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Tagged: mobile

Customer Experience for Women: What Banks Need to Know

February 12, 2016

How are women involved in their family’s finances? How confident do they feel about their financial know-how? What tools and services do they want their banks to provide to help them manage their money?

These are the kinds of questions financial institutions need to be examining to optimize the customer experience for their female customers. Married or single, mothers or child-free, college-age to retired, women are more empowered when it comes to money than they ever have been.

Here are some interesting findings on the preferences and attitudes of women banking customers (UPDATED February 2017):

Women tend to think of themselves as less capable or knowledgeable when it comes to finances than men do. In one study that used a scale of 1-7 to measure overall financial confidence, men rated themselves at an average of 6.20, while women came in at only 5.86. The numbers continue to drop among women under 50 (5.61) or when specifically addressing the area of investing (4.75).

56% of women said they turn to a financial advisor as one of their primary resources for guidance and information. The same percentage of men said they rely on their own prior experience and knowledge. Men are also more likely than women to reference financial books, magazines and websites. 

That said, women aren’t likely to seek financial advice out of the blue. A strong personal relationship opens the doors for women to come in and get into the nitty-gritty with an advisor. Once that foundation of trust is established, women will tell up to 52 people about a good experience they had with their bank, and even more if they had a bad experience. They are also more likely to listen to and act on recommendations, or dismissals, from others.

woman doing online banking on phone and laptop

Women are interested in convenient tools that help them manage their household finances.

Millennial women are more focused on paying off their debts than their male counterparts are. This sense of caution and sensibility is also reflected in their attitudes toward their financial future — 59% feel positive about the future, compared to 72% of men – and saving vs. spending. 54% of Millennial women said they avoid overspending, while only 40% of men said the same.  Women in general carry less debt, use less credit, and are less likely to be late on their mortgage payments than men.

When it comes to traditional vs. digital ways of doing business, women place more importance on the branch than men do, especially when shopping around for a new bank. Women over 50 are particularly concerned about the availability and proximity of branch locations when choosing a bank.

Women are a little slower than men to take up new tech tools like mobile apps and voice recognition. They won’t trust these services until they have evidence that it’s worth taking the leap into something new. That said, remember how they rely on word-of-mouth – once they hear good things about your digital experience, they’re open to coming aboard. Women are especially interested in tools to help them manage their budget. Even if women weren’t using the services directly themselves (maybe through a spouse or someone else in their household instead), they still expect banks to have them. 

Key Takeaways for Banks
  • Women prefer a human touch, someone to walk them through the complexities of managing their money. Your advisory staff should be visible and available to your customers. Make it easy to contact these experts directly to ask quick questions or set up appointments – no one likes being given the run-around or playing voicemail tag.
  • While men are generally content making transactions and purchase decisions directly with their bank, women want a relationship to create a foundation of trust before they’ll take your advice or sign on for additional products and services. Building the customer experience around this relationship makes them feel respected, valued, and welcome.
  • Convenience can come digitally, but not necessarily. It also means convenient access to branches and a pleasant in-store experience while at the branch. It also means the availability of tools, including online and mobile, that help women manage the day-to-day flow of their income and expenses, or that connect them quickly and painlessly to personal help when they need it.
  • FinTech could prove a significant draw. FinTech providers generally lead with the convenience and utility of their solutions. This could draw women customers, particularly younger women, away from traditional banks who aren’t innovating fast enough in the tools-on-the-go space.
  • Women are conscious of financial responsibility, like reducing debt and paying bills on time. So what if their bank started incentivizing and rewarding their financial sense? Little gestures of congratulations, even for something as small as saving a little extra this month, could go a long way in strengthening the relationship between banks and their women customers.

As with all things, these preferences and priorities will vary somewhat from region to region, bank to bank, maybe even branch to branch. Use Voice of the Customer data to track, illuminate, and strategize around the customer experience of your women customers and earn their loyalty.

To learn more about Voice of the Customer solutions, contact CSP.

SOURCES

Scale of financial confidence
Reliance on financial advisor
Preference for strong relationship of trust
Women’s word-of-mouth
Millennial women & debt
Women’s financial responsibility
Women pay attention to branches
Women expect banks to provide tools

What Influential Trends will Drive Financial Service Customer Experience in 2015?

December 15, 2014

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Banks are catching up to their customers, and specifically, how those customers access their products and services. The unprecedented diversity of channels customers see today is influencing how banks allocate resources to each channel to align with evolving customer expectations.

In December, BAI released its latest Banking Strategies Executive Report, brimming with interviews and opinions from thought leaders and retail banking executives from around the country. You can request your own copy of the report from the BAI website, but for those short on time, here are some of the highlights:

Omnichannel Strategies that Revolve Around Mobile

As mobile devices become more central to consumers’ everyday lives, so too has the mobile channel taken a central role on the omnichannel stage, which makes sense: mobile is perhaps the most omni of all channels.

Devices can be used practically anywhere, and for a number of different purposes – checking balances, depositing and transferring funds, searching for information, calling a branch or customer support line, leaving reviews on consumer-facing sites like Yelp, and following a bank’s social media feeds.

Mobile will continue to be a key area of focus in 2015, but more importantly, banks will need to grasp how this channel intersects with and influences others, and how customers move between all of them.

“People are not migrating solely from one channel and leaving another one behind. […] The branch continues to be a significant channel for even the most technologically-savvy customers.”
David L. Stein, Executive VP and head of consumer and commercial banking for Associated Banc-Corp

The adoption of mobile among consumers could have banks looking at mobile solutions for their business customers, too, such as payments and remote deposits. B.C. Krishna, President and CEO of MineralTree, Inc, notes that “the vast majority of B2B payments still tend to be manual, paper-based, ad-hoc, check-oriented transactions” that cost money to process. Could 2015 be the year we see that start to shift?

Personalized Experiences Based on Data

It goes without saying that no two customers are exactly alike, and now, financial institutions have access to the data to help paint a fuller picture of each individual.

But it’s not the data itself that matters, it’s what you do with it. In 2015, banks can use this customer intelligence to deliver a customer experience that not only seamlessly flows between channels, but recognizes each customer’s unique needs.

In fact, through the rise of predictive analytics, banks have more capacity to anticipate these needs and be proactive in offering solutions to each customer – perhaps before the customer themselves has identified a need. Consider this the Small Data within Big Data.

Not only does personalization contribute to the customer experience and to loyalty, it could be a competitive differentiator as consumers gravitate to the providers who best suit their unique needs.

“Many banks have made strong steps towards customizing customer experiences, particularly on mobile and in social media, but not all banks are as far along as they could be.”
Simon Mulcahy, Senior VP Financial Services at Salesforce.com

Refinements on the Frontline(s)

A lot of the data, mobile development, and analytics we’ve discussed so far are things happening in the background, but lest we forget, the frontline of customer service is one of the key direct experiences a customer has with your bank.

“Employees in the frontline environment of the retail bank are important because the frontline largely impacts the customers, and as a result, can influence results – positively or negatively,” warns Malysa O’Connor, director of financial services at Kronos, a workforce management solutions provider.

These days, the frontline isn’t always the teller behind the counter or the rep on the phone. As customers connect to their banks through other channels, like social media, every bank’s training efforts, methods, and materials will need to continue to evolve in order to maintain alignment, not only with customer expectations, but company culture.

 

CSP is thrilled to see our clients forward into the New Year and guide them as they navigate these up-and-coming challenges and opportunities to create the best customer experience.

To keep up with current developments in retail banking and customer experience management, don’t forget to follow @CSProfiles on Twitter.

Mobile is the Land of Opportunity for Banks

November 24, 2014

eMarketer (@eMarketer) recently hosted an informative webinar on the outlook for the financial services industry in 2015 and beyond, based on data collected this year.

The projections point strongly in the direction of mobile banking and payment options gaining broader favor and driving demand. While the Millennial generation has motivated much of the digital advances of the last decade, adoption is projected to increase among the 55-64 and 65+ demographics in the coming years as they become more familiar and comfortable with the new wave of mobile technology.

emarketer_mobiletrends

Mobile share is only expected to grow in the coming years.

Trends in the mobile technology industry have a distinct ripple effect on financial institutions and consumer expectations. At the beginning of the Millennium it seemed like every new device was smaller than the last; the public’s imagination was captured by the mindblowing amount of information, space and capabilities that we could now fit on something smaller than our thumbs.

But the early part of this decade has seen a demonstrated shift to larger screen sizes and lighter devices. The iPhone 6, Samsung Galaxy and Galaxy Note, Kindle series and the new category of “phablet” would indicate that the tech industry and consumers might be moving towards a happy medium of size and functionality.

The good news for banks getting into the app game is that a larger screen poses fewer limits on what you can do with that app. Cross-device compatibility is still a thorn in your side in such a fragmented marketplace, but if the eMarketer projections are any indication, sharpening the mobile experience should be a priority and worth the investment.

What’s important to keep in mind is that mobile may be the land of opportunity right now, but we’re still in an omnichannel world, and one channel can’t be emphasized at the expense of others without hurting the customer experience.

Some other interesting takeaways from the eMarketer webinar:

  • Security and privacy concerns, including one’s device getting lost or stolen, remain primary inhibitors to greater mobile banking usage.
  • Between now and 2018, consumers will start making larger purchases on mobile devices (compared to lower-priced purchases like lunch or taxi fare that are gaining traction right now).
  • Proximity payments and near field communication (NFC) are drawing a lot of attention from innovators like Apple and Google, as well as major national retailers.
  • Mobile ad spending will outpace desktop spending in 2016. Financial service advertisers are dedicating more budget to video, which has proved to be an effective engagement tool on digital platforms.

And we especially liked this one, from Vinoo Vijay, CMO at TD Bank:

Our most effective marketing channel is the actual moment when the customer experiences us in our store or on our website. We put a lot of emphasis into the experience that the customer has because, at the end of the day, that experience is far more powerful than anything we can say.

Thanks to Bryan Yeager (@bryanyeager) at eMarketer for leading the webinar. We look forward to helping our financial services clients navigate the evolving customer experience of the next several years.

Online-Only Banks Forcing Traditional Institutions to Upgrade Their Customer Experience

November 12, 2014

PIcture 1

There’s plenty of debate out there among financial services professionals about the fate of the traditional brick-and-mortar branch.

What’s clear is that in the meantime, a new species of bank has been gaining ground and turning heads: the online-only bank.

While consumers are justifiably wary of cybersecurity concerns, the promise made by these services is twofold.

On the Dollars and Cents side, they lure consumers with low- or no-fee banking, perks they can afford due to the lower cost of running an online bank.

And on the Customer Experience side, one word sums it up: convenience. The anywhere, anytime availability of these banks, and the fact that most of them are designed specifically with mobile in mind, is attractive.

Even these digital banks realize the value of a human touch, so many of them also promise the availability of customer service personnel to help as needed.

Today’s consumers have grown accustomed to managing much of their life online, and to being able to get online at a moment’s notice. The fact that these banks don’t tie them down to a particular location or region is another plus.

This emerging competition should be a strong nudge to traditional banks to evaluate the promises they’re making to their customers and what is being done to fulfill those promises.

It’s also yet another incentive to put the spotlight on your digital and mobile services and user experience. Using Voice of the Customer data and insights, you can zero in on the key drivers of satisfaction and make the necessary improvements to meet that goal.

A robust VoC program is your best asset in customer experience management. As we enter 2015, now is a good time to ask: Are you getting everything you need from yours? Contact CSP today to find out what you could be missing.

Great Expectations: Report Finds Banking Customers Demand More of Social, Mobile Channels

October 22, 2014

Banks around the globe have seen a significant decrease in customers’ reports of positive experiences in the last year, according to the 2014 World Retail Banking Report from Capgemini.

While customers continue to take advantage of multiple traditional and modern channels to meet their banking needs, social media and mobile platforms are gaining ground as customers seek quick and easy ways to access and manage their accounts whenever and wherever they are.

Today’s consumers have grown accustomed to other digital-dominant vendors like Google, Amazon and Apple, which continually develop and offer innovative solutions to make the user experience more seamless and convenient. So to the customer’s mind, why should their banks be any different?

Why shouldn’t they be able to send their friends money through Facebook? Why should professional financial advice require an appointment and branch visit? Why should ATM interfaces still look like they did in the 90s? Why shouldn’t a teller be able to deposit a check and show customers how to use the bank’s mobile app?

This attitude is especially common among Generation Y – so-called digital natives with a low tolerance for outmoded, clunky, or inconvenient services and products.

The report found that of all the age groups, Gen Y is considerably less likely to have positive experiences with their banks, indicating that their expectations are higher.

This could be a tipping point for banks as they seek to balance the needs of this new digitally dependent segment with those of long-held customers who place less importance on mobile and social.

The report also examined how positive experiences have a striking influence on profitable customer behaviors like loyalty and referrals, so it won’t suffice to simply find some kind of neutral middle ground. Banks must strive to generate more positive experiences to keep satisfaction high across the board and improve retention.

And indeed, some institutions around the world have begun implementing or experimenting with social-media-powered banking, like Facebook payments or customer service via social channels, and smartphone apps that aren’t just a mobile version of a website.

For example, Moven sells itself as a tool to help its customers keep an up-to-the-minute budget with instant notifications for every transaction, and automatic categorization and data on those transactions – without fees.

But for most institutions, two significant barriers remain:

  1. Legacy technology systems, methods and policies are not equipped to support mobile and social platforms, and upgrading these systems is an enormous and expensive undertaking.
  2. While customers may see social and mobile banking as a no-brainer, it’s fair to say they may not realize that working with third-party systems and platforms opens up a can of worms around privacy and data security.

Look no further than the grand-scale hacking attack against JPMorgan Chase in early October 2014 for evidence that talented hackers are waiting in the wings to exploit intrepid institutions at every turn. Experimental endeavors in social and mobile media are low-hanging fruit for these cyber criminals, so it’s no surprise banks haven’t charged ahead into the digital domain as vigorously as customers might prefer.

While this report offers an intriguing, and perhaps troubling, global picture of retail banking, enterprises should still focus on the voice of their own customers, as measured by current and thorough data, to drive decisions around customer experience management.

As you look ahead to 2015 this quarter, consider tapping CSP’s resources and expertise to guide your strategy. We are passionate about improving the customer experience by turning data into plans for action to drive results. Contact us to learn more.