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When it comes to the financial services industry, customer loyalty needs some attention. Because in this business, the name of the game is customer experience (CX). But what does that mean in today’s world?
Keep in mind, CX is not just one thing. It’s formed by every customer touchpoint. That includes how customers discover you, what it’s like to dispute a charge and what it’s like to interact with tellers, personal bankers or customer service reps.
It also includes digital channels, like what your website looks like, what your social media channels share and how your mobile app functions. And remember, today’s tech-savvy consumers don’t just compare you to other financial institutions. Their expectations are formed by digital-first brands like Uber and Amazon, too. People have become accustomed to a seamless digital experience.
All these aspects of the customer journey impact how customers think of you — and ultimately determine if they stay with you or switch to a competitor.
The key takeaway here is that customer experience is never static. As customers’ needs change, the financial services industry needs to evolve to meet those needs. So, if your customers want the ability to open an account online, it may be time to invest in a website upgrade. Or if they expect a digital avenue for customer service, you need to think about adding live chat into your online platform. If you don’t, those customers will go to a competitor who can give them what they want.
Learn from the Best: Financial Institutions with Exceptional CX
According to a study by Adobe, 70% of financial institutions said that “understanding individual customer needs and local value propositions” was one of their main challenges in meeting customer expectations. Here are four brands that pinpointed those values and delivered creative CX solutions.
What did they do? Charles Schwab launched an online planning center designed to assist investors. Here, investors can find tips on topics that are relevant to their situation, whether it’s saving for college, debt management or insurance.
“Our clients are becoming increasingly engaged in investing and planning, and our new planning center offers practical guidance on how to plan for a variety of financial goals and life-events, which can give them more confidence that they are on the right path,” said Rodney Prezeau, Charles Schwab senior vice president of client experience.
What can you learn? Understand what your customers value. In this case, it’s a helpful partner in investing. By offering guidance on relevant subjects, the organization can build trust with their clientele and position themselves as an important financial resource.
What did they do? Eno is an “Intelligent Assistant” — rather than just an AI or a chatbot. Eno gives customers instant access to basic information and support, across any platform. Eno monitors customer accounts to send alerts, notifications and insights when it detects irregularities. Security and fraud checks are transformed into rapid customer touchpoints.
What can you learn? Usually when something is amiss in a customer’s bank account, it’s that customer’s job to reach out to the bank with questions. But Eno reverses that. Instead, Eno lets customers know when something looks wrong… and provides a path to get help on any device. This kind of solution is a creative way to preemptively address customer service questions and offer automated solutions.
What did they do? JP Morgan announced the first bank-backed cryptocurrency in the US. Cyptocurrencies run on blockchain technology and use a decentralized network of ledgers to track changes within the system. That prevents fraud and government interference. Banks, broker-dealers, corporations and clients get a better customer experience with access to a useful, emerging technology.
What can you learn? JP Morgan paved the way for emerging financial trends like cryptocurrency. By investing in blockchain technology, they differentiated themselves from competitors. It brings cryptocurrency into the mainstream and lets customers be on the forefront. Think about what makes you different… and capitalize on that.
What did they do? PNC allowed customers withdrawing cash to choose the denomination of bills they get from the ATM. That way, they can get exactly what they need to leave the right tip or pay a friend back.
What can you learn? Sometimes, a small change makes a big difference. PNC saw an opportunity to improve the customer journey with a small tweak at the ATM. It’s convenient for customers and creates an emotional connection to their bank.
Final Suggestions: Even More Ways to Improve Your CX
Use data. Financial service companies already need to collect data about their customers. Ask your customers questions with a mutual benefit — and be open about why you need it. In fact, 80% of customers are willing to share data with providers in return for better advice and more attractive deals, according to Accenture.
Gamification. It may sound daunting, but gamification can be simple. Think about short online quizzes that can lead customers to the right credit card. This creates a personalized experience that’s also fun. Consider how you can incorporate other gamification elements in your customer journey.
Provide relevant content. Use your social media channels and blog to give your customers information they need. You could share budgeting tips, infographics about how 401(k)s grow, flowcharts on how to pay down credit card debt, etc. This helps build trust and keep customers engaged in your brand.
How Does Your CX Stack Up?
If your customer experience is falling behind, it’s time to innovate. Learn from these examples and really evaluate the customer journey of your brand. And if you need a roadmap, download the Financial Services Customer Experience Self-Assessment to see where your brand could improve.
Fill out this assessment and see where you stand. And if your customer experience needs to be fine-tuned, contact J&C, the experts in the art and science of customer engagement.