What Do Customers Expect From Their Financial Services Provider?

What do customers expect from their bank? This is a burning question–one that many banks and insurance companies feel they may have conquered, when in fact the reality from a customer’s perspective is completely the opposite!

Avaya recently published a report on customer expectations, with a spotlight on the FSI market, which highlighted several factors that answer this conundrum.

The research found that the overwhelming majority of business managers (97 percent) said that customer experience management is an important (or extremely important) part of their 2014 strategy. That said, just 64 percent of respondents said they felt they had a comprehensive CEM program in place.

Despite their enthusiasm for customer experience management, few financial services companies can deliver against all of the elements customers expect–less than half can do so, in fact.

That is a huge gap!

The study revealed that 70 percent of customers expect financial services companies to link all threads of communication together in real-time across channels. An estimated 69 percent of customers expect to be treated as unique, which is essentially being contacted the way they want, when they want, with products and services tailored to their preferences and shopping habits.

So, why is a truly omni-channel customer experience so hard to find in this marketplace? On the customer side, they increasingly expect a personalized and proactive customer experience across any device, anytime, anywhere.

On the financial services provider side, the impediments are many, but the top three obstacles that emerge are technology limitations (44 percent), inflexible business processes (37 percent) and inadequately trained staff (32 percent).

Interestingly, 68 percent of IT professionals working in the financial services industry said technology was the limiting factor, while 55 percent of business managers felt lack of customer insight is what’s holding their company back.

This is an area where technology can help by spearheading an omni-channel strategy and enabling great experiences!

Nine of the world’s top 10 banks have already deployed Avaya’s Customer Experience Management solutions, either on-premise or in hybrid and cloud models. We can help your bank make the transition to omni-channel CEM a reality.

To learn more about the survey results, click here for the full Avaya press release.

Click here for more information on Avaya’s solutions for the financial services industry.

* Survey Methodology

This report was commissioned by Avaya and executed by Dynamic Markets on the company’s behalf, across 13 countries with business managers in large financial services companies and with adult consumers. The countries covered are the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Russia, the US, Canada, Singapore, Japan, India, China, Australia, Mexico and Brazil.

For the business element of the research, a sample of 153 interviews was collected with respondents who confirmed prior to interview that, as part of their job, they come into contact with customers and/or prospects, operate at middle manager level and above, and that in total their organization has at least 1,500 employees. For the consumer element of the research, a sample of 8,500 people aged 18+ was gathered across the 13 countries. The split between male and female respondents was 49% to 51%.

Related Articles:

Avaya at GITEX 2017: Moving to a True Omnichannel Customer Experience

As all too many companies have discovered, increasing customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy is easier said than done. And when you fall short, customers have a lot of channels where they can complain—or worse. Avaya’s recent Customer Experience in Banking survey shows that approximately 38% of consumers would change their bank as a result of poor customer service. One in three would make it a point to share their bad customer service experiences with friends and acquaintances, with nearly 16% voicing those frustrations on social media platforms. Visit Avaya at GITEX 2017, where we’ll show you how to manage, leverage, and thrive in all of the contact channels your customers are using today.  Avaya will be at Stand Z-C20 in Za’abeel Hall, Dubai World Trade Center, October 8-12.

Supporting an Omnichannel Experience

Companies are competing in an era of countless customer touch points. They’re tasked with matching a rapid pace of innovation and anticipating customers’ evolving needs. This has made the concept of an omnichannel customer experience integral for success.

Research shows, however, that companies across the board are still struggling to get omnichannel right. Again, according to Avaya’s Customer Experience in Banking survey, getting the same level of experience and service regardless of how they choose to contact their bank was cited as a top-three priority for consumers in nearly every market surveyed. The insight here is that customers want to see “one bank,” and banks need to see “one customer” regardless of the channels through which they communicate. However, one 2017 study of the retail industry found that 44% of companies struggle to provide a seamless, omnichannel customer experience. In industries like finance and utilities, this number can be as high as 90%.

Leveraging Artificial Intelligence

Fortunately, advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics are at the forefront of reshaping customer experience design. These technologies ultimately help customers do what they want to do as fast and effectively as possible. By deploying AI chatbots and using AI to automate and enhance typical processes that customers would undertake, businesses can respond to their customers faster and reduce waiting times for key services.

The use of advanced analytics—enabled by AI—can also provide businesses with deeper analysis of customer interactions by bringing together relevant data previously siloed across SMS, web chat conversations, social media platforms, phone calls, and video interactions.

Consumers today expect nothing short of a highly-sophisticated customer experience. Bold technologies within an increasingly digital economy have thrust enterprises into a world of limitless capabilities—and that world is just getting started.

Branch Banking vs. Mobile Banking: Is It Really An Either-Or Decision?

In a recent article, Dave Martin, EVP at Financial Supermarkets, talked about the future of branches as a differentiator for banks. He believes that branches will undergo a transformation from a place where customers go to conduct transactions, to a place of relationship-building and human interface.

The next day, Ron Shevlin, Senior Analyst at Aite Group, penned a response, arguing that bank branches are not the differentiator, and that mobile/digital technology allows banking employees to connect to consumers, negating the need for physical branches in the future.

This got me thinking about my personal banking experiences with branches, as well as mobile/digital channels:

  • Branches were originally built to facilitate transactions (the teller) and relationships (the banker) with customers. Today, self-service and automated systems can support many transaction types without the need for a branch.
  • However, when you go to the branch in the morning, you will see many small business transactions–such as deposits and cash withdrawals in different denominations–that do require teller interaction and help build relationships with the local branch personnel.
  • When it comes to community banking, a branch gives a physical anchor for the brand and representation for local charities and social activities.
  • Ron is correct in that the interaction between bank employees and customers—which we at Avaya refer to as customer engagement–can be delivered effectively through mobile and video technology.
  • Perhaps the answer lies in not having to choose between the physical branch and mobile/digital channels, but the convergence of both. In the retail industry, consumers have come to expect an omnichannel shopping experience, with seamless interactions across physical stores, Web, social, the phone, etc. For banks, perhaps the solution is going to be the same, ultimately requiring them to be “on” with all channels, from branches, ATMS, phone, email, Web, social media etc., on all devices in order to differentiate.

To learn more about Avaya’s Solutions for Banking please visit our website or click here for customer case studies.

Addressing Technological Uncertainty in the Banking Industry

A recent article in the Harvard Business Review analyzes where certain vertical industries sit in an uncertain world, using scales of demand and technology.

It’s interesting to see banking and insurance companies face technological uncertainty, which can be attributed to the adoption of big data and other analytics technology and what (if any) effect those uncertainties will have in driving revenue.

New technologies and new competitors are hitting the markets at an unprecedented rate. Having the ability to manage the uncertainty generated by these disruptions is the key to enabling success.

While uncertainty is certainly increasing, it isn’t affecting all industries the same way and the Harvard Business Review article highlights this issue well, with some thought-provoking questions:

  • Are new technologies or startups threatening my company or my industry?
  • Over the past five years, have new competitors entered the market and captured 10 percent share by targeting our customers with a different value proposition than what we offer?
  • Over the past five years, have we begun to see customer preferences change, resulting in a different mix of products and services being demanded?
  • Have you recently started offering (or are planning to offer) a product or service that has never been offered before?

I encourage you to answer these questions and take a look at the “grid” and decide for yourself – do you fit where you expected to?