In the past three decades, there have been considerable developments in the banking sector. The main drivers behind the banks' commitment to customer experience transformation are fierce competition, a constantly evolving financial environment, and sky-high client expectations.
The most significant roles are played during the first phases of customer experience in the banking sector. A consumer is often first exposed to through an advertising they see offline or online.
A sales representative will frequently call or email a lead when they appear to be ready. Up until the consumer signs on the dotted line, the sales representative walks the buyer through the assessment and engagement phases of the sales funnel.
Customers, however, don't utilize marketing or sales as much once the transaction is made. A consumer is more likely to contact your support staff after making a transaction if they require more assistance. Therefore, the customer experience is greatly shaped by your support crew.
Customer behavior has been evolving throughout time. Clients demand seamless and immediate access, and since these trends are always changing, banks and other financial institutions must continually stay on top of them in order to enhance the customer experience in the banking sector. Every strategy approach in banking that aims to satisfy consumer needs must take into account the customer experience and not just the financial sector is affected.
The change in support agents, who now play a bigger role in how customers view businesses and their interactions with them, has been an intriguing development, says Mazzetti.
"Since fewer customers are shopping in-store, support agents' roles and visibility have grown significantly. They resemble the official face of your company.
Customer experience (CX) in banking
The efforts made by staff and banks to treat each client as important while attending to their requirements constitute the customer experience in the banking sector . Depending on how the client feels after obtaining a service, this customer experience may improve or deteriorate.
As a result, practically all big banks are investing a significant amount of money on improving their client experience. Results, however, are not always favorable. A customer's experience may be impacted by a variety of services, including creating a savings account as well as transactions and continuous assistance.
The 6 Process Pain Points that Destroy the Banking Customer Experience
A financial institution may have a well-known name and a mobile app that has won awards, but a few clumsy, annoying procedures behind the scenes can ruin all that goodwill.
There are too many banking options in the modern world that might easily win people away, therefore traditional banks and credit unions can't afford to lose customers to minor customer experience in the banking sector.
These issues are relatively simple to resolve, but they need an awareness of the points in the digital and in-branch banking experiences where clients are upset.
1. Terms and Conditions Need Improvement
The New York Times determined that it would take a typical worker 76 days of work time to read through all of the policies of internet companies. People are presented with these contracts and regulations almost every time they download an app, let alone when they apply for a loan or credit card.
Some financial institutions attempted to get around this step for customers by assigning the responsibility to staff and requiring them to read out scripts with condensed terms and conditions. When customers phone at the contact center as opposed to carrying out the same operation online.
2. Dispute Resolution Procedures Are Slow
The trust between a consumer and a financial institution may be rapidly and readily put to the test by a disagreement of any type. Frustration can then swiftly lead to customer attrition, a decline in NPS, and regulatory complaints.
According to the survey, "many dispute procedures nowadays force their consumers to traverse between channels and submit various paperwork" instead of giving them the chance to see why they're in excellent hands.
Institutions thus experience open cases, lengthy turn around times, and growing client resentment. People must ultimately provide evidence of the problem and contact many agencies before an issue is even resolved.
3. Too Slow Are Legacy Loan Deferment Systems
In many respects, the pandemic served as an example of how banks and credit unions cannot rely on outdated technology to satisfy their customer experience in the banking sector. However, most institutions utilized the same systems they had been using for years to obtain the data they needed to accept the postponement or change when clients expressly required them during COVID-19.
The basic procedure was just as slow as it has always been: banks and credit unions needed to verify people's identities, examine the outstanding balance of the loan, and gather evidence of the borrower's inability to repay their loan. Despite the fact that many institutions took steps frequently manual, to speed up decisions, the basic procedure was not changed.
4. Too Many Steps in Replacement Card Processes
Getting an extra debit card or a replacement card should be simple compared to estate-related account transfers. Customers should ostensibly just need to notify their institution that they require a new card, provide them with a few brief explanations as to why, and the plastic card will be delivered shortly after.
Most procedures at major financial institutions can be completed using a mobile app, particularly if they feature a virtual assistant that can rapidly guide users through the replacement debit card application process.
Consumers of smaller institutions could be "driven beyond their channel of choice" if they are obliged to phone a bank person. Or perhaps they need to visit their nearby branch in person rather than "engaging from any place or on their own time" because the problem couldn't be resolved over the phone.
5. Friction Delays Fraud Resolution
Fraud resolutions are frequently a complex maze that already-anxious consumers find difficult to navigate, just as dispute settlements are slowed down by needless friction.
Financial institutions are attempting to incorporate technology into their digital strategy without first ensuring that these technologies work effectively together.
According to the research, customers who are prepared to submit fraud applications electronically are "continuously bounced through online and physical channels." People have to go through several ID checks before finally submitting papers to establish the fraudulent behavior, as opposed to a single, simplified process.
What do customers anticipate from financial institutions?
Customers anticipate easy service from their financial institutions in addition to an understanding of their unique needs and requirements and the provision of tailored offerings. In 2022, customer experience in the banking sector will be at a point where it can make or break businesses, and customers will no longer see their experiences in the context of certain industries.
Customers want their banks to provide an experience that supports their requirements, fosters trust, offers specialized services, and goes above and beyond their expectations, regardless of the nation or continent.
Accessible to everyone
Because of the service, a consumer shouldn't look up the location of the closest branch and rush there. In order for clients to access services like branchless banking anytime, anyplace, banks need to make their digital platforms which are simple to use. There are 30 million active mobile internet users at Bank of America.
More real-time support is needed for customer experience in the banking sector than for any other sector. Nearly 50% of consumers believe that quick customer service is essential for fostering customer loyalty. To improve their customer service, banks may easily offer real-time assistance utilizing chatbots, AI-ML technologies, etc.
Customers are always seeking specialized and tailored services and goods that meet their specific needs. Banks may effortlessly provide personalized support that helps to shape the customer experience in the banking sector by pinpointing the key business drivers.
Data security is one of the most important factors, especially for banks and other financial organizations. Any consumer, regardless of who they are, wants to feel safe and secure while sharing important information with the bank. To maintain a positive, long-term client relationship, banks should foster trust.
With all these pain points in mind, let us now take a look at how a knowledge management system can improve customer experience in the banking sector.
1. Self-service portals
Have you ever been to a bank and got frustrated by the long queues and wait times?
What if there was a way to speed up the process and take things into your own hands? Studies have shown that 59 percent of consumers prefer using self-service portals in banking transactions.
This study proves that today’s customer is self-sufficient and no longer needs human assistance for every transaction they need to make.
Some key areas where customer self-service software have changed the banking landscape are:
1.Routine and repetitive banking transactions
Many repetitive banking transactions can now be automated. These include checking bank balances, viewing bank statements, and changing ATM passwords. This has enhanced customer experience in the banking sector, where employees from mundane tasks can now focus on solving more complex issues that customers face.
This also enhances the customer experience as customers no longer need to travel long distances or wait in long queues for simple tasks.
While human support agents are still crucial to solve more complex problems, issues related to document verification, payment of late fees, and blocking or unblocking of cards can be done through self-service portals.
Thus, adopting a self-service portal can level customer experience in the banking sector and also reduce pressure on your life support agent.
2. Help Center articles
Help center articles are a great source of information for new or experienced customers. Fundamentally, the purpose of a help article is to educate your customers about your products and services. When a help article is clear and accessible, people feel confident and empowered while using your product.
Imagine this scenario. A customer arrives at your Help Center confused and frustrated. They want to open a new bank account immediately through self-service. At this point, all they want is a quick and easy resolution to their problem. This is why it is necessary to think from the customer’s perspective to solve their problems.
Creating help articles that answer frequently asked questions and solve customer problems will elevate the customer experience in the banking sector. In the case above, having a step-by-step help article on how to open a bank account at home will solve the customer’s problems.
By using a knowledge management platform, future customers having the same problems will have access to a unified knowledge base for all information.
A knowledge base of helpful articles to solve customer problems will lead to agent empowerment. Since these articles are readily available, live support agents can use them when needed.
3. Knowledge Repository
In today’s world, banks have become an integral part of our everyday lives. Everyone uses a banking service in one way or another. This implies that there is an immense amount of traffic that banking employees have to deal with.
And with so much information there is to store and organize, it is humanly impossible to remember all this information. This is why it is essential to store and organize information in a way that is accessible to those who need it and when they need it.
Traditional methods of storing information in documents, long guides, and PDFs are bound to create confusion and trouble in case of immediate need of access. Not to mention these guides are extremely long and tedious to read.
In a fast-paced environment with time constraints, using a knowledge management platform as your central knowledge repository will undoubtedly improve customer experience in the banking sector.
Having an efficient knowledge management software will elevate CX in some of the following ways:
1.Ensure consistent and precise information across any branch
A centralized knowledge repository ensures that customers receive consistent information about similar problems no matter what bank branch they visit or which employee they interact with. This also ensures consistency in the service your particular bank provides to its customers, also improving your brand experience.
2.Provide employees with the latest updates and information
For instance, new laws, regulations, and policies can have a drastic impact on banking services and policies. By using a knowledge management system, employees across all branches will receive updates on the new terms and conditions simultaneously.
4. Decision trees
A decision tree software, as the name suggests, is a tree-like support tool that helps with decision-making and predicting possible outcomes. They are especially useful in banks as they assist in making complicated financial decisions.
Decision trees help bridge interactions between bank agents and customers. And how do they do this?
Call center scripting software like decisions trees help support agents in reducing the information they have to memorize while keeping in mind bank protocols. Let us see a few examples.
1.Promotes independent service
In finance, decision trees help deflect calls by using self-service. Many transactions including investing and choosing insurance can be done through AI-generated decision trees. They help customers make informed decisions based on their needs and eligibility.
2.Helps reduce wait time
For customers, decision trees are great for giving instant answers. As decision trees are integrated with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms, their data is automatically stored and backed up. This means that customers no longer have to continuously repeat themselves about their information. Overall, the handle and wait time are reduced.
On the agent’s end, decision trees allow agents to provide solutions in a few simple steps that are error-proof. This increases customer satisfaction and ensures a pleasant experience with the support agent, thereby elevating the customer experience in their banking sector.
5. Customer service FAQs
The FAQs section of any page, including a bank’s, should address the most commonly asked questions by your customers about your products or services. The best way to understand what these questions are is to analyze the customer service data.
What do customers contact you mostly about? What kind of support do your customers need most? Tapping into similar questions will help you map out what to include in your FAQs.
While organizing the FAQ page, using a knowledge base of articles and short snippets with keywords that your customers use will help them find their answers faster.
Note: While FAQs are a great way to answer customer questions quickly and reduce the workload on live support agents, FAQs are only an initial phase of support. In case the customer is dealing with complex issues, a live agent will have to step in. Keeping this in mind, it is important to include options to contact a live customer support agent.
For every customer query at different touch points, providing ample and efficient customer problem resolution is the only way to elevate their customer experience in the banking sector.
6. Visual how-to guides
According to research, about 65 percent of the population are called visual learners. This means that they need to see what they are learning in order to retain it. It is no wonder then that graphics and videos are becoming increasingly popular every day.
Similarly in banking, creating visual guides will engage your customers more than plain text.
To break it down, visuals help break down topics into smaller, more manageable chunks and help the user digest them faster and easier. According to a study, an individual is found to have only retained about 20 percent of written information contrary to 65 percent of the visual content.
Thus, creating visual how-to guides will improve customer experience in the banking sector, especially in their self-service journey. Taking into account people’s varying degrees of familiarity with tools and technology, creating a knowledge base of readily available visual guides will assist customers who are tech savvy or not.
From an agent’s end, pictorial guides help to resolve problems faster and more efficiently, reducing wait and handling time. This boosts customer satisfaction overall, including business productivity.
For instance, if you want to create a “How to open a bank account online” guide, you can use a knowledge management tool to add the required images, and successive step names, highlight important information, add tips and warnings, and include text for description.
7. Helps in knowledge retention
In any industry, employee turnover is inevitable. When employees leave, they leave with their knowledge and expertise. This becomes a challenge for any organization, including banks, as a result of brain drain.
By using a knowledge management system, an organization can store this knowledge and information in its repository that can be used by present and future employees. This will prevent knowledge loss with every employee's exit.
For instance, a complex and unique customer case has been solved by an employee. The information from this case can be stored in a knowledge base as expert advice that can be used by present employees and while training new ones in the future. By retaining expert knowledge, employees can use it to elevate the customer experience in the banking sector.
8. Omnichannel customer experience
Every customer's journey is different, depending on their needs, goals, and preferences. While some customers prefer traditional methods of live support assistance, others find self-service options and AI-driven chatbots more convenient and private.
Depending on the customer’s preferences, an omnichannel service will elevate their customer experience in the banking sector by choosing the channel they are most comfortable with.
The channel they opt for will also depend on the kind of problem they want to resolve. Simple services like acquiring an account balance are solved by self-support channels. Other more complex situations like financial consultations require a live support employee.
Using a good knowledge management system can level up customer experience in the banking sector. That will improve customer satisfaction and agent productivity. This is a common denominator that all organizations have, and the banking sector is no different. Since customer experience has become the new benchmark for businesses, it only makes sense for banks to level up their CX too.
About The Author
Megha Agarwal has been working as a digital marketing executive with Knowmax, a knowledge base software for call centers & self-service. She carries out daily marketing operations from outreaching relevant websites to getting the content published and creating new content.