With increasing competition and changing customer demands, delivering a winning customer experience that clearly puts the client first has never been more important for financial providers. Embarking on a journey of digital transformation is an important way providers can improve their customer service. In fact, 48% of global retail investors said they trust their advisor more because of increased technology use — an increase from 40% in 2018.
Creating meaningful change within customer support can be challenging — especially without a commitment from the top to encourage and oversee the implementation of new initiatives. However, combining a shift of mindset with the integration of innovative new tech solutions can transform customer experiences, contributing to the customer’s trust into the organization.
Here are our top tips for taking your customer experience to the next level, boosting engagement and efficiency in the process:
1. Put the customer at the heart of your strategy
A positive customer experience depends first and foremost on putting yourself in the customer’s shoes. Any new strategies must begin by taking the customer’s perspective into account. Focusing on average handle time (AHT) rather than customer-satisfaction scores, for example, puts the emphasis on productivity and costs rather than the overall customer experience. To make customer experience a priority, designate a Chief Customer Officer with direct access to the CEO, highlighting the importance of all efforts to improve customer service.
2. Listen closely to what your customers are saying
Customers want to feel understood. To improve customer service, make it clear you are listening to them and taking on board feedback. Simply monitoring resolution times, for example, or examining the efficacy of a single touchpoint taken out of context, is not a good way to understand overall customer satisfaction. Consider each interaction with customers as an opportunity to learn what works and what doesn’t work, reflecting on the journey as a whole rather than individual touchpoints.
3. Map out the customer journey
Just one negative interaction can damage customer satisfaction levels. You need to deliver a positive experience across the entire journey — whether that’s in a live chat conversation or an in-person meeting. Customers should be able to start a loan application online, for example, and continue it later in branch, picking it up again seamlessly. To discover the pain-points in transactions such as opening an account or exploring investments, map out the customer journey, and eliminate any obstacles.
4. Identify specific customer pain points
Closely examining the customer experience to discover specific pain points allows support teams to make targeted efforts to improve specific stages in the customer journey. Getting a signature for forms is a good example. Having to send out paperwork delays the sales process, meaning agents can’t close during the first conversation. Customer feedback and analytics would expose this particular problem, which could then be resolved using a combination of co-browsing, live chat, and e-signature to complete documents more efficiently.
5. Prioritize a great onboarding experience
Making a good first impression is crucial. Onboarding is one of the most effective and economical ways to boost customer satisfaction. When opening a new bank account, 40% of consumers abandon the onboarding process if it’s too lengthy or complex. Each of these lost customers costs a company at least $400. Ensure the onboarding process is smooth, simple, and interruption-free. Again, digitizing the document collection aspect of onboarding is an easy way to minimize drop-offs.
6. Don’t underestimate the importance of loyalty
Financial providers have new rivals in the form of robo-advisors while players like Amazon and Apple are raising the standards of customer service. Yet sometimes banks spend 5 to 10 times more on acquiring new customers than keeping existing ones, failing to understand the importance of retaining current customers. A hybrid approach that allows customers to seamlessly move between human and digital communication channels increases satisfaction, sales, conversions, and, most importantly, loyalty.
7. Promise your customers transparency
Securing the trust of customers is of the utmost importance and customers will place more confidence in providers if they believe they are being told the truth. Strive to be as transparent as possible in every customer interaction. Give clients all the information they could need in terms of product details, terms and conditions, prices, ownership over financial data, and any other part of the exchange. Ensuring transparency to the highest degree possible is the best way to radically boost customer trust.
8. Commit to digital transformation
An omnichannel digital strategy allows banks to offer customers a more convenient, flexible, and personal service, boosting engagement, satisfaction, and loyalty. Yet 35% of financial organizations stated that they are only just beginning their journey towards digital transformation or not pursuing digital transformation initiatives at all. By overcoming this reluctance and exploring an omnichannel strategy that balances traditional and digital tools, banks can embark on a digitization journey proven to improve customer service.
9. Don’t be afraid to fail
Customer needs, demands, and expectations are continually evolving. Digital transformation is an ongoing process. And so no matter how well thought through your digital initiative, there will always be unforeseen problems or places where it can be improved. Strive for continuous improvement over instant perfection. Embrace constant iterations, regularly evaluate features, and adjust and hone strategies based on feedback and analytics.
Making the customer experience more engaging within financial services requires the integration of digital solutions, creating a service that is flexible, personalized, and efficient. However, the impact of these high-tech solutions will depend on commitment from the top to make positive customer experiences a priority — plus the willingness to take on board feedback and constantly adjust and improve the service.
Digital banking customer service & Unblu
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