Financial Institutions need to communicate effectively to be competitive in today’s landscape. Particularly in terms of the dynamic between decreasing branch visits and a high importance on emotional connection as an important element of loyalty for financial institutions, omni-channel communication is more important than ever. Banks and credit unions must analyze their customer journey with intimate detail to make each and every interaction meaningful, helpful and a driver of customer loyalty through strong communication. Here are some key ways financial institutions should think about improving their customer experience through strong communication:
IVR systems are hugely popular and an expectation for their efficiency and cost-cutting benefits. However, these systems create a closed environment. In other words, they’re designed with the intention that they’re accounting for every single customer need. When these needs are met, they work well and save resources. However, when a problem exists that can’t be solved by an IVR, frustration can occur, especially when the representative can’t find an easy solution. To prevent this frustration, financial institutions should document these problems on the live representative’s end and see what issues are repeatedly occurring. These repeat, not-easily-fixable problems might be a major source of customer dissatisfaction, and rectifying that particular issue within the company journey can save headaches and stress for both staff and customers.
Actively Obtain Customer Information
One of the most common frustrations for customers in out-of-date information related to their account. Address changes, preferences and account information are often customer responsibilities, but they don’t always follow through and keep their information up-to-date. Instead, financial institutions should focus on proactively seeking out and obtaining this information. A major way to do this is by utilizing a customer interaction to find out more information about them, while they’re already present and engaged. This opportunity shows care on behalf of the financial institution, is convenient for the customer and helps avoid headaches in the future.
Omni-channel documentation is incredibly important, and is shifting in a number of ways. Consumers are focusing more on digital interactions than ever before, and any financial institutions digital platform must feel cohesive to the customer. Additionally, despite fewer in-person interactions with the financial institution, those interactions are more important than ever before as a way to differentiate the financial institution’s brand. Beyond conflict resolution, the in-person interaction needs to carry through to the other digital channels, and receiving a follow-up via email and documenting that interaction can give customers confidence in the care and attention put into the in-person interaction.
We’ve written about the importance of the universal banker in the past, but their presence in the modern financial services setting is a key part of satisfactory customer communication. Customers think of their financial portfolio in a comprehensive way, with checking accounts, student loans and mortgages all parts of their comprehensive financial picture. When they interact with a financial institution and that institution’s staff, they want the representative to see their whole financial picture and be able to address their issues accordingly. Making a commitment to the format of a universal banker will help financial institutions keep pace with the ease of interaction the modern consumer demands.
Continuous Interface Improvement
Due to the increasing influence of digital interactions, financial services should constantly query, identify problem areas, and troubleshoot their digital channels. Directors and executives should focus on developing a continuous process of improvement within their organizations, making sure that customer service representatives, software engineers and analysts are all communicating in a way to constantly rethink and improve the financial institutions digital interface.