Why Customer Experience is a Key Differentiator in the Banking Industry & How the Industry Is Set to Change for Consumers

Customer Experience, or CX, is fast becoming the competitive differentiator in the banking industry.

Banks – and financial institutions in general – that invest in CX have on average higher rates of recommendation, greater ‘wallet share’ and are more likely to be in a position to cross-sell and up-sell alternative products and services.

According to a recent study by Gartner, 81% of companies compete mostly on the basis of CX, making strong CX a key competitive differentiator for Banks. Gartner’s research also reveals that the higher a customer’s experience is in terms of quality, the more likely they are to remain loyal to a particular brand or institution – meaning CX has the power to improve customer retention.

So, in short, it’s critical that Banks get their CX strategy right.

With CX playing an ever-increasing role in a Bank’s success, what will the banking landscape for consumers look like in the next five years? And what emerging CX trends will we see introduced in that time?

Embedded Products & Services within Mobile Apps to Provide Personalised Experiences

Customer ‘self-service’ is one of the fastest growing CX trends across the Banking industry today. With the majority of customers using mobile apps for a vast array of other services (such as shopping, utilities etc) it’s almost an expectation that Banks will offer this service too. The teams and associated expertise that are needed to create, manage and optimise those apps are not difficult for enterprise organisations to manage in-house. Ensuring a personalised in-app experience that supports many customers self-serving within their app will help stronger engagement and adoption.

The Evolution of AI

Rather than wait on the phone, customers now have the option to consult AI-enabled chatbots when faced with challenges. These chatbots pull and process information from various sources, such as the Bank’s knowledge-base and CRM customer profiles, to respond to incoming customer service requests. Should a particular request exceed the chatbot’s capabilities, it’s automatically escalated to a live service representative who can help the customer work toward a resolution. Best of all, more and more banking apps are offering chatbot technology as a native functionality, which means customers can quickly resolve issues from anywhere, at any time.

The rise of Digitalization

The pandemic and the impending lockdowns limited, and in some instances completely removed, the ability for customers to physically visit their Banks which often resulted in voice channels being swamped with calls. In order to deliver great CX for customers, it became critical for Banks to offer customers’ alternative digital channels as another method of customer service and support. But this is easier said than done. Deploying an integrated omni-channel communication strategy with end-to-end reporting and data is one thing, providing the tools and support for less tech-savvy customers is another challenge Banks have yet to land.

Humanization of Digital Interactions

Offering customers a range of channels is a good first step to delivering great CX in Banking. However, while many customers may be comfortable interacting with a ‘bot’, there will be just as many struggling with the lack of humanisation across their interactions with the Bank. This is especially the case when those interactions involve the exchanging of sensitive information or data. Therefore, it’s critical that Banks find ways to soften the use of bots, by giving them personas or personalities and allowing that bot service to be joined up with human assisted service.

So, there you have it – the four key trends in CX I expect to see across the banking landscape in the next few years.

What’s clear is that the banking industry is changing and changing rapidly, and CX is a clear differentiator for consumers when choosing who they will continue to bank with.

By not taking CX seriously, some Banking institutions are in danger of falling into the red when it comes to credit among the consumers of tomorrow…

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