Elevating Customer Experience in the Financial Industry

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  • Post last modified:May 31, 2024
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    How did Charles Schwab, the American financial giant, increase their customer engagement rate by 500% which made a $1.1 B contribution to their pipeline and helped them close deals worth more than $100 million?

    Short answer: using automation.

    Charles Schwab developed a patent-pending algorithm that resulted in a significant improvement in customer experience which offered greater control over their investment, increase in inbound leads and higher website activity. 

    They shifted from batch processing their marketing outreach to automating and personalizing the campaign for better engagement. Their proprietary algorithm analyzed a billion pieces of client data which changed the user experience. This gave them the ability to detect a client’s intent in real time to build a more efficient and seamless experience for customers. The algorithm screens web pages that are driving the highest call volumes that enable Schwab to pinpoint client roadblocks and make the experiences more personalized.

    Why did Charles Schwab go the extra mile for building automation into their customer experience program? The answer lies in the fact that the customer experience in this sector is no different and also significantly more complex than in other sectors. This is because:

    • Banks and other financial firms work at a very large scale with millions of customers.
    • They offer a far wider range of products and services than any other sector.
    • There exists a high degree of complexity in products and services offered.
    • The customer lifetime value tends to be high and hence retaining customers is critical.
    • They operate in a highly competitive, practically commoditized environment. Hence customer service tends to be a key differentiating factor.

    While not everyone needs that degree of automation built in by Charles Schwab, it is a fact that the customer journey in several companies in the banking sector are running on outdated and manual systems. This makes it impossible to keep track of how satisfied the customers are with the interaction that they are having with these companies. A broken customer journey map can give rise to a significant bad customer experience.

    What is customer experience and why is it important?

    Customer experience refers to the overall perception a customer has of their interactions with a company. It encompasses every touchpoint, from website navigation to customer service. A positive customer experience is crucial for building loyalty, driving repeat business, and attracting new customers.

    So how can automation offer a good CX to the financial industry? In this blog, we will explore some of the superior customer experience strategies that can reduce friction, improve marketing campaigns and increase brand loyalty.

    Provide better customers access by automating customer service

    Customer interaction can be initiated by the customer to seek support or by the company to give our information on pertinent products or services. To keep up with customer expectations, automation can be built to improve both. 

    Chatbot automation can provide 24/7 customer support:

    Chatbots can retrieve customer data instantly including transaction details, seek impromptu feedback and help users get answers quickly.

    Automation can also be used to streamline account management processes, such as providing customers with access to real-time account information and allowing them to make payments quickly and securely. Finally, automation can be used to improve customer segmentation and personalization, allowing companies to send more relevant communications to customers.

    Bank of America has deployed an AI assistant named Erica that is designed to help customers stay on top of their finances. This virtual assistant can alert users of financial transactions, send alerts for bill payments and keep reminders and review monthly expenses among its massive automated functionality.

    If automation has made life simple, why are more sectors not using this feature?

    Automation can analyze user data and offer customized solutions:

    Banks can analyze the interaction pattern to identify signals that point towards the customers’ need for a certain product or service. Capital One, a financial establishment,  created personalized customer service experience by using data analytics. They leveraged this analytics to gain insights into customer’s spending habits which allowed them to develop personalized communication and services to their customer base.

    Capital One used predictive analytics to identify customers who were at the risk of defaulting on their credit cards. They offered tailored payment solutions to help the customers prevent being labelled into ‘bad debt’. Capital One was able to offer better customer experience which improved customer retention and satisfaction.

    Focus on accessibility, omnichannel support CX

    Financial services companies should strive to make their services more accessible to patrons. Accessibility is the first step to enable users to engage in banking services on the go and at any time of the day or from any location. Some of the ways that the banks can do this are by upgrading mobile applications, offering omnichannel marketing surveys and personalizing messages for every customer. 

    Upgrading mobile applications and making websites easy to navigate:

    Mobile applications are the future of accessibility. Apps can have expense tracking systems, chatbots that allow self service options, reminder systems for bill payments and multilayered security systems to reassure the clientele of safety. Websites can also be upgraded with a user interface which is easy to navigate for information. Both the application and websites should be developed such that clients can access them from any device. Having a well regulated and seamless customer journey map can enhance overall customer experience.

    Localize marketing outreach:

    Technology today allows banks to localize the content, at least linguistically. Google, Amazon, Microsoft all offer robust language models that help do the heavy lifting of translation. Localized content leads to improved engagement and sales conversion. Offering multilingual support is also a part of a great cx protocol.

    Offering omnichannel assistance and customized customer experience:

    Increase customer support by offering more options for customer service, such as phone, email, live chat or a contact center. Banking systems need to Incorporate customer relationship management systems (or cem) to solicit customer feedback on their experience. The responses can help teams provide better customer service with efficient data tracking.

    Continuously track customer satisfaction and feedback

    Customer journey for a bank is a long one with multiple opportunities to delight and displease. In the age of social media outrages, a dissatisfied customer and a poor customer experience can hurt the brand.

    As Jeff Bezos famously said, “If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell 6 friends. If you make customers unhappy on the internet, they can each tell 6,000 friends.”

    Except that today, one has to assume that irrespective of whether you have an unhappy customer in the physical or online world, they are always on the internet. Hence diligently data tracking the entire customer satisfaction framework today is more important than it ever has been. 

    Feedback should be collected for customer-brand touchpoint and can come from any channel, including social media. These feedbacks should collected, analyzed and used to:

    • Identify delivery weakness at any customer touchpoint.
    • identify dissatisfied customers early.
    • Identify a delighted/ loyal customer ripe for upselling or cross-selling.

    To collect the feedback automatically, the companies in the financial sector should:

    Implement automated customer surveys using AI:

    Implementing customer surveys is one of the best ways to get feedback from customers. Surveys can be conducted using the channels that make it easy for the customers to give feedback. For example, a customer on the website can respond quickest on through a chatbot, whereas someone at the physical branch or store would find it easier to respond on WhatsApp or Messenger than via a link sent to their email. Being proactive on most channels can offer a great experience when we look at creating a seamless digital experience.

    Clients can now create an instant survey using our AI Survey builder. Use AI to analyze customer feedback and gain competitive advantage.

    Monitor social media for conversations and other metrics:

    Social media is a great way to track how customers feel about a company including virtual word of mouth. Banks can monitor this activity, empower customer support to personalize their communication and close feedback loops quickly. Bringing swift resolutions can help them gain a competitive advantage.

    Companies should also monitor customer conversations on social media to get an overall understanding of user sentiment and identify areas where customer experience can be improved.

    Data tracking customer service hotline for feedback:

    Banks often have a customer service hotline where customers report issues or provide feedback. Apart from handling issues, the hotline can also be used to record grievances and feedback, collate frequently mentioned feedback once and improve performance on those.

    Personalization with in-person focus groups:

    There is no substitute for a face-to-face conversation with the customers. Banks should also conduct in-person focus groups occasionally. During these meetings, a small number of patrons should be invited to discuss their experiences with the bank and provide feedback. The banking industry has a very long customer journey with their account holders. A little personalization goes a long way. 

    Monitor online reviews:

    Many customers leave reviews of banks on websites like Google or Yelp. Banks should also monitor bad customer experiences to avoid further customer churn in any touch point.

    It’s important for banks to be proactive in collecting negative experiences for a better experience upgrade. This can help them improve their products and services and ensure that they are meeting the customers’ needs.

    Merren is A Robust  Customer Feedback Platform For the New Age Marketer

    1. Merren uses messenger based survey platforms such as WhatsApp surveys, Facebook messenger and SMS to communicate with customers. These are real time survey platforms that reap higher response rates. Our tools can be used to send customized campaigns via AMP emails.
    2. Merren uses a conversational tone in surveys that welcome more response. Choose from our survey templates, logical flow of questions and pre-testing facility before deploying surveys.
    3. Merren believes in automating systems that no longer need human intervention. We can automatically deploy a survey or campaigns at apt mapping journeys. The survey responses are analyzed and segregated into comprehensible data. 
    4. Merren has a multilingual translation facility that uses around 70+ languages for clients. You can translate surveys accurately making it relatable to your target audience.
    5. Merren can integrate with the company CRM to fully automate the process of sending, collecting and visualizing feedback in real-time. 
    6. Merren can help build customized customer feedback, the entire customer journey and help brands close the feedback loop.
    7. Our survey templates are compatible across various mobile apps and devices. Create your own net promoter score (NPS surveys), CSAT and CES surveys and seamlessly deploy them across omnichannel platforms. 

    Supercharge your customer feedback protocol today and leave a positive impression for your patrons. Sign up for a 14 day free trial and equip your customer support team today.

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