In general, customer services are all about making consumers’ experience better, and banking is no exception. The aim is to make customers feel satisfied, win their loyalty, persuade them to use your services more, and, most importantly, reduce the serving cost.
In the current scenario of COVID-19, transparency and clarity are the two added features for superior customer experience. Plus, the use of digital tools and other new products is also a part of customer experience.
The virulent disease has caused the retail banking industry to evolve into a whole new setup and requires it to adapt to a digital-first mindset. Solutions like online and mobile services have become the new normal with a dramatic increase in non-branch banking.
The Change in the Rules – Coronavirus
Before the pandemic, transitioning from traditional banking to digital banking was more like a struggle for the customers. In the US, for example, the use of digital banking is more frequent in customers who can be categorized as “most satisfied.” The customers who are relatively less satisfied refrain from using digital banking at all. Moreover, the customers who are least satisfied use digital banking once a month.
It happens because switching to a new setup requires customers to learn and adapt to digital tools. And banks play an essential role in this whole adoption journey of the customers. The current situation has made customers’ transitioning to digital more crucial than ever , requiring banks to multiply their efforts to make it easier and smoother.
As per the statement of Jeff Papa, the regional director in Westchester for Chase, during the first phase of the Paycheck Program, Chase funded 18,000 small business administration loans to various companies that work with more than 350,000 employees. Combining commercial services, dealers, private and commercial banking, the bank granted approx 8,500 loans to the businesses working with more than 750,000 employees, Papa further mentioned.
The current pandemic crisis needs banks to take immediate action in order to help small bank customers. Banks can increase their support for their customers to use digital channels frequently to make “home banking” accessible and easy.
This is one way to support customers who are not tech-savvy. However, increasing the use of digital banking among customers is easier said than done. McKinsey stated that there is a large group of banking customers who either do not use the mobile application or use it rarely.
To help customers, banks can use some effective approaches such as;
- Segment-specific programs
- Simple and comprehensive communication
- Remote classes and coaching
- Video explanations for using digital banking and the easy ways to try them
These approaches are useful as compared to the one-for-all tutorials.
Can Financial Services Improve Customer Experience?
This may sound shocking, but there are many customers who rely on personal meetings when it comes to banking. Not everyone prefers digital banking, especially in rural areas where approx 30 percent of people do not use a smartphone.
For these people, face-to-face interactions are more reliable and trustworthy, particularly when they want to secure a loan. Because most of the major banks have switched to digital, these customers are inclined towards community banks that offer traditional options in the digitalizing banking industry.
The current economic downturn due to the coronavirus will require banks to upgrade their customer experiences and efficiency by focusing on better operational trade-offs and digital services. It is worth mentioning that digital banking costs less than phone-based approaches.
It is a challenge for the banks to make people use digital services, as many customers find using digital services intimidating and overwhelming. Reframing calls to educate customers about using digital channels is one way to address the problem.
Moreover, banks need to focus on understanding the key constituents of improved customer services to bring an efficient change in their trade-offs. For instance, if reliable and trusted services make a positive experience for customers, banks should double their efforts on relevant status updates, clear communications, speedy services, and achievable timelines.
In short, both customer-experience priorities and approaches need to be reset to enhance the operational efficiency and overall experience.
How Will It Affect Customers?
From limiting social activities, working from home, avoiding meetups to ordering take-outs, people are trying their best to adjust to new daily behaviors as the pandemic spreads. Let’s delve into the discussion to find out how epidemic has changed customers’ life.
Customers are experiencing a hard time in making a wise financial decision amid COVID-19 pandemic and existing economic downturn.
One of the biggest challenges for the banks is that they are not well-equipped to make it easy for banking customers to apply for new services.
Essential Services for Consumers during the Pandemic
Banks need to help their customers restructure their current loan payments. That may include everything from resetting budget, reducing spending, recapitalizing home-equity loans top, providing near-term liquidity and relocation services if someone changes the job.
It further includes making the most of government programs that allow the customer to access capital all around the world.
Large Banks Can Help Customers
The large financial services have come out as a great help in the current COVID-19 crisis with their highly engaging and quick digital customer services. This has made it clear that regardless of the size, financial institutions can do a lot more to upgrade their digital engagement level.
That means Fintech competitors are better at understanding digital solutions as compared to legacy banks. Plus, customers do not appreciate services that respond slowly.
Patience Is Crucial
There is no denying that this transitioning period can be taxing and stressful for you as it may take time. However, it is important to understand that financial services are handling massive queries and phone calls.
Plus, they have to rely on their workers to manage everything from home. This may make things take more time than usual and require your patience.
Community financial institutes make an integral part of local finance, as they ensure listening to their customers and resolving their problems. Yet, many credit unions and community banks have a long way to go when it comes to digitizing banking services.
These banks must consider the fact that they may lose a long chain of customers if they overlook digital deficiency. To face the current challenges, these institutions need to not only stick to a customer-centric approach but also reach out to the people who are left alone in the rural banking territory.
In a nutshell, both credit unions and banks must provide a rich experience to their customers. Incorporating a digital strategy with a personal operating style is a great way to improve focus on various other areas of banking.