When a customer works with any type of business, their satisfaction of the price, quality and delivery of the service/product only makes up part of their loyalty to that business. The aspects that truly solidify their relationship with the brand are the interpersonal and emotional bonds they form. They want to see familiar faces, feel well-known by the company they do business with and have a personal touch that makes them feel like more than a revenue-generating number.
Despite financial services’ efforts to provide a personalized touch, the world of banking can feel a bit cold for some consumers. Increased levels on non-interpersonal banking and the hard decisions that often revolve around personal finance are the major culprits. In order to protect existing customer relationships, financial institutions must do everything in their power to enhance the personalized experience and show customers they’re valuable. Consider the following tactics:
Customer service can be misleading. Employees are encouraged to make the customer experience great by meeting all their transactional needs efficiently. However, this overlooks the element of interpersonal care and attention. Simple questions about the customer’s day can open up opportunities to learn more about that individual. If the customer opens up about their job, for example, tellers can inquire about it the next time that customer comes in. These simple, inquisitive probes are the roots for a more engaged customer experience and amiable business relationship.
A simple way to make the banking world more personal is to let customers customize their accounts. If they have different savings goals, they should be able to add different savings accounts and give them a personalized name. Similarly, they should be able to tinker with their own online user interface so they can view their account balances and transactions in a way that makes sense to them.
When a customer calls in about a question on their savings account, how is the navigation handled? Often, they’re sent through an automated system, where they enter their information. After this, they sometimes speak to a representative – again providing their card number and social security number. In especially bad situations, they’re transferred to a specific department, and must provide their information a third time. This process is frustrating, and makes customers feel their time isn’t being respected. Anything financial services can do to eliminate this redundancy enhances customer satisfaction. This idea applies to other areas as well – saving their login information and offering quick-glance buttons are other digital methods of streamlining the customer experience.
Offering Opinions and Educating
Customers look to their banking representatives for advice. Especially when deciding among complex and major choices, like a small business loan or a mortgage, they want the best advice possible. With proper training, banking representatives should offer this advice freely, and lean on other staff members when they don’t have an answer. Customers don’t care about the expertise of a single individual, but want the financial institution’s collective knowledge to put them on the right path. This aspect is where interpersonal touches and concrete value truly intersect, and financial services can lay a strong framework for a meaningful and lucrative business relationship.