Here’s a hard truth. Customers are more demanding than ever. They want what they want, when they want it and how they want it. They’re savvier now and have higher expectations. There’s also much more competition for their time, making the customer service experience even more important.
When it comes to servicing these customers, there are some companies that have revolutionized the customer experience, like Land’s End and Amazon, who consistently rank as best companies for customer service. Customers no longer compare their experience by the type of business but rather expect the same level of service from any company they do business with. For financial institutions like banks that means the expectations for quality of service are the same as these trend setting companies.
The standards are much higher and the stakes are raised. Keeping customers happy needs to be a priority.
Financial institutions, unfortunately, have a long history of being behind the 8 ball when it comes to customer service and have not evolved as fast as their customers have, or their technology. Here are three things they can do to better serve today’s demanding customers:
Provide Customer Service on Multiple Channels
Yes, the phone still rules. But more and more customers want to interact with service or support via the channel of their choice, whether web, mobile, voice, chat or social media. Financial institutions need to be able to satisfy that demand, but this presents challenges, especially when dealing with legacy systems that are tied to traditional channels.
Financial institutions should explore software solutions that can offer customer support on any channel and make the interactions consistent through all channels. So, if customer A started an interaction via mobile chat, then decided to call a call center rep, that rep can pick up the interaction from the mobile chat. Channel agnostic software, can help connect with customers where ever they and however they want, increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Unify Siloed Systems for Customer Service Reps
Nothing irks a customer more than being transferred to multiple reps and having to repeat the issue with every transfer. It’s just as frustrating for the customer service rep to have to bounce to different systems with different logins to quickly service the customer on the phone. This is due to the lack of integration between the different banking systems, which prevents the sharing of information between those systems.
Having a technology solution that integrates the data from the different systems and gives the customer service rep all the necessary customer information in one place, helping them service the hurried customers faster and more efficiently, regardless of which channel they are using. All customer service reps within the financial institution would also have access to the same customer information and transactions, making it easier to respond to customer inquiries.
Monitor and Track Performance
Annual or quarterly customer service rep evaluations are not enough. This standard practice dates back to when the data wasn’t readily available and it took time to curate and analyze the employee information. The metrics were also the standard call length and perhaps the call rep’s adherence to the possible scripted responses. Using these metrics only a few times of the year could not really result in improved performance. If anything, it may cause the call rep to hurry through calls or sound robotic with scripted responses.
Good customer service software should also offer real-time reporting that let financial institutions monitor, analyze and share performance data with their customer service reps, helping them constantly improve performance and ultimately benefitting the customers. With immediate feedback, customer service reps are always informed on whether they are meeting performance goals and can adjust accordingly to make sure their performance is on track. Great performance from customer service reps will mean very satisfied customers.
Customer satisfaction and engagement is critical in today’s competitive banking landscape. Meeting customer demand and providing fast, efficient and quality customer service is critical to remain relevant and build a loyal customer base. Financial institutions should review their current process and make sure their people, process and technology is up to the task.
About the Author
Blake Jackson is the Director of Client Operations at Savana, Inc.