What keeps financial services customers loyal? (Hint: It’s not rates.)

Customers need to trust the organizations they do business with — particularly when it involves their hard-earned money. And, one of the most critical points in the formation of that trust is how an organization reacts when a request is made, or a problem emerges. In other words, does your customer service build credibility or sow doubts?

Customer centricity is key in financial services. It deepens relationships and creates the foundation of trust. Customer relationships are the cornerstone of your institution’s brand.  How your bankers, brokers, and contact center agents engage and interact with your customers in their moments of need will set long-term impressions and will dictate wallet share. The customer experience cannot be overlooked.

A Gartner study[1] uncovered key insights into what customers most value in a service experience. Not surprisingly, they include:

  • A quick and reasonable service experience
  • Easy access to assistance
  • Knowledgeable answers delivered in their preferred engagement channel
  • Consistency across channels
  • Proactive service anticipating their needs before they emerge
  • Personalized communication
  • A human touch when appropriate

Delivering on these expectations, often categorized by customers as “effortless” or “frictionless”, requires making it easy for customers to get service and creating a uniform impression, whether it’s one or multiple departments involved in delivering service.

For some, that translates into the use of a Customer Relationship Management system (CRM). Though CRM systems excel in tracking customer interactions, nurturing sales leads and making basic customer data more accessible, they typically can’t streamline your underlying operations where the work gets done in delivering a seamless client service experience. Combining customer engagement with service management enables both quick responses and quick resolutions.

Automating repetitive requests using workflow and providing them as self-service options on your website lets your customers get instant service. By connecting departments across the enterprise in order to identify and resolve issues swiftly, customer service management assists you in meeting and exceeding the customer’s expectations and building their trust.

In the financial services world, reputation is everything. Clients or prospects must know you, like you and trust that you will do right by them. Proactive, not reactive, customer service management  predicting their needs and avoiding issues will ensure you maintain your stellar reputation.

Customer service management helps you in multiple ways. By reducing case volumes and eliminating recurring issues, it reduces your operating costs, increases revenues and in turn drives higher customer satisfaction, loyalty and trust.  Simultaneously, agent productivity and engagement are also increased.

Customers today have high expectations. Ensuring your organization and your staff have the means to address even the most discerning customer is not an impossibility, but a reality, with customer service management on a single platform.

 

Download: 5 steps to faster problem resolution, happier customers…and reduced service costs

 

[1] Rethinking CRM Customer Service Fundamentals for a New Age, Gartner, March 2016.

 

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Laurie Ehrbar
Laurie Ehrbar has over 20 years of marketing experience and has held senior management positions in banking, brokerage and asset management organizations. She has worked for or with some of the biggest brands on Wall Street like Citigroup, TD Bank and UBS Securities to name just a few. Laurie is currently the Global Program Director, Financial Services, for ServiceNow.

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