Author: Aimee Ford, Relationship Development Manager, Financial Services
While 78% of financial services executives believe that the customer experience has improved, only 28% of banking customers asked agreed. In fact, the study, A Shifting Landscape: Customer Experience Trends and Priorities by PeopleMetrics, found that misalignment with their customers was a common theme for financial services.
Gallup research also finds that finding customers who can say their bank “is the best” is also challenging. Only 7% of bank customers said so, for example, with 44% saying there were no recognizable differences between banks. While executives may feel secure in thinking this “sameness” translates into a lack of reason for their customers to switch banks, this may not be true.
Edelman’s global survey of trust found that financial services—even though gaining traction—remains at the bottom of the pile with only 41% of consumers surveyed saying firms has earned their trust. To rebuild trust, consumers suggested that financial services organizations take action to:
- Have ethical business practices (76%)
- Listen to customer needs and feedback (74%)
- Place customers ahead of profits (73%)
Customer service accounts for 75% of the interactions customers have with an enterprise. As such, it’s imperative for financial institutions to consider how customer service interactions in the contact center can contribute to the ROI derived from customer experiences.
The Value Proposition for Reducing Problems and Raising CSAT
J.D. Powers estimates that 15% to 20% of inbound calls to the contact center are related to problems. A retail bank cutting problem incidence in half from the industry average of 21% would realize a 10% reduction in contact center costs.
Not only will customer satisfaction increase, but so will loyalty and revenues. J.D. Powers estimates that a 50 index point increase to CSAT will result in:
- An 8.5% increase to pre-tax revenue for share of wallet
- A 2.9% increase to pre-tax revenue for credit card share of spend
Essentially, by increasing the attention paid to manage and affect change in relation to the personal interactions in the contact center, quantifiable contribution to increased revenues complemented by lower costs can be proven.
The Role of Voice of Customer (VoC)
Interestingly in the graphic above, financial services executives place top priority on technology rather than products or customers. But even more telling in the PeopleMetrics survey is the indication that banks are tremendously immature in their commitment to the customer experience, rendering them reactive, rather than proactive and predictive.
For example, while 75% say their institutions recognize employees for improving the customer experience and 69% share customer feedback with them, only 43% are using customer feedback to drive systematic improvements to customer experiences. While more than half are taking action on individual customer feedback, this is indicative of a reactionary stance—they must hear about it to consider taking action. Yet this could be attributable to the admission of 76% of executives that they have trouble discerning the ROI of customer experience.
This being said, the ability to act on individual customer feedback can be a primary contributor to increasing satisfaction, loyalty, and ultimately, share of wallet. Contact center agents are in a prime position to take action on VoC and must be armed with the customer insights, guiding principles and brand affinity that enable them to ensure that the customer feels valued and cared for.
A contact center provider with a Framework for Tangible CSAT will have the foundational methodology that enables contact center agents to put customers first in a way that benefits both the customer and the bank. But, most importantly, it will serve as a continuous improvement process that uses VoC to systematically identify problems, create action plans and drive improvements that deliver measurable impact to customer experiences.
This framework will help to eliminate the confusion financial services executives have about the ROI of Customer Experience—as well as to prove the value attributable to VoC programs.