It’s no secret that technology is transforming how we live. Customer service is no exception. Innovations in technology - such as co-browsing, live chat, and video calls - are empowering banks and insurance companies to deliver a more personalized, engaging, and intuitive customer service. But are we doing enough? The demands of millennials are different to those of previous generations. They want speed, convenience, and efficiency - but also a personal touch. Rather than replacing humans, technology can bridge the gap between the human and digital, creating a hybrid experience that meets these changing expectations.

Statistics about communication channels

Customers expect choice. And so a hybrid customer service, incorporating different communication channels — digital and human — into one seamless experience is the best way to engage customers. However, within this omnichannel experience, some channels are considered more effective than others. These insights into customer preferences can help financial services prioritize the development of certain strategies.

More than half of respondents in one consumer survey expressed an appetite for an omnichannel banking experience where they could switch seamlessly between physical and digital channels (Accenture, 2019)

Certain digital channels are more popular than others. 42% of customers prefer the mobile banking experience, for example, to a desktop and in-branch experience, when given a choice (Future Branches Consumer Study, 2019).

Similarly, some customer engagement strategies are more powerful than others. The only customer engagement strategy that a majority of respondents rated as “Excellent", for example, is social media, at 51%, followed by messaging at 48% (Unblu, 2020).

At the other end of the spectrum, voice-response bots and chatbot customer service are the worst-rated channels. 34% of respondents rate them worst or below average (Unblu, 2020).

Statistics about customer loyalty

Building a community around your brand depends on securing loyalty. But customer loyalty to a financial provider can no longer be taken for granted. As digital channels grow in popularity, banks need to work hard to ensure both customer satisfaction and loyalty. Innovative products and services will play a key role in this challenge.

Patterns of loyalty are evolving. ‘Digital-centric’ consumers, for example, are significantly less likely than ‘branch-dependent’ consumers to say they “definitely will” reuse their primary bank for their next financial services product purchase (55% vs. 61%) (J.D. Power’s Retail Banking Advice, 2020)

Banks can improve certain aspects of the customer experience to boost satisfaction, and therefore loyalty. According to one study, customers who are onboarded, for example, have a significantly higher customer satisfaction score than those who don’t (878/1000 vs. 802/1000) (J.D. Power’s Retail Banking Advice, 2020)

Innovation is also central to improving satisfaction and loyalty. Customers are increasingly receptive to open banking, for example. 61% of Millennials would be open to having banks share their information with other platforms — especially if this allowed them a more full-service banking experience. Indeed, 53% would like to be offered bundled financial products, such as real estate services together with a home loan. 

Statistics about digital banking

People’s relationship with their bank is changing. Younger generations don’t just open an account with whichever branch is most convenient. Plus, they’ll happily change bank according to personal recommendations or for better digital services. They still value human-to-human exchange but consumers today also want the speed and efficiency of digital platforms.

Consumers under 35 are more likely to open a primary account with a bank because of a recommendation from friends or family (50%) than because it’s local (30%) (PwC, 2019).

Plus, 50% of customers are just as likely to open their next account with a new bank as they are with their existing bank (PwC, 2019).

Consumers are looking for an omnichannel experience. More than half of those surveyed by Accenture expressed a desire to be able to switch between human and digital channels (Accenture, 2019).

Statistics about millennials

As digital natives, Millennials are driving these trends, and it’s vital that banks engage this increasingly influential segment of the population. But statistics show that Millennials don’t currently trust banks. If banks are to win over this younger generation, they need to create a more customer-centric service — one that explicitly puts the needs and desires of the customer first.

Even in the pre-COVID-19 world, only 14% of Millennials felt strongly that their primary financial institution helped them to improve their financial health. (U.S. Financial Health Pulse, 2019). What can banks do to build trust with this generation?

Millennials want guidance on reducing debt and managing their money better. They’re also attracted to interactive financial tools online or mobile apps — advice in the form of so-called “quick tips”, for example (J.D. Power’s Retail Banking Advice, 2020).

They value financial content that “makes my life easier” (31%), while 26% are looking for content that “helps me reach my goals”. 26% also value content “that saves me money” (Facebook, 2019).

In short, Millennials want a service that puts them first — a customer-centric service like that offered by companies such as Amazon. In fact, 1 in 4 millennials would bank with Amazon if it was an option.

Statistics about artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence has huge potential to transform customer service with virtual assistants and chatbots already commonplace. However, predicting current customer preferences around AI is difficult. While chatbots, when used well, can improve overall customer experiences, different demographics are more or less receptive to using these digital tools.

Financial providers are being slow to implement bots and other automated customer experience tools. 62% say customers aren’t ready for them (Unblu, 2020)

Yet it’s clear that chatbots have the potential to improve the customer experience by freeing up advisors to focus on other issues. 64% of advisors with chatbots say that it allows them to spend more time solving complex problems, compared to 50% of those without chatbots (Salesforce, 2019)

We are currently in a transition period. Some customers are ready for an AI-enhanced service, but others aren’t. While 59% of HNWIs prefer an in-person meeting with their relationship manager for important investment decisions, 67% of Millennials say they prefer robo advisory — compared to just 30% Gen X and Babyboomers (Deloitte, 2019)

Conversational banking and Unblu

For the ideal combination of human and high-tech, choose Unblu’s conversational banking solution. Customers can begin a conversation with chatbots but transfer seamlessly to an advisor at any time.

Learn more about how to bridge the gap between the digital and personal by booking a demo here and a member of the Unblu team will reach out to help.

Stay in touch

Receive the latest product updates, stories and more to your inbox.