The need to provide consistent customer experience across omni-channel services places new demands on banks. Simply put, it’s no longer enough for a bank to be everywhere the customer wants. Today’s customer expects consistent, seamless and collaborative contact at all touchpoints. For many businesses, that’s easier said than done.
But this doesn’t make it any less important. Research shows 44% of millennials expect consistent experiences across devices. 60% expect it no matter what channel they use. These numbers mean banks can no longer sit on the sidelines. They must get serious about consistent experiences or face obsolescence.
Below are three major strategies to help banks create consistent, omni-channel, customer experiences.
A Design and Message that Evokes your Brand
Financial products are now commoditized forcing banks to find new ways to differentiate. One of the most effective ways of doing this is via design and messaging. Banks must establish a communication style and apply it across all departments.
Brand voice is most commonly associated with marketing, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Customers should feel like they are talking with the same company at every touchpoint within every department.
This starts with having a consistent look and feel. Banks should have a common theme or template for all channels associated with the brand. When it comes to language, standardizing value propositions are a good place to start. But even more subtle forms of messaging, such as calls to action, should be standardized as well.
Allow the Community to Speak for Itself
The best way to know if customers are having a consistent experience is to listen. Every team at the bank from Customer Support to Product should be getting regular feedback.
Departments can solicit feedback directly via surveys or social media campaigns. But it’s also important to have channels open where customers can get in contact with the bank.
One option is a Q&A channel, where questions can be asked and support staff can answer in a one-on-one format. Another possibility is to set up community forums and message boards where customers and leads can interact with one another. Facilitating these discussions will yield authentic and invaluable insight into customer experiences. As a bonus, it fosters the impression of a bank which takes a personal interest in its customers.
Bottom line, crowdsourcing is a highly effective way to learn what customers are experiencing. A bank can then work to produce a consistent experience based on the knowledge they collect about what is and is not working.
Combine Online and Offline Channels
Despite the shift to digital, the bank branch is not dead. Research has shown time and again that the fatalism surrounding brick and mortar channels is misplaced. Customers still want the branch there when they feel they need it.
What’s most important is that it feels like a part of the overall experience and not a separate one. This means making use of digital channels even within the branch itself. The most common example of this is the in-branch tablet banking kiosk.
These tablets can be used to create a more visual experience, facilitate check in and provide product information. But most of all, they give the sense of a consistent experience by bridging the gap between the digital banking world and the in-branch one.
Multiple Platforms. One Brand.
Ultimately, creating a consistent customer experience comes down to emphasizing the brand and not the channel.
Banks need to take the time to tell an unwavering visual story, listen to what their customers are saying and get creative about making connections between disparate channels through the customer’s journey.
Those that do will create consistent experiences that will not only keep current customers happy, but induce new ones to come on board.