, brands can create deeper connections with their customer by thanking them for a great review or empathically addressing a negative review and offering to make it right. Great review response both looks good for the initial reviewer and the viewing public at large. People prefer businesses that clearly care for their customers whether the interaction is face-to-face, or over the internet.
Listings Optimization & Management
While important for any location-based business, a listings management and optimization platform for financial services is especially critical. Why? Because for banks, credit unions, and loan centers, locations and hours often get complicated.
Just think…it’s not just branches and buildings. Many financial services have countless ATM locations or are located inside another business — and these locations must be listed like any other locations. Financial groups also tend to have frequently changing hours due to holidays. As you can imagine, effectively managing these complex listings manually wouldn’t be easy.
But customers don’t care. They just want to find the location of your closest location quickly and accurately from their device and channel of choice. If you can’t provide that, they’ll find a service that is properly listed.
By ensuring listing accuracy and making it easy to publish new listings, listings management is a must-have for customer satisfaction and online search visibility. After all, if someone can’t find you, they certainly won’t be visiting your branch.
Real-Time Customer Sentiment & Analytics
Like it or not, people are talking about your brand online. Why not use what they’re saying to inform more agile, data-driven CX strategies?
With a comprehensive customer sentiment and analytics platform, reputation and listings data from online reviews and ratings transform into digestible graphs, visualizations, charts, and other easily interpreted metrics. You can also get insights from customer sentiment engines that reveal trending keywords and phrases within your reviews.
Whether tracking Google rankings for a single bank location or getting an enterprise-wide look at today’s top pain points, your team will have hard data straight from the voice of the customer (VoC). Now, your brand can make informed choices designed to improve your customer’s journey and gain their loyalty for a lifetime.
“In a crowded marketplace, financial institutions must prove their value to the customer. This includes offering service experiences on par with other providers, especially those outside the banking industry.”
— Steve Powless, CEO for Banking IT firm CSI
It’s no surprise that banks and credit unions are heavily investing in CX technologies designed to build and implement intuitive and agile strategies. Happy customers make successful businesses, and those in retail finance are no exception.
Is your bank, credit union, loan center, or other financial group ready to create amazing, revenue-driving customer experiences using innovative technologies? Take the first step with a FREE brand reputation and visibility audit from Chatmeter. We’ll dig into your strengths, your weaknesses, and where you can improve. Then we’ll start building the perfect, personalized strategy designed to propel your success for years to come.