CX trends in banking have changed considerably over the last few years; changes that have been accelerated by the pandemic. Customer service has become an increasingly important part of this market shift, so much so that financial institutions and digital banking challengers need to think strategically about their customer service function in order to stay competitive.
Here are some of the biggest trends in CX, and what we can expect to see in the future.
It’s the customer service
Not only has customer service become increasingly significant in CX, but the definition of what banking customer service is has expanded.
Customers have become more accustomed to using both chatbots and live chats, although results have been mixed. The No. 1 feature customers want in a chatbot is the ability to escalate the interaction to a human agent. However, driven by an increase in digital-only financial services providers, closed branches during the pandemic, and long wait times to speak with live agents over the phone, consumers have increasingly adopted these tools.
Chatbots, while limited in what they can do, are a good first step in trying to solve a simple issue. Assuming a customer has the option to escalate an issue to a live chat or phone agent, if the issue is complicated, chatbots can be a timesaver for both the banks and consumers.
Live chats are a smart choice for busy customers who don’t want to wait to speak to a phone agent. Whether the live chat is via text or through an app on the bank’s website, customers feel as though they are getting the real-time, quality, personalized customer service that they expect.
Capitalizing on these trends in customer service to optimize your CX is a significant step forward, as 97% of consumers surveyed say that quality of customer service is what matters most to them when choosing where to bank.
Good customer service increases loyalty and revenue
The best way to ensure customer loyalty is to provide consistent, high-quality customer service. According to one study, 94% of customers who had an effortless experience are likely to make a second purchase. Conversely, 81% of customers forced into a high level of effort are likely to share their bad experiences with friends.
If a bank or financial services provider wants to retain customers, grow their reputation, and in turn increase revenue, quality customer service must be a high priority.
How happy are the bank’s employees? Are they satisfied with their job, how they are treated, and with the company culture? If the employees are happy, they will be that much more motivated to provide high quality customer service to consumers and go the extra mile. Research indicates that satisfied call center agents are 3.3 times more likely to feel empowered to solve customer problems.
Where the market is going
We have a good sense of where things are now, and how customer service in banking has matured over the last few years. But where is it going from here? Here’s some predictions:
1. Consumers will want more data security and fraud prevention
With identity theft and data breaches continuing to rise, the need for data protection and fraud-prevention is exploding. Banks need to stay ahead of data security to give customers peace of mind, and earn their loyalty. Consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about data privacy and security and will continue to expect a high level of protection from their financial services providers.
This is not surprising, as consumers lost an estimated $5.8 billion to fraud in 2021, a number up 70% over 2020. This is a threat that banks need to prioritize for their customers and for their business.
2. UX needs to be personalized
While bank branches were shut down, consumers who weren’t already users learned to embrace mobile banking, and will continue to do so over the long term. Customers love the speed and convenience of the interface and appreciate the personalization that comes with predictive AI.
This will be an area in which banks compete to bring their customers premium customer service. By incorporating AI tools across customer touchpoints, financial services providers can gain deeper and more accurate understanding of each customer’s context, behavior, needs, and preferences, McKinsey & Company notes. Analyzing customer data in real time and embedding analytical outcomes within customer journeys will drive fast execution of customer transaction requests and service queries, the consultancy predicts.
3. Automation with a human touch
While automation will become increasingly sophisticated, customers will still want to be able to speak with a live person in certain situations—fraud and disputed transactions are the big ones. Automation tasks are convenient when solving basic issues, or when helping customers bypass long wait times, but consumers want to know that there is a human behind the brand. They want to know that a real person cares about their business, and that there is someone ready to jump in to help resolve a complex, unique issue with empathetic, personalized customer service.
Bottom line: CX for the win
CX will become increasingly sophisticated and complex in the coming years. It’s crucial that banks (incumbents and digital disruptors) develop executable plans as to how to provide their consumer base the best in CX, with customer service as its cornerstone.
Not only will this help banks retain current customers—it will also help banks grow and stay ahead of the competition.
Learn more about how outsourcing customer service can help improve CX for banking customers.