Customer support departments in the retail banking industry are under pressure, and under fire. With disruptive actors coming out of the woodwork every day, competition is heating up to unprecedented levels.
In an environment such as this, customer service operations are the first line of defense in retaining customers. And it’s not an easy. Keeping customers satisfied and ensuring that privacy and security concerns are respected despite a deluge of complaints is the challenge CS departments rise to every day.
For those not on the ball, this can quickly cause frustration, burnout and performance decline. All aspects of CS banking operations — Net Promoter Score (NPS), security/privacy concerns and support inquiry volume — keep banking operations competitive in the modern marketplace. As a result, self-service support is increasingly being employed to deal with these competing interests and imperatives.
Below we look at how self-service options can be used for each aspect of CS banking operations to keep customers happy — and CS managers sane.
Net Promoter Score and Self-Service Options
The Net Promoter Score is a tried-and-true measurement of customer satisfaction. For the uninitiated, NPS measures whether or not a customer would recommend a product or service to their friends and family.Not surprisingly, there are consistent reasons that customers give when asked if they plan to spread the word about a retail bank.
The most important of these is the simplicity of their interactions with the bank. Customers that get the answers they need quickly and easily are more likely to be satisfied and tell others than those who are not. And with current war going on between traditional banks and disruptive technologies, this is a critical point. Much of the allure of disruptive banking technology comes from promises made by larger, more established financial institutions to cut through red tape.
A CS department that offers effective self-service options, like a well-done FAQ section on the bank’s website, eliminates one of the main arguments used by upstart companies.
Alleviate the Volume of Support Inquiries with Self-Support
Here’s a little secret about customer self-service options: they aren’t just about helping the customer. Another huge benefit of effective self-service is the help it offers to CS departments buried in a pile of complaints and inquiries.
There are a number of ways these technologies help retail banking CS managers. Most importantly, they help customers by providing kiosks within physical bank branches. This hybrid offering of automated assistance in physical locations is becoming increasingly popular across industries, and customers have shown quick, painless and enthusiastic adoption of the technology.
For starters, it continues along the theme of undercutting disruptive actors by eliminating their key selling point. Creating a synergy between new tech and physical location gives the customer the best of both worlds. Why give up the physical location for new tech when they can have their cake and eat it too?
For CS managers, it’s also a great way to deflect the number of inquiries that agents receive. Instead of having an issue and speaking to a teller in the branch or asking someone through another support channel, the customer can get what they need, when they need it.
Self-Support and Banking Privacy Concerns
Although customers are increasingly willing — and wanting — to bank online, people are still concerned about the security of their data. So much so, that data security is now a competitive edge for companies to gain consumer trust.
Although it may seem counterintuitive, self-support options have built-in advantages when it comes to security. For starters, sensitive personal information isn’t passed around to multiple representatives. Even more importantly, security technologies offer the ability to prevent unauthorized access to accounts via self-service options. The most promising of these is biometrics, such as the use of fingerprints and facial recognition. These measures are already being adopted by major banks such as HSBC.
There’s no reason to believe that more banks won’t follow suit to assure customers that their personal information is well-guarded.
The Balance Between Technology and the Human Touch
Ultimately, effective CS self-service options are all about finding the right balance between the technological advancements that customers expect and the personalized touch they demand. CS managers that keep this in mind when creating self-service options will quickly and easily provide clients the information they need in technologically advanced ways.
And as a nice byproduct, it will also help get through the stockpile of complaints more efficiently, so they can offer up the human touch when it matters most.