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Tips to Improve Banking Customer Experience

10 Ways to Improve Banking Customer Experience In 2024

Uthaman Bakthikrishnan

Uthaman Bakthikrishnan

Executive Vice President

I recently transferred 75k using Google Pay to a relative of mine. Right after the transfer, I received two calls from telemarketing numbers (numbers that begin with 140), and I ignored those calls.

After that, I received a message stating that my account was blocked as they could not confirm the Google Pay transaction I had made. I did not notice this message as I don’t have message notifications enabled on my phone.

When I tried using it elsewhere, the transaction was denied. That’s when I noticed the message, and I had to call the bank’s customer service to reactivate my account.

While they are being cautious, this is a customer experience red flag for me.

Let me tell you another experience.

I went to the bank’s ATM to withdraw money. I followed the regular procedure of inserting the card, keying in the PIN, and the amount I wanted to draw. After this, they said I should key in the OTP number they sent to my mobile phone. I didn’t receive the OTP number for two minutes, and the transaction was timed out.

I couldn’t withdraw the cash at my bank’s ATM. I had to use some other bank’s ATM to withdraw money.

This, again, is a customer experience red flag for me. 

How Do You Contextualize These Complexities?

The context of these checkpoints is to maintain the security of the transactions.

What other changes have emerged in the banking space that traditional banks must keep pace with?

  • Smart, savvy fintech competitors have entered the market, disrupting established customer relationships.
  • 24×7 service, lightning-fast response, and personalized experience across service channels have become a reality in the last three years.
  • Stringent and complex regulatory compliance is mandatory to maintain a good reputation and transactional security.

You must ensure all of these without compromising on the customer experience. For me, ease of use is of primary importance when it comes to the experience.

If you are removing the ease of use, it isn’t useful for me.

Look at this survey data from Statista – 93% of organizations perceive customer experience as either a “primary” or “partial” competitive differentiator.

Besides, CX is the most important competitive differentiator in banking, and it has the power to improve customer retention.

According to the world retail banking report 2020, 57% of consumers prefer Internet banking post-COVID.

According to Accenture Banking 2020, 30% of consumers switched banks due to highly competitive pricing, high customer service quality, or good value for money. The same report states that 61% of banking customers expect access to more online interactions across their entire lifecycle.

All of these point to one key factor: customer experience.

How Do You Enhance the Customer Experience in Banking?

1. Customer Journey Mapping

First, you will have to understand your customer journey and map them. Different customer segments follow different journeys. It can be incredibly varied in a banking environment.

However, it should be fairly simple for you to understand the customer journey – the touchpoints where they interact.

Once you understand the different paths and the touchpoints within those paths, you can understand the friction your customers would experience in each of those customer touchpoints.

You can then optimize and remove those friction points to smooth your customer experience.

2. Start Small and Scale

Most banks make the mistake of being available in multiple channels without a strategy to handle customer queries in each of those channels.

You need to service every channel that you offer.

So start small.

Start with necessities like email, phone, website chat, and SMS. You can then think of bringing in social and mobile.

Some organizations are available just on one channel and do a stellar job of providing an exceptional customer experience.

Take, for instance, CDBaby, which has only one channel, which is the voice. They pick up every call that comes in within the third ring.

However, you must figure out how to collaborate across organizational functions. Let us assume that you run only the voice channel, you would certainly receive queries, and you would be dependent on multiple functions to respond to the queries.

Figure out a way to collaborate among functions.

Firstly, technologically integrate all the functions within your organization. This will allow your agents to access all the information from a single interface. With this infrastructure, you can easily understand the customer’s issues and provide a resolution or confidently suggest a resolution time.

Customer experience in banking is an iterative process that takes time for you to get it right. Besides, you will have to keep optimizing through iterations.

3. Keep the Customer at the Center of Everything

Seldom do organizations keep the customer at the center. For instance, take the example that I gave about the cash withdrawal.

I spoke to my relationship manager and sent a mail to their customer service stating that the experience was tacky, and I did not like it.

I did not even get an acknowledgment. Apparently, I am one of their privileged customers.

Data is a great source to determine if an improvement will appeal to your audience. The fact that I tried withdrawing and didn’t go through because of the OTP must have given the bank enough reasons to call me and check on it.

They never did that.

The key here is to actually listen to your customers and figure out what they want out of the CX.

4. Self-Service Is Sacrosanct

Most customers don’t want to reach your customer service or support for every challenge they face. They’d rather serve themselves.

How do they serve themselves?

  1. You can put together an easy-to-use frequently asked questions (FAQ) section. Customers should be able to find answers to the most commonly asked questions here themselves.
  2. You can have self-explanatory videos on customers’ most commonly asked installation and configuration needs. Customers should be able to access them and find answers easily.
  3. Your customers can reach the website and converse with the chatbot for most transactional needs of theirs, like account balance, checkbook requests, and clearance needs. It should provide options for the customers to speak to an agent at any time during the interaction.

Self-service tools would ensure that human agents can handle complex queries and that their time doesn’t get caught up in addressing transactional questions.

The convenience offered by self-service tools far outweighs the cost and effort needed to enable them.

5. CX Is Everyone’s Responsibility

CX is truly a cross-functional responsibility. CX can be equated with the organization’s culture, which is very similar.

Everyone’s KRAs should include CX as a part of it, irrespective of the function in which they work.

While everyone is responsible, you need a dedicated CX team to own the experience.

6. Build Analytics as a Part of CX

With analytics, banks can now monitor customers’ financial health and proactively advise them or suggest opportunities to grow or manage their wealth.

This can take place across all channels in an integrated manner. This would allow the banks to go above and beyond to ensure the overall health of customers’ financial wealth.

Encourage a customer-centric culture and provide ongoing training to all your employees on customer-centricity.

7. Omnichannel Capabilities

Customers don’t want to repeat themselves at any point during their interactions with your bank.

Let me give you an example.

A customer walks into your branch and inquires about an auto loan. He sends an email asking for additional information on the auto loan. He then calls customer service, asking them to start the loan process.

The customer doesn’t want to repeat himself at any of these channels.

Does your bank have all of these channels integrated?

Do customer service agents and loan processing resources have access to the underwriting platform?

Do they have a single view of all the customer interactions and the products that your bank offers?

When you have integrated all of your systems and channels, allowing you to have a single view of all your customer interactions, you can truly provide an omnichannel customer experience where the customers don’t have to repeat themselves at any point. 

8. Personalized Experiences

Analytics can leverage customer data and understand their needs and preferences proactively.

This would allow you to enable personalized interactions and tailored recommendations.

Let me give you an example.

You have been a customer of ABC Bank for the past ten years. You have a savings account, credit card, and a home loan with the bank.

You are servicing your credit card and the home loan properly. Based on your payment track record and your relationship, the bank reached out to you with an offer stating how to save additional money on your home loan.

The bank suggests that you refinance your home loan at a lower interest, allowing you to save a good amount of money.

Would you not be interested in this personalized offer?

Would you stay loyal to this bank and become an ambassador?

This is what personalized experiences can help you do.

9. Gather Feedback and Act On It

Regularly collect customer feedback through surveys, reviews, and social media monitoring. Analyze the feedback and use it to identify improvement areas and make informed decisions.

Let us look at an example.

You use the bank’s mobile app, and you get a notification asking you to provide feedback on your experience.

You rate the app’s usability as 6 on a scale of 1 to 10, and in the comment section, you specifically write what you did not like about the usability aspect.

The bank thanks you for your feedback, and based on many other users’ feedback, they decide to change the app’s usability and release the new version in six weeks.

They fix all the issues mentioned by their users and release the app. They also emailed you a personal email thanking you for the feedback, stating they acted on it and made the necessary changes.

How would you feel?

10. Reward Loyalty

Recognize and reward loyal customers. Offer loyalty programs, exclusive benefits, personalized offers, or preferential rates to show appreciation and encourage long-term relationships.

I have been a customer of a bank for the past 15 years. I keep getting their offers and promotions on preferential interest rates with pre-approved loans. I get offers on credit and deposit products as an individual.

I have opted for some of them, and the experience has been sweet.

Improving customer experience in banks is essential for building strong relationships, fostering loyalty, and staying competitive in the industry.

By implementing these ten tips, you can create a customer-centric approach that enhances satisfaction and drives positive outcomes.

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