2014 will be a year to remember for retail banks. Executives finally see the writing on the wall and are making serious commitments to put customer service first.
One major catalyst: 88 percent of surveyed consumers are considering leaving traditional banks for digital alternatives.
As we look to 2015, it’s a safe assumption that customer loyalty doesn’t exist in the retail banking industry. So what can executives do to keep customers happy and attract new ones?
TimeTrade surveyed 95 retail banking executives across the country to understand what they think customers expect, and how their banks are evolving to meet new consumer demands. Here’s what we found out:
- The good news: Nearly two-thirds of the surveyed executives know that personal attention and knowledge of customers’ finances are most important to their members. In fact, in a recent study of more than 1,000 consumers, 72% cited personalized service as an important factor in choosing a bank – second only to better rates.
- The bad: Today’s bank branches are not staffed or organized based on customer needs. When executives were asked whether or not they could guarantee that the right employee would be available when a customer needs them, less than 30% answered “yes”.
- …And it gets worse. The bigger the bank, the bigger the problem: more than 90% of national bank executives reported that specialized services experts are typically unavailable.
Back to the good news – banks are finally investing in technology and their staff to enable faster, more personalized service:
- 48% of executives surveyed are launching new technology-driven services to empower employees and connect with the tech-savvy consumers.
- 20% are rolling out prescheduled appointments for customers, giving them direct access to service experts’ calendars so they can schedule an appointment at a time that works best. Here’s how several national banks and a local community bank are doing this.
- 10% are giving customers 24/7 access to live tellers.
This year, many banks made significant progress as they transform to better meet (and even exceed) customer expectations. Let’s see what 2015 holds…