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13 customer service tips for banks and financial services

By Javier Puga, VP Marketing, Unblu

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by Unblu
| 29/10/2019 12:00:00

Banking is all about trust. By delivering a world-class service that offers customers relevant and meaningful advice, banks can minimize drop-offs, improve conversion rates, and increase customer loyalty. However, providing customers with all the attention they want initially seems like an impossible task, requiring a much bigger team and associated costs. But advances in technology can take the pressure off overwhelmed advisors, as well as saving time and money.

1. Make a great first impression
Putting yourself in your customer’s shoes also means understanding the importance of a good first impression.

Yet 50% of organizations don’t have an onboarding process. This is an expensive mistake. A lost customer is calculated to cost a company at least $400.

Findings show that raising customer satisfaction by only 50 points means a 6% increase in revenue. Take action to improve the customer experience as early as possible.

2. Opt for positive language
Finances can be a sensitive subject. Using the right language when engaging with customers during their banking experience is vital.

Simply informing customers that their demand is impossible won’t make them happy. They want a proactive response that promises imminent solutions.

Focus on the positive. Emphasis what it is within your power to do and confidently assert that a resolution is on its way.

3. Empower advisors
Customer service professionals understand the importance of trust in banking. Building trust means showing the customer that they are being heard.

But customer service employees encounter problems when they can’t resolve a problem due to company procedures and regulations.

Empower your advisors to solve problems on the spot, making decisions that resolve issues without having to get a manager’s permission first.

4. Choose your expertise
Customer needs have evolved with innovations in technology. Today they want customized advice to be available whenever it’s convenient for them.

But trying to offer prompt and personalized guidance on every available product is inefficient, leading to overloaded advisors unable to meet clients’ specific demands.

Advisors are better focusing on one area of expertise - like mortgages - and using technology like video conferencing to offer help without actually being present in branch.

5. Customize the customer journey
Technology must be leveraged to improve interactions between client and bank, primarily by creating a more customized customer journey.

This report shows that less than half of financial providers surveyed are currently using digital technology and data to create a more personal customer experience.

Data predicts needs before they arise - like pre-fill functionalities - while digital channels make communication faster and more flexible, making customer service smoother and more relevant overall.

6. Combine technology with a personal touch
Keeping customers engaged functions as a powerful marketing tool. Happy customers are far more likely to tell others about their experience.

And yet one study reports that millennials consider banks to be one of the most unlikable brands. Attracting this demographic poses a huge challenge to banks.

Millennials want convenience but also a personal touch. Meet both these demands by combining technology with human expertise to engage customers and optimize their experience.

7. Build trust
In banking, an empathetic customer relationship is especially important. People must be able to trust those in charge of their finances.

Technology offers a solution. It empowers consumers to do more themselves through self-service, and also builds trust by making advisor-client communication more relevant, specific, and personal.

8. Gather feedback
It’s impossible to improve your customer service experience without feedback. Ratings provide valuable insights into the client’s experience.

But customers resent anything time-consuming and difficult. Logging into an online portal to fill out a complicated form risks losing customer engagement.

Instead, include links to surveys in emails. Keep them short and relevant and consider offering incentives like entry to a sweepstake. This benefits both customer and bank.

9. Address your customers’ pain points
It’s true. One dissatisfied customer cancels out the positive impact of countless happy customers.

And yet while only 16% of consumers are satisfied with their digital finance experience, 76% of banks and credit unions describe their digital customer experience strategy as “rock solid”.

Rectify this disconnect. Resolving the frustration of a forgotten password by investing in biometric technologies is just one way you can make the customer journey fail-safe.

10. Embrace a hybrid experience
Nowadays customers want multiple channels for engaging with their bank, from self-service platforms to face-to-face interactions with advisors.

In fact, while 61% of consumers start with digital channels, 58% of them then end up in branch. But banks tend to see this as a failure.

Instead, embrace this hybrid experience. Use a helpdesk to make online channels more personal, and digital tools to make offline banking more efficient.

11. Keep customers engaged
Companies lose around 75% of new users ( within the first week. What can be done to reduce this drop off rate?

Take investors. They don’t want to hop between multiple different digital channels to find information. They want an efficient and seamless investing experience.

Tools like co-browsing can make the information-gathering process more engaging, proactive, and productive, as client and advisor collaborate and discuss options together.

12. Invest in loyalty
Customer loyalty is as important as new clients - even in an age where few people stick to one brand for life.

Yet often banks forget this, spending 5 to 10 times more on acquiring new customers than on retaining existing ones.

Invest in making your customer experience more personal, relevant, and convenient. Studies show that those who do so retain 89% of their customers, compared to 33% of those that don’t.

13. Put the customer first
Training employees to deliver exceptional customer service enables banks to build trusting long-term relationships with clients.

But a survey by Ernst & Young shows that customers think banks fail to provide truly unbiased advice, instead pushing products and prioritizing profit over their financial well-being.

Banks must give advisors the technology they need to provide high-quality and relevant advice and train them to put customer needs over the bank’s bottom line.

Conversational banking and Unblu
Efficiency meets a personal touch with Unblu’s Conversational Banking solution. Combine technology and the human capacity to build trust and connection with digital tools that put the customer first.

Empower your advisors to deliver a seamless, customized, and world-class customer service experience, improving client loyalty and sales simultaneously. Find out more today by booking a demo here.

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