Most people now use more than one financial institution for their banking needs. It is easy to see the competition from other big banks, but many financial institutions struggle to quantify the threat from FinTech firms. Customer experience (CX) is a key factor in building and maintaining high customer loyalty but this might be the area in which big banks struggle the most. If a bank provides an excellent experience to its customers, they will be able to maintain customer loyalty and keep money in their banks. So, how can you improve your CX? You’ll have to ask yourself some questions.
What channels do consumers want to use? What do banks think customers want? Why haven’t you provided the experiences that customers want? Is there a gap in consumer mindset and the mindset of banks? Today, we will examine these questions, using graphs from one of my favorite publications: The Financial Brand.
The Financial Brand is a digital publication for banks and credit unions that specializes in marketing and strategy. The publication creates many informative graphics about a wide variety of subjects. In this article, we will examine 7 informative graphs about customer experience (CX) in finance. We will take an in-depth at what insights they give us about the state of CX in banking.
1. Consumer Research Channels
This graph examines the channels used by consumers for researching and purchasing different financial products. I find it interesting and informative because of the stark differences in research channels, based on which product is being examined.
Websites, email, and physical mail are all used disproportionately when searching for credit cards. What do all of these channels have in common? Perhaps the customer wants information without having to interact with an actual person. This could be the case because credit cards are a less-personalized product (compared to something like a mortgage or larger line of credit), meaning standardized rates may be published online.
Another reason that people may use impersonal channels when shopping for credit cards is because people often carry multiple cards. This is in stark contrast to chequing accounts and mortgages, where most people will only need one at a time. Since they are less of a commitment, and you may have multiple cards, people won’t feel the need to come in-branch to learn about a product.
Mortgages are the one product that will motivate customers to call a bank. Again, it might be due to the fact that people generally only need one. They are more willing to visit a branch or talk to a real person due to the massive extent in which a mortgage will affect their life. A person is more likely to make personal contact with a financial institution when the solution they are looking for will dramatically change their life.
2. Benefits of Personalized Experiences
This graph takes a look at what bank leaders believe the biggest benefits of delivering personalized experiences and content to consumers are. Using customer data to make the right offer at the right time is far and away the most common benefit. The second leading answer, improving cross-channel CX, shows the importance omnichannel experiences. If your cross-channel experience is slow, or subpar in any way, the customer will choose to get their products or services from elsewhere. They may even decide to do business with your competitors.
Many of these answers relate in some way to communicating with customers more effectively. Aside from providing frictionless services at a lower cost and enabling flexible product/service bundling, improving communication is a key concern. Personalization in FinServ and all other industries will allow brands to communicate relevant information to their customers. This is something that every FinServ provider should aim for.
3. Funding Difficulties
This graphic shows the difficulties that FinServ firms face in getting funding for CX initiatives. Only 28% of firms rated the experience as easy or somewhat easy. The other 72% of firms found the experience difficult.
This speaks to the disillusionment of many FinServ leaders about the need to fund customer experience initiatives. As the competition from FinTech firms heats up, challenger banks become more established, and traditional competitors begin to invest in technology solutions, CX will become a key differentiator when it comes to retaining your customers.
Would a customer accept a subpar experience on a social networking site? Would somebody use a very frustrating dating app? Why would they accept poor CX from their financial service providers?
4. Customer Experience Excellence: Perception Vs. Reality
These graphs really jump off the page for a few reasons. They are so telling of the systematic CX issues FinServ has. Over half of retail banks and wealth management firms believe that they provide an excellent customer experience. The issue is that their customers don’t agree.
It appears that leaders in financial services may have missed the mark on their customer experience estimates. Perhaps, the research process needs to be slightly tweaked. How can a firm over-estimate how good an experience they provide by 27%? That doesn’t even begin to approach the 41% overestimation by wealth management professionals. The answers by financial service professionals to this question can almost be classified as irresponsible speculation.
These graphs show that leaders in financial services need to communicate with their customers better. They show that leaders in FinServ need to put more resources towards understanding their customers. Without putting the effort towards understanding your customers, you will be unable to serve them in a way that meets their needs.
This large a gap cannot be logically explained. Talk with your customers, ask them how satisfied they are with the CX you provide, engage with them. Not only will they appreciate it, but you can begin to bridge the CX gap from a realistic starting point.
This is the end of part one of our two-part series examining customer experience through graphs by the Financial Brand. Did you find any of these insights surprising? Let us know on Twitter @VeridayHQ. Next, we will be publishing part two, which contains insight into how banks plan on adapting to improve CX.