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How Can the Banking Industry Improve Customer Service?

By 03.16.21
Reading time: 3 minutes

Expectations for banking experiences have been shifting. And thanks to COVID-19, these expectations moved faster and more frenzied than anyone could have predicted.

There’s a new baseline for the customer experience in banking. People expect more channels, more capabilities, and things to move at a faster pace. Banking customers and members want their financial institutions to provide more than just service; they want insights, guidance, and relevant recommendations. 

Improving customer service is key, as it has been for a while. The problem lies in the fact that many financial services institutions were left in the rubble created by the pandemic and its rapid response requirements.

If your firm doesn’t have the right platform to help meet new expectations — it’s time to implement a change. It’s time to introduce a platform that goes beyond traditional customer service. Those who have the tools in place need to become a true resource for their customers. They need to become an institution that can not only handle and resolve issues, but also provide guidance and next best choices for their member community — especially as it relates to call centers and customer service points of contact.

Understanding call center needs

Bringing call center teams onto a platform like Salesforce tends to be a big change. For one, the UI and the UX is so much better than most solutions they’re used to working on. Two, its innovative technology consolidates how they execute their workflows. Tasks that previously required logins and access to multiple legacy systems can now be surfaced with guidance for streamlined execution in one place. 

Incorporating omni-channel solutions

Other than the phone system, what other channels are members or customers using to get in touch? These days, most preferred interactions aren’t coming from the phone. We typically see digital banking, social media, and the website as additional channels clients are using to reach a Contact Center. 

Start thinking about all the different digital channels and customer experiences, as well as the service experiences, and how to bring them together for a seamless experience. When you do that, you know you’re ready for a true digital transformation that eases you into the right things at the right time. And that you’re ready to build out a solution that offers customers a real-time look into their financial situations.

Knowing your customers

Once you understand your team and their needs, it’s important to make sure you know your customer base and their specific circumstances. Mapping out a proper customer journey, and pulling insight from available customer data helps your team improve the customer experience. That’s where you can start thinking about your product mix, website engagement, personalization, and online banking. You’ve got all the different outbound marketing campaigns, as well as all the different transactional notifications your members may be receiving. 

You want to understand what their normal behaviors are so you can recognize attrition signs or hardship signs, and start to proactively recommend next steps. With the right data at your fingertips, your team can not only meet, but exceed customer expectations.

Routing to the right people

Understanding the customer helps inform how to help when they reach out. But once a connection is made and a need is communicated you need to focus on service.

With every connection and interaction, think about how you can: 

  • make it easier for other associates to serve customers and members in the quickest manner possible
  • not only resolve their issue or question, but potentially make recommendations and guide them to the next step

Customer engagement needs to seamlessly blend the human and digital interactions — banks and credit unions should strive to deliver expertise and financial guidance across all channels.

Improving customer service in the banking industry

Now, more than ever, the conversation needs to center around banks and branches evolving their technology. Where the focus was previously on your branch team evolving into universal bankers — now you need to evolve your tools to support universal banking on all channels… or bring your banking services to your clients.

In this new era of customer engagement, other complementary teams within your organization will benefit from collaborating and connecting with banks and branches to better understand customer and member needs.

To make sure you’re ready to start out on a new journey to improved customer service, check out our 43 Questions for Improving Customer Service in the Banking Industry. Use this questionnaire to guide conversations with internal stakeholders as you identify your needs when it comes to people, processes, and tools.

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