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Redefining the needs of bank customers

Thursday March 17th 2016

Commentary by Richard Nicholls of Teleperformance

Last week the MarketForce event focused on customer experience in financial services. One of the key messages I took away from that event was the growing importance of data in the customer experience and how important it is to build a single view of the customer.

It was also clear from the talks at the conference that very view companies are able to say that they genuinely have a single view of their customer – the omnichannel that customers are demanding today where they receive the same great experience regardless of the channel they prefer to use.

It is clear that the expectations of the customer – especially in banking and financial services – have changed.

Customers don’t want to deal with a bank that is only open from 10:00 – 15:00 Monday to Friday. They don’t want to have to enter a branch. They want service available 24/7 and using a variety of channels. Making this work for the company that has to manage these customer expectations requires data on customer behaviour so services can be planned appropriately.

Here are some observations on the issues faced at present:

The customer wants to choose the channel they use. They are not longer ready to use a channel that is defined by the bank and they are likely to choose new channels that the bank is not aware of as they become popular.

Banks need to be able to provide a service that allows a jump between channels, but without security blocking this process. ID verification is important for banking services, but they need to find how customers can perform verification once and then jump channels if they want to do so.

Unsecured channels need to be used better to provide answers to questions in a single contact – such as customers sending a question using an unsecured and open social network. The immediate answer should not be “call us” when questions can be answered.

Security is important – data centres need to be Tier 4 level and all cloud based technology needs to be tested.

Google Research has found that 46% of customers will start a financial query and then switch device before completing what they are doing. For instance, starting a query on their phone and then completing it on an iPad or Laptop when they need to get more information. It is important to note that about half of customers of financial services now jump channels during a query because this is where a breakdown in service is likely to occur.

Banks can only deliver true customer centricity is they can collect and aggregate customer data, which introduces the need for additional security.

Agents must have a single view of the customer across all the channels the customer can use.

Data can only be truly liberated if it can be used to create insights that generate actions – customers will not allow you to collect data that has no obvious use. You need to demonstrate that you are improving the way that customers are served.

Getting all this right is extremely complex. The banks have many issues though – their entire industry is changing with new players constantly entering the market for both full-service banking and fintech creating technology companies that offer very specific services.

In a changing market it is therefore vital to deliver what the customer wants because the customer has more choice than ever. Teleperformance is already working with a network of partners, such as K2C, to ensure that we are building on our experience of customer service and providing the data security that banks need today.