The struggle of retail banking CS managers to improve customer relationships is real.
For starters, understanding the diversity of a retail bank’s clients alone makes it a huge undertaking. One customer might be a college student managing pocket change, another a mother of two looking to refinance a home and yet another a retiree trying to enjoy their golden years.
On top of that, banks offer a dizzying array of products and services to meet their diverse clients’ diverse needs — each of which comes with its own complications that customers expect help with.
And woven through all of it is the CS department manager, whose job is to know which buttons to push to keep all customers satisfied at all times. But with so much going on at once, it can be difficult to know how to measure impact to maximize the ROI of CS resources. A proven, empirical approach is needed.
Enter Voice of the Customer (VOC), a metric currently used by countless banking companies to address the huge challenge of tracking customer service ROI across a large and diverse product or service base.
Decrease Attrition Rates and Increase Advocacy
VOC is all about driving ROI by decreasing customer attrition rates and increasing customer advocacy.
As a theoretical concept, VOC seeks to understand the customer journey in its entirety by listening to what they have to say. The practical application of that is a solid framework for CS management to dive down into the nitty gritty of the customer experience, when they experience it and why they experience it. Any VOC calculation worth its salt begins with a detailed map of touchpoints along individual customer journeys.
Listening to customers all along the way is the foundation you need to understand and meet customer expectations. Getting answers to the right questions at the right times yields valuable insights that keep customers coming back again and again — and telling their inner circle about it.
Decrease Retail Banking Attrition Rates
VOC lowers attrition rates by collecting feedback to understand what’s working for customers — and what isn’t. There are passive and active forms of feedback, and the best one to use depends on the touchpoint.
Let’s take the basic example of a CS manager looking to measure the impact of support when helping a new customer open their first account.
Given the lack of any relationship, ‘passive’ feedback — feedback given by the customer without any prompting — tends to happen when the customer is upset. This can take many forms, but usually manifests in social media posts.
A VOC metric forces the CS team to look for this kind of feedback where it’s most likely to appear and come up with ways to systematically collect and analyze it.
There are also active VOC methods where customer feedback is solicited directly. For example, if an existing customer decides to refinance a mortgage, the bank it unlikely to hear from them unless there is a major problem.
Keep in mind, however, that just because a customer doesn’t seek out customer support doesn’t necessarily mean that their experience was smooth sailing. Using VOC to force a follow up with a survey or even direct phone conversation can identify where the customer felt confused or wished more help was available.
Remember, not every issue is severe enough for a customer to seek out help. But every issue is a potential reason for the customer to look at a competitor the next time they need banking services.
Increase Customer Advocacy by Adding the Personal Touch
In today’s competitive environment, the customer is king. And make no mistake; the customer knows it.
It’s not easy to get customers to advocate for a business. No matter what industry, only those companies that show the most attentive and effective levels of satisfaction get that coveted ‘word of mouth’ recommendation.
The data needed to properly measure VOC requires keen attention to countless touchpoints along the customer journey. Although it may seem like a lot of work for a bank, it’s a breath of fresh air for their customers.
Repeatedly soliciting feedback creates a sense that the bank is always there, attentive to every need and problem and ready to lend a helping hand. Most crucially, even if things get messy (and let’s face it, it’s inevitable sooner or later), customers still feel like they’re being listened to.
Empathy is a powerful marketing and retention tool for any business, and it goes a long way towards creating the kind of relationship with customers that they want to share with their friends and family.