Customer Experience

The Future of Customer Experience Management in Financial Services

September 29, 2021
12:00 am

Customer experience is causing a shift in the financial services industry. The days when lifetime loyalty was a given are gone. In fact, fewer than 50 percent of millennials see themselves staying with their current financial services institution over the next few years, according to Akamai.

The best way to address this? Implement effective customer experience management in financial services. 

Let’s dig deeper to find out more.

What is customer experience management in the financial services industry?

Customer experience management in the financial services industry is all about how you control the many interactions customers have with you throughout the customer lifecycle to create a positive perception of your brand. 

This is done by understanding your customers and implementing strategies to encourage cross-functional efforts and a culture that’s customer centric.

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Is customer experience management important in banking?

Customer experience management is extremely important in banking for two reasons. Firstly, customer experience is the new battleground on which banks compete, meaning that it is a key point of differentiation. And secondly, great customer experience encourages loyalty and therefore helps improve customer retention, increase revenue, and build stronger customer relationships.

Financial services customer expectations

Banking is by no means a new industry, but customer expectations have certainly evolved. So, how can financial institutions meet and even exceed them?  

When organizations think about this, they must keep in mind what the modern banking customer wants:

  • Ease and accessibility. Accessibility is all about providing customers with what they need, when they need it. And in the modern age, that means mobile-optimized and omnichannel.
  • Personalization. A majority 63 percent of global banking customers are willing to trade their personal data for tailored advice. While 40 percent of banking customers listed more personalized service as a reason to switch financial institutions.
  • Fast answers. Rather than wait on the phone, customers want to help themselves through self-service resources such as FAQs, knowledge bases, and chatbots.
  • Trust. Customers need to feel comfortable that they’re leaving their money in good hands. One Trustpilot survey of 15,000 banking customers found that customer service and reputation was the most noteworthy quality of a financial institution.
  • Advice. Customers want information that can help them make more informed decisions about their money and financial goals. This helps build better relationships.

Learn how you can take digital customer experience in banking to the next level and exceed customer expectations with our webinar:

How to improve customer experience in financial services

Now that we’ve explored customer experience expectations for the financial services industry, let’s dive into putting ideas into practice. Here’s how to improve the customer experience in banking:

Learn how to improve the financial customer experience by meeting customers where they are with our factsheet:

1. Automate the credit card selection and application process

One of the easiest ways to meet banking customer experience expectations is through offering live chat to help with account selection and applications. Investing app Acorns has successfully implemented a smooth onboarding process, for example. The new user registration process takes just 3-5 minutes, and they have live chat support standing by. Having resources and support just a click away helps reduce friction when opening up a new account. 

2. Offer quick support for routine tasks

Chatbots are another useful way to assist the customer’s experience at scale. Both potential and existing customers can use chatbots anytime, anywhere to get information on new products or existing account activity. Companies like Wells Fargo have implemented chatbots that offer customers a faster way to check balances or find an ATM, while other banks have also used chatbots to help users activate a new card and find statements.

The Wells Fargo chatbot in action
Wells Fargo's chatbot helps create a smoother customer experience

(image source)

3. Make sure employee and customer-facing knowledge bases are up to date

While having live chat, chatbots, and more to support customers is great, the efforts are for nothing if your knowledge base isn’t up to date. After all, your support employees need accurate information to resolve issues and maintain a consistent experience. Your knowledge base is also helpful for onboarding new chatbots by giving them information to learn from.

4. Be a champion of transparency 

Another potential competitive advantage that your financial institution can implement is transparency. Digital bank Monzo recognized this and implemented a policy of ‘radical transparency’, disclosing how they use customer deposits, sharing their future plans for the app, and even asking their customers what else they should be sharing.

The Monza transparency dashboard
The Monzo Transparency Dashboard provides links to all its existing transparency efforts

(image source)

5. Prioritize a seamless customer experience

Financial institutions have the opportunity to win over customers if they can nail the omnichannel experience. 

Omnichannel best practices include making sure your FAQs and support videos are mobile-friendly, cutting down on social media response time, using live chat software that works on all devices, and tracking interactions across channels to better understand how your users behave. 

6. Keep customer information organized (and usable)

To be able to provide personalized experiences, you need a way to organize and implement customer data. Tracking past interactions and preferences allows you to suggest more relevant information or products. Keeping track of customer actions is also beneficial for future customer support interactions. If a customer support agent can view a customer’s entire activity history, they can avoid asking duplicate questions or offering irrelevant advice. 

7. Offer financial education

The financial services industry has a unique opportunity to use education as a brand driver. Efforts can be as minimal as an updated knowledge base or content marketing campaign, or as large scale as Capital One Cafes.

The cafes are part coffee shop and part financial education center, and are aimed at millennials. Inside, anyone can take a financial literacy test or calculate how to manage student loan debt on iPads. The cafes also have financial experts/life coaches to give private 20-minute money lessons, as well as hour-long public talks on money topics.

A tablet at a Capital One Cafe
Tablets provide easy access to useful information at Capital One Cafes

(image source)

8. Map your customer journey to send behavior-based messaging

Another way to make the most of customer data and behavior is to use customer journey mapping to send behavior-based messages. Customer journey maps plot out who customers are, where they’re coming from, and what they want to achieve. Creating maps for your different customer segments allows you to pinpoint moments in their journey to becoming and remaining a customer that could use support. 

In-app or time-based triggers can be used to send messages that nudge behaviors that lead to long-term financial success or give customers a heads up about an upcoming payment due date. 

9. Communicate outside of your app

Part of an omnichannel experience means communicating with customers wherever they are. In addition to in-app messages based on behavioral data, you can send updates and suggestions via email. Reaching out to customers outside of the app keeps your brand top of mind, and keeps users engaged in the long run. 

Email is useful for flagging potential credit card fraud, alerting a person who may be at risk of overdrawing their account, giving investment updates, or promoting new products.  

10. Establish feedback loops

The final component of a successful customer experience strategy is feedback. Establishing opportunities for feedback and customer sentiment scoring ensures you can catch issues before they escalate. It's valuable to gather feedback so that as customer needs change, you’re able to tailor offerings and strategies.

When you’re setting up surveys to gather feedback, give example responses to your questions and ask users to rate your company or features on a scale of 1-10 after they’ve already answered a few text questions about it. This way, their mind is already on the topic, and they’re less likely to choose a random number. 

An Acquire feedback mechanism
It helps to make the feedback process as clear and easy as possible

(image source)

Hear all about how Elevate and its banks provide amazing customer experience without sacrificing speed in our webinar:

It’s all about the customer

Ironically, with all the talk around new technology and processes when it comes to customer experience management in financial services, it can be all too easy to lose sight of what this is all about. The customer. 

Keep your focus on them, and they will reward you with their loyalty.


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