The customer journey in the banking market
The minute individuals begin thinking about the institution they want to look after their financial transactions and safeguard their assets; the customer journey has started. The customer experience (CX) at every touchpoint along the way will guide him or her or the company to the final destination.
Banks, to no small degree, have lost brand value by becoming commoditized. The opportunities for differentiating customer services are limited when it comes to retaining existing customers and turning prospects into new ones. Strategic decision-makers cannot ignore CX and NPS (Net Promoter Score) as pivotal to their plans. Indeed, NPS surveys are the bottom line indicators of a customer’s willingness to recommend a bank to friends and family. It’s the litmus test of whether or not marketing and sales enablement are getting the job done as expected.
The quality of banking customer services figures into CX and the customer journey through numerous touchpoints. However, it goes a lot further than offering lower fees, higher returns, and new online options. Failure to recognize the valid drivers of CX in a banking scenario will ultimately result in an uninspiring competitive performance. The worst thing coming out of an NPS survey is a picture of more bank detractors than ambassadors. Nothing travels faster than bad news.
So what can bankers do to make sure that each touchpoint keeps propelling existing customers and prospects positively forward to the next one?
Monitor your customer journeys to look at the customer experience from every angle
Mapping customer journeys by identifying all touchpoints is the in-science today. When it comes to a banking customer, it can be a dizzying experience involving any number of actions. Here are just a few of an almost endless list:
- Online checking account balances
- Depositing paychecks in-branch
- Verifying transfers
- Tech problems with digital services
- Seeking financial advice
- ire transmissions locally or overseas
- Mortgage applications
- Commercial loans
- Home equity loans
So how does mapping work?
- Categorize customers according to key characteristics.
- Then track the customer engagement in each category as they connect to your banking departments.
- In other words, watch customers and prospects move in and out of your sphere of influence.
These customer journeys once mapped and analyzed, take on a pattern giving clues as to the customers’ next steps. The more you know, the better.
- Current account customers may show behavior that only a few days of observation will cover easily.
- A reverse mortgage customer, on the other hand, may have a 20-year horizon that gives mapping a more significant time range, requiring patience.
- One category that always gets the juices flowing is your “at-risk” customers. To know who they are, look at the touchpoints that create the most CX disruption. All customers going through the same are, therefore, vulnerable to similar treatment and deserve special attention.
Customer attrition and churn are revenue enemies in every banking entity worldwide. There is a four-step must-do process to head this off before it becomes endemic:
- Identify at-risk customers wherever they may be
- Engage them online and personally to nullify concerns
- Follow up to make sure your remedies are working
- Develop a predictive plan to clear the touchpoints of the pain.
Establish customer feedback loops
As a banker, you want to sell services to your customers the way they want to buy. It means you have to put yourself in their shoes. Think as a customer thinks. The best way of getting into their minds and hearts is by asking the right questions in surveys across all channels. By putting your finger on the customer’s pulse, you’ll open compelling CX opportunities that will quickly turn in your favor. Here are hot spots where things frequently go awry:
- In the branch for in-person visits.
- Customer support calls for things like online technical difficulties, password complications, and losing one’s credit card.
- Meetings with banking advisors.
The most useful feedback occurs as close to the CX touchpoint as possible. Therefore, a bank with an online system that’s capable of monitoring customer contacts with personnel in branches and elsewhere have the best chances of securing timely feedback. Conversely, banks that fall behind competitors on the IT front and don’t take advantage of the available technologies are least likely to succeed in customer retention and gaining new customers.
Feedback and the cost of losing a customer
The cost of losing a banking customer is mind-boggling. The task of getting that customer back – lottery ticket odds. The cost of replacing a lost customer is about as expensive as losing one. All in all, this is not a pretty picture.
Hard to believe, you say? Well, consider this. In general, studies show that customers stay loyal to their financial institution for well over a decade. If they do leave, all of their fees and possible growth are out the window. With all that on the line in our fast-paced digital world, customers expect instantaneous, professional, and courteous service. And they want you to provide it virtually in a seamless manner.
One small touchpoint that disrupts expectations can result in the customer crossing the street to a competitor’s branch. It’s especially the case if the competitor shows it can handle the problematic touchpoint much better than you. We can’t emphasize enough the urgency of employing NPS, CSAT, or similar to assess your targeted customers’ CX and to identify what drives customer satisfaction (or dissatisfaction). Template financial service surveys are abundant and geared for this task. Your marketing department should develop a comprehensive file of them ready to meet customized feedback as needed.
The technology that will help you get all this done
It’s one thing knowing what to do, and quite another doing it. Negativity, when it occurs, must get back to you as close to the event as possible. Employee feedback channels are one way, but if the employee is actually at fault, don’t rely on it.
- There are SaaS apps available, facilitating automatic notifications via mobile or online communication when negative comments appear.
- From there, managers can take quick action and close the loop before too much damage occurs.
- The software records the instances and makes it accessible for training and financial service survey purposes.
- Unresolved complaints or tainted customer touchpoints keep circling back for attention, like a slow-cavity tooth.
- It also creates aggregate data around the CX mapping to impress on staff the importance of behavior that keeps the customer engaged most positively.
Integrate your CX Management System with existing software
The way things have developed on the technology front is that the banks and insurance companies don’t have to run the CXM separately or outside of schedules or standard procedures. With a little tech assistance, you can integrate the CXM to work seamlessly with what you have. In other words, most software developers recognize that CXM is an integral part of banking, and they make sure that everything aligns without undue stress. Many financial entities have Salesforce at the core of their systems, and it’s set up to accept CXM without missing a beat.
Sogolytics is the go-to resource for banking entities seeking the key to ROI-centric CX
Consult with the professionals at Sogolytics for affordable CX solutions using a pre-formatted customer service survey template. They understand the industry and what feedback methods work in every situation. Mapping CX with CXM systems is its bread-and-butter work schedule, so let them work for you to put your banking team ahead of the CX game.