Mimicking In-Branch Engagements with Digital Banking: Putting Customer Service and Account Holders First
According to a recent survey by Ipsos1, one in five Americans opened accounts at a new financial institution (FI) in the last 12 months. Another recent survey by Qualtrics2 found poor service was the top reason for customer attrition. These staggering findings present an urgent need to improve customer retention by prioritizing account holder services.
Of late, several analyst reports and blogs claim tools such as chatbots, video collaboration and cobrowse help deliver superior customer service. What often goes ignored, however, is the customer service lifecycle, which should start from the moment one joins a bank or a credit union to the point when the customer leaves the FI.
Simply focusing and spending IT budgets on contact center tools like phone, email, and chat, for example, isn’t enough for this purpose. Rather, every single interaction with the FI - whether digital, remote, in-branch, or through other channels, makes a difference.
Some interactions are simple, like downloading an FI’s mobile banking app, or viewing account balances through online banking platforms. Others are more complex, like applying for a loan, warranting thorough, step-by-step support throughout the process.
Customers and members who feel valued during these interactions gain a sense of trust and comfort, often remaining with the FI the longest. This translates to growing their deposits and taking further advantage of products and services, like credit and loan offers available at their FI.
How does an FI ensure customer service is delivered with the highest priority across all channels?
- Understand Your User Base: Invest in a strong analytics solution that helps you truly understand your customer and member profiles. For example, users who live paycheck to paycheck benefit from alerts needed to actively track and monitor every financial transaction. Real-time push notifications and alerts keep them informed where they might not otherwise have time to proactively check account balances and transactions. Separately, if you have a predominantly rural userbase, make sure account holders have access to relevant loans, as well as the ability to transfer funds via digital channels.
- Engage Your Users: A recent American Express survey3 showed 33% of Americans would consider switching vendors after just a single instance of poor service. Surely, not all FIs have the resources to support an extensive list of branches and ATMs. That’s why investing in digital banking solutions grants transparency to view accounts and transactions, leverage smart technology as an extension of your employees, while allowing the FI to deliver targeted, personalized messages. Not all messages should promote new offers and deals. Rather, channels should be utilized to communicate branch operation updates, provide personalized financial advice, connect with local community events to drive engagement and foster positive dialogues. The end-goal here should consistently convey that your FI will “always be there” for account holders, wherever, and however they transact. Without consistent, reliable support, customers and members feel neglected, and may inhibit their seeking further services, products or help during emergencies when they need it the most.
- Provide the Best Tools for Your Employees: First and foremost, never underestimate the power of human interaction in any form – whether via contact center tools or within a branch. Equip your employees with tools needed to assist and empower customers and members. Customer verification and fraud tools, CRM software, data analytics applications, marketing automation and campaign management systems, along with digital banking configuration / administration programs, are just a few resources to consider. Ensure applications are inter-connected and integrated, fundamental to prevent employees from the hassle of remembering 15 different sets of credentials while toggling between systems chaotically throughout their workdays. The best, most effective use of staff exists in their ability to help customers and members. A well-integrated, secure set of user-friendly, easily navigable digital tools pay off in routine productivity – and keep paying off in better use of resources and time across the FI.As the world keeps evolving post-pandemic, customers and members will continue to use digital banking channels, never completely abandoning branches and face-to-face engagements. FIs need to start thinking about customer service holistically, for the complete lifecycle of that account: From the moment a user applies for membership or an account, upon completing their first transaction, through the onboarding process, and so forth.
Customer service encompasses every facet that an FI needs to support of the account holder’s journey, through every interaction, wherever, and however they transact. This is where NXT, Alogent’s digital banking platform, truly exceeds dynamic employee and account holder expectations in a rapidly evolving financial services landscape.
Sitting at the heart of a financial institution’s digital ecosystem, NXT lowers the total cost of ownership for banks and credit unions, delivering a secure, flexible, and customizable digital banking platform that marries mobile, digital and voice banking for consumers and businesses. NXT’s single, SDK-driven platform, modern tech stack, open architecture and robust set of pre-built integrations enables access to hundreds of third-party applications.
Elevate the user journey and drive engagement with NXT's complementary functionality including loan services, SMB invoicing tools, and more. Advanced, data-backed marketing capabilities leverage user behavior for actionable insights, enabling banks and credit unions to deliver robust, targeted, personalized, and consistent campaigns across all digital channels. Take your solution to the NXT level.
3 American Express 2017 Customer Service Barometer