5 ways to build deeper relationships with the modern banking customer

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As GDPR, technological advances, and digitalization continue to reshape the landscape, it’s safe to say that finance will never be the same. Organizations need to meet the new expectations of today’s banking consumers. Now more than ever, institutions are looking at CX leadership and tools to drive transformation that delivers differentiated, superior brand moments. Here are 5 ways to connect with modern banking customers to build lasting customer relationships.

#1: Offer the right service at the right time

Today’s customers are always on the move, so why should we expect those in finance to be any different? According to research by Mercator Advisory Group, nearly half (49 percent) of U.S. consumers use their bank’s mobile app. And those on-the-go interactions are expected to be quick, efficient, and automated. The best financial service apps allow seamless transactions and a smooth user interface without switching channels.

Essentially, a successful mobile app needs to be about the customer experience first. The app should have a minimalistic, clear, and intuitive design for convenience and ease of use whenever the user interacts. The user owns the experience.

For example, UK-based fintech firm Homelyfe lets users access and manage a customised range of insurance policies through one app. It removes third parties, sales teams, and comparison sites from the equation so users can access quotes and purchases seamlessly.

#2: Remove unnecessary friction

Regulatory changes and new laws are reshaping the way financial institutions are dealing with privacy, data, and wealth. But laws can be complex, and the small details can be very subtle.

Organizations have an opportunity (and a responsibility) to guide customers through those changes and reduce unnecessary friction and customer effort as part of the value exchange. Make it easy for customers to understand how changes may affect their financial life through multiple channels. Use FAQs, AI-powered bots, and other tools to communicate with customers in the manner they prefer.

#3: Treat your customer like an individual

Good brands are like good friends—they understand and value you, and aren’t afraid to let you know it. An organization knowing as much as possible about individual customers is essential to providing better service. According to Business Insider, 82 percent of UK customers want their financial service’s digital experience to meet or exceed that of large technology corporations. Banks that can create 360-degree assessments to track individual preferences, including how a customer responds to marketing messages and behaves at different points in the customer journey, are sure to win.

A great direction I’m seeing is banks that conduct assessments based on customer, employee, and market information to help uncover strategic issues needed to address transformation.

#4: Enhance the customer experience with emotion analytics

A personal touch always goes a long way. For example, in an Allied Irish Bank branch, you may find an employee with an iPad providing relevant and more personal service to visitors who haven’t made it to the counter yet. And if customers need to go more in-depth with a bank specialist, they can speak to advisors through video conference on the iPad in real-time.

In the financial industry, there is a need for empathy in an increasingly automated world. In fact, research from Deloitte shows that less than half of customers’ primary banks “wow” them with the quality of their product or service. To build customer empathy is to help build strong relationships. Some institutions are beginning to use emotion analytics to understand how customers are feeling about the brand and their interactions. They use this information to make proactive changes and expand what elicits positive emotion in individual customers.

#5: Build customer trust

Trust in a bank can be fleeting. Historically it has not been considered a trustworthy industry. Of eight European countries by Pew Research Center, only 53 percent have confidence in banks and financial institutions.

Fraud, data leaks, and theft in particular have become one of the largest concerns for financial institutions and their customers. That’s why more organisations are continuously upgrading their technology and fraud prevention techniques to improve customer trust, in addition to providing educational content on safe financial practices to go the extra mile for their customer’s security.

One solution is the growing use of cloud technology in the financial industry. For customers that have not switched over to cloud or those who may be hesitant, ensure that your organisation informs them of the security measures taken to keep their private information safe.

Create exceptional banking experiences

There is no magic button to create an amazing customer experience for your organization. Customers are fickle, always on the move, and looking out for the next best thing. But what you can do today is understand that in our modern environment, a key solution to connecting with customers is a mix of human and digital to bring out the best in each interaction.

Looking for more insight on CX in Financial Services? Download the e-book, “CX Trends Watch: Fintech and Banking.”