Banks and other financial institutions that focus on personalisation, innovation and trust, are more capable of meeting the ever-increasing expectations of their customers.
According to recent research by FT Longitude and supported by Genesys: The Challenge of Customer-Centric Banking, banks and financial services that deliver highly personalised and quality experiences are more successful at acquiring new customers, retaining talent and achieving their financial goals. Consumer expectations from the organisations they interact with are constantly rising across all industries. 61% of banking executives say that expectations for customer experience are continuing to rise, while nearly 45% say the are struggling to keep up.
Many Australian institutions, if not as advanced, are ahead of international organisations, Robert Lattuca, financial services lead, Genesys, comments, “It is evident that the quality of customer experience among Australia’s financial institutions has greatly improved in recent years, especially as the pandemic placed greater emphasis on the need for financial institutions to foster deeper, more emotional relationships with customers. As revealed by the research, Australian customer experience leaders have advanced their strategies by focusing on personalisation, innovation and building trust. This places them ahead of their competitors – and even other markets – in many aspects”.
Recent news stories about data security involving companies like Optus & Medibank, amidst general concerns around inflation and the general state of the economy, have raised the concerns of consumers. and whether the institutions they deal with can be trusted to protect them. Lattuca says, “As consumers seek more reliable relationships with brands, there is a significant opportunity here for providers to differentiate themselves at every step of the way. To preserve that precious commodity of customer trust, banks need to work hard to show customers that they are protecting their data and wider interests. They also need a customer-first strategy where they keep innovating to improve their service and be transparent to build confidence and earn customers’ trust”.
Customer experience, when done right, will place a bank head and shoulders above its competitors, Customers want to be understood and respected and want to receive personalised service from an institution they can trust. “As we navigate through a whirlwind of economic uncertainty, one thing has become clear – providing consumers with personalised, frictionless and seamless financial experiences has never been more important.
He adds, “We know that consumers are now on edge as the cost-of-living increases, so the financial sector should expect a heightened demand for better customer experiences and value for the dollar. Genesys confirmed that nearly three-quarters (72%) of Customer Experience Leaders shared that personalised services become even more in demand during times of financial crisis, as consumers’ financial worries grow”.
More individualised and purposeful experiences for customers is key to satisfying this demand and driving strong, loyal relationships over time. No matter the landscape, firms who empower consumers with the personal engagement they desire will profoundly overpower their rivals and gain a much needed competitive advantage amid turbulent times. According to Lattuca financial services firms can do this through:
- Tailoring products and services to the real-time needs and life stages of their customers
- Matching financial advisors to the right customers
- Using individual data patterns to drive offers or experiences
Other findings from the research include:
- The future of banking experiences means the redesign of physical banking locations. To provide richer experiences based on the needs of their customers, Customer Experience Leaders anticipate physical locations to be redesigned into financial strategy centres. This means fewer banking transactions and more coaching and financial advice personalised to the customer. Nearly half (44%) of banking executives see this as the greatest opportunity to transform the customer experience in the coming years.
- When it comes to the banking customer experience, money isn’t an issue — siloed data and low employee engagement are. Nearly two-thirds (64%) of respondents believe the biggest obstacle in providing consumers the experiences they expect are the internal silos that prevent integrated views of their journeys. Coming in second: high turnover and low engagement among customer-facing employees (48%). Lack of budget was the least concerning issue (6%).
- Investing in technology that increases personalisation is the most important priority for improving customer experience but delivering on its promise has been complicated. With 72% of Customer Experience Leaders saying that more personalisation leads to greater customer loyalty, it’s not surprising that investing in new technologies that make personalisation possible is seen as the most important step to improving customer experience in the coming years. Delivering experiences that feel genuine will be the differentiator: 54% believe consumers see their attempt at personalised services as generic. Ensuring the technology enables them to do so ethically and meet government regulations is equally at play, an obstacle for the personalisation goals of 49% of banks.
“The Challenge of Customer-Centric Banking” is an FT Longitude report supported by Genesys. The insights shared here are based on a new survey of 600 banking executives across 21 countries globally.