Financial services failing to provide Omni Channel experience customers expect
By David Bannister
While nearly all of large financial services firms say customer experience management is important, the reality is that they are only about half as good at it as customers expect them to be.
According to research by contact centre company Avaya “the gulf between customers’ desire and the current reality of service delivery by financial services organizations is large – but not insurmountable”.
The positive spin is that 98% of financial services firms reckon that customer experience management pays big dividends; with those “getting it right” reporting big dividends in terms of customer retention, repeat business and overall profitability.
The Avaya research shows significant disparity in the perspective of a customer when it comes to how they expect to be treated compared to what businesses are currently offering. On the customer side, they increasingly expect an Omni channel, personalized and proactive customer experience, the study found. In particular:
•70% of customers expect financial services companies to link all threads of communication together in real-time across channels.
•70% expect customer facing staff to have a single view of them in real-time when they contact the company.
•92% expect to be proactively notified of an issue and offer a solution.
•69% expect to be treated as unique – contacted the way they want, when they want with products and services tailored to their preferences and shopping habits.
While the research found that the overwhelming majority of business managers (97%) said that customer experience management is an important or extremely important part of their 2014 strategy, the number of companies claiming to have a comprehensive program in place drops by more than a third to 64%. According to the report, “few financial services companies can deliver against all of the elements customers expect – less than half can do so, in fact”.
The top three obstacles found by the study are technology limitations (44%), inflexible business processes (37%) and inadequately trained staff (32%) Among IT professionals in financial services 68% said technology was the limiting factor
Among financial services organizations that have a comprehensive CEM program, 98% have seen improvements to their business as a direct result. In particular, the improvements have been in the area of customer retention, loyalty and satisfaction which by extension has shown up in repeat purchasing and increase in total customer spend.
David Bannister is editor of Banking Technology.
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