Positive customer experience is pivotal—not just to a bank’s ability to grow business and increase revenue but also to maintaining its reputation and standing out in an increasingly competitive financial landscape. Customer demands are changing and keeping up with new consumer expectations requires banks to embrace digital transformation and deliver an online customer experience that consistently puts the client first.
Here we explore important customer experience trends and statistics, examining the significance of each one for banks looking to embark on a journey of digital transformation. Data shows that the future of banking customer service is undeniably digital but striking the right balance between high-tech tools and human advice is something that providers need to continuously monitor and re-assess.
Digital transformation accelerates
For banks around the world, making the shift to digital customer service is a priority. These initiatives are motivated by a desire to improve the customer experience by meeting evolving customer expectations. Enhancing customer service is also considered essential for staying ahead of the competition. This means delivering a digital service that incorporates mobile apps, personalization tools, and financial education resources.
Improved customer experience is the top driver for organizational transformation (33%), followed by growing revenue (32%), and reducing costs (32%) (Forester, 2020).
85% of banking global decision-makers are pursuing or have plans to pursue digital transformation (Forrester, 2020).
Among financial providers, top priorities for digital transformation and improved customer experience are mobile apps and omnichannel and personalization tools (Unblu, 2020).
Digital app experience, personalization, and financial education were also the top 3 areas considered to have the most positive impact on client experience in 2021 (Digital Banking Report, 2020).
The rise of online interactions
Customers are seeking greater convenience and flexibility. They want a choice when it comes to how they communicate with their bank. This means an option to speak to advisors remotely as well as face-to-face. But while there has been a marked increase in preference for online interactions, a significant percentage of consumers still prefer in-person meetings—something banks must take into account.
Today’s consumer wants a more flexible journey. 76% of customers expect an omnichannel experience and 59% of customers expect on-demand, anywhere anytime customer service (Capgemini, 2021).
Online banking remains the most popular touchpoint and mobile banking has also surged amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 76% of US online adults used online banking on a computer at least once a month and 61% did so on a smartphone (Forrester, 2021).
Only 15% of consumers had spoken to an advisor via video call pre-COVID-19. But 46% said they would be prepared to do so once branches reopened. 35% said they would even prefer this to a face-to-face meeting. (Accenture, 2020)
Consumers traditionally preferred to open new bank accounts in branch. Today, however, 47% voted to open one online via their desktop or laptop and 37% for online via a mobile app or website, compared to 47% who voted for a face-to-face setting. (Accenture, 2020)
Humanizing the digital banking experience
The quality of a bank’s customer service has a direct impact on customer satisfaction and loyalty. Yet many banks are failing to deliver a positive experience that meets customer demands for both efficient problem-resolution and an empathetic understanding of their needs. There’s a growing customer desire for personalized services that help them to solve problems in a way that’s tailored to their unique issue.
While 62% of UK customers said they had a positive experience with banks’ customer service, less than half of French (44%), Spanish (47%), and Italian (47%) customers agreed. In the US, a notable 73% of multichannel banking customers and 72% of direct bank customers said they had a positive experience with customer service at their bank (Forrester, 2020).
Resolution—turning a bad experience into a great one—and empathy—understanding a customer's circumstances and building rapport—are the most important customer experience attributes when choosing a mortgage provider (KPMG, 2020).
Personalized services that encourage money-saving and help with finance management are of more interest now than they were to customers two years ago. 65% of customers are interested in saving tips based on previous spending patterns and 61% want updated budget information based on spending this month (Accenture, 2020).
Reversing the decline in trust
Banks are also failing to deliver a service that inspires trust in customers. To boost client confidence, banks and wealth management providers need to adjust their value proposition or risk losing customers. While this may require a significant investment of both money and effort, evidence shows that prioritizing customer satisfaction pays off, increasing both customer loyalty and sales.
Only 29% of consumers trust their bank to look after their long-term financial wellbeing in 2020, compared to 43% two years ago (Accenture, 2020).
A third of affluent women say they would work with investment professionals that they trust—10% more than men (McKinsey, 2020). This trust is currently missing. 64% said their bank or wealth management provider needed to improve their value proposition (BCG, 2020).
A third of high-net-worth clients say they are unsatisfied with the quality of financial advice offered by their main bank, leading to one in five moving their assets to another bank during the pandemic (McKinsey, 2020).
Among those customers who feel valued by their bank, 71% plan to stay with that bank, 87% will advocate for it, and 82% will spend more money (Forrester, 2020).
Conversational Banking & Unblu
As these statistics and trends show, the future of banking is digital. Unblu isn’t the only answer when it comes to making the transition to online customer service but our platform is uniquely committed to putting customer needs first and building trusting relationships. Talk to our team for more information.