Customer experience (or a customer’s perception of how a provider treats them, respects them, and serves them across every stage of the customer journey) has become increasingly important in today’s digital environment, with some studies showing that customer experience has become primary competitive battleground for the customer -- often more so than the product itself.
When it comes to delivering a positive customer experience, there are three key aspects that financial institutions should consider:
- Business problem
- Customer need
- Breadth of influence
In financial services, providers offer a high degree of product commoditization, and today, customers have a world of options, from traditional banks to fintechs, literally at their fingertips. Unhappy customers can easily shop around for other options and may choose to take their business elsewhere with just a few keystrokes. However, a customer experience strategy focused solely on generating positive influences actually risks failure because the negatives often weigh more heavily and can have a greater customer impact.
Because only one in 26 customers will let you know what frustrates them before they leave, institutions often miss this in their strategic plans. Some common frustrations expressed by customers include:
- A poorlydesigned website;
- Lingering unresolved issues;
- A banking ‘relationship’;
- Too many choices;
- Onesizefitsall solution; and
- A barrage of irrelevant information.
Fortunately, dozens of reputable studies, including ones from J.D. Power and the major consulting firms, provide bankers with a list of what consumers do want, which includes:
- Frictionless experiences – minimal interaction and ease of use navigation, intuitive websites as well as omni-channel options and consistency across channels and devices;
- Personalization – engagement relevance and customized service;
- Guidance – general financial advice and education as well as comparable product information;
- Empowerment – convenience, time saving, greater control over finances and easy access to face to face engagements; and
- Trust – security and a trusted provider with information credibility and an excellent community reputation.
Customers demand content and communication relevance throughout their experience and this manifests itself differently across the journey stages. In the early customer stages, corporate credibility and product information contribute heavily, whereas in later stages, customers want issue detection, resolution, and robust feedback mechanisms.
Understanding these components is vital for the financial services industry to remain relevant and profitable in an increasingly competitive marketplace. To learn more, download our interview brief.