Convenience is everywhere. Consumers are offered nearly real-time service (and next-day delivery) from Amazon, Doordash, and Google. And while expectations are rising for all industries (including financial services), not everyone is making the cut. Nearly 90% of financial institutions experience year-over-year loss on the American Customer Satisfaction Index.
Read on to discover what your financial institution can do to provide excellent service for your members and improve your client satisfaction scores now and in the future.
1. Be available for customer service
The expectations for quality customer service have never been higher. When financial institutions are difficult to reach due to limited hours or frustrating communication methods (phone calls, waiting on hold, making an in-person visit, etc.), satisfaction and retention rates are sure to plummet.
Consider the data relating to customer service:
- 77% of customers are frustrated with how long it takes to reach a live agent
- 59% of consumers favor brands that respond to customer service questions or complaints on social media
- 66% of consumers think that texting makes working with a local business more convenient.
Avoid this pitfall by offering your availability to members in the channels they prefer. And where possible, enable customers to self-serve by providing the information they need on your website. For other concerns, consider adding a textable line to your Google My Business listing, responding to DMs and comments on social media platforms, adding a chat feature to your website, and quickly connect members with a live agent when needed. The more convenient it is for your members to reach you (around the clock), and the sooner you can resolve issues, the more likely your customers are to be satisfied and stick with your services.
2. Implement loyalty and rewards programs
Members expect to be rewarded for their loyalty to your finserv brand. One-third of millennials report loyalty rewards as the number one expectation they have from financial institutions. And in the long run, the benefits of rewards and loyalty programs far outweigh the costs. Companies with strong loyalty marketing programs grow revenues 2.5x faster than their competitors and retain their members for longer periods of time.
Decide on the specifics of your rewards or loyalty programs, inform your members in person and through your marketing channels (texting, ads, emails, social media, etc.), and watch your branch expand to serve new and current members. Remember to focus on rewards that add value and increase satisfaction for your members—this might include low interest rates for loans, accumulating points with purchases over time, a free gift with a new account, or paying students for good grades.
3. Ask your members for feedback via text
77% of consumers view brands more favorably if they seek out and apply customer feedback. And this is not difficult to accomplish. After specific touchpoints of the member journey, send an automated text with a link to a survey or questions for feedback.
Although emailing is common, 9 out of 10 customers prefer to interact with your brand via text message. Texts also have a much higher open and response rate than any other form of communication. Feedback will help you know what is going well and how you can improve, aiming to keep members happy with your financial brand.
The conversation could look something like this:
- Brad, thank you for choosing Gold’s Credit Union! On a scale of 1 – 10, how likely are you to recommend our services to a friend?
- I always have a good experience in person, but I prefer the mobile app and would like to use it for more than deposits.
- Thank you for the feedback! We’re working to improve the mobile app with the next update, enabling live chat options with the local branch. Watch for an update in the next two weeks!
- Great news, thank you!
4. Add a chat feature to your website or mobile app
73% of consumers believe financial institutions should lead out on using emerging technologies that make doing business with them easier. AI is certainly included in emerging technologies that improve the member journey. Chat bots can be extremely helpful in answering FAQs, providing personalized experiences, and directing members to the appropriate services of your financial institution.
Many member concerns (such as resetting a password, freezing a credit card, or paying bills), do not require a human response. And for requests that do require an expert, chatting or texting with a local agent is a convenient solution that members prefer over phone calls or an in-person visit.
In addition to keeping current members happy, web chat can also generate new leads for your financial brand. For example, American 1 Credit Union in South Central Michigan saw a 123% increase in website sessions after implementing a web chat feature. Web chat can increase customer satisfaction with quick and convenient service that helps you stand out from the competition.
5. Optimize your mobile touchpoints
Lastly, it’s crucial that each touchpoint in the member journey is optimized for mobile devices. Members crave “Netflix experiences” in banking where they can start an interaction, allow for interruptions, and pick up where they left off on a different device such as a tablet, smart watch, or laptop.
In market research from J.D. Power, the performance of finserv mobile apps was measured by ten key indicators:
- “Information most important to me displayed on overview page”
- “No excessive slowness or lack of responsiveness in past 30 days”
- “Have not experienced any issues logging in”
- “Credit score monitoring is offered on the app”
- “Very easy to select navigation links/buttons”
- “Very easy to find the information I need”
- “Personal information believed to be ‘very secure’”
- “Very easy to find features or tools”
- “App provides seamless experience across channels/contact methods”
- “App provides proactive guidance and help”
The majority of financial institutions measured up to the first three key indicators. The other seven indicators, however, revealed serious room for improvement in the eyes of customers. Less than 55% of members reported high performance on their finserv brand’s mobile app for key indicators four through ten. This data, derived from multiple studies on mobile banking in 2020, provides an excellent framework for you to evaluate your mobile app and improve member satisfaction scores through optimized mobile experiences.