Financial Services firms are making improvements but still behind retailers and travel providers on customer service, according to The Institute of Customer Service. Although banks featured in the top 10 places in the UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI), there is still a long way to go.
This comes amidst the biggest shake up in the banking business model, with the UK’s four big high street banks closing a total of 948 branches. The customer service delivery model is changing, shaped by new regulatory frameworks, changing customer behaviour and intensifying competition. Despite the growing trend to shut down branches to manage cost pressures, customers still desire in-person services when making financial decisions.
Banks are now ploughing investment into their back-office to boost operational efficiency to reduce customer churn and resolve customer enquires faster. For example, technology which recognises customers’ voice when they use telephone banking, can predict the purpose of their call based on the status of their account. This enables individuals to be automatically forwarded to the correct department, streamlining the customer experience to avoid them spending hours on the phone to their bank.
Bhupender Singh, CEO of Intelenet Global Services comments, “The need for in-person service will always be relevant and innovation should be directed towards creating a technology-enabled, data-empowered system which puts the customer at the heart of every business decision. Banks are now in an optimal position to direct their attention towards long-term growth transformation strategies enabled by new innovations.
Bhupender continues, “It is not game over for banks. Branches have changed to offer more financial guidance and advice to customers. With the support of automation, staff are more empowered and skilled to resolve complex issues, which mean branches will not just sustain but will also revive the banking experience for customers. One UK national bank used technology to reduce complaints by 25% and reduce customer churn by 12% by using data analytics to recognise customer needs in advance and resolve issues faster.”