Usman Ghani (January 20, 2015)
The use of technology is consistently on the rise as the digital savvy generation becomes increasingly dependent on it. In fact, they have become so accustomed to smartphones and other devices that they now shop and pay their bills online. Seeing the increased use of technology and behavioural change of Gen Y, it seems inevitable that banks will have to work towards improving their digital strategy.
Bain & Company’s 2012 survey has already pointed out in this direction. The study revealed that 36 percent of US customers having an annual household income above $100,000, carried out their banking transactions through a tablet or smartphone. According to the survey, percentage of such customers was 24 percent in 2011, but within just 3 months of 2012 it jumped up to 36 percent.
By leveraging digital media, banks can cater to the needs of the digital savvy generation. Additionally, they will also be able to determine areas of underinvestment and dissatisfaction that can prove helpful for them. Furthermore, by rallying into digital transformation, banks can make the customer experience more proactive and personalized.
Below are some pointers to evaluate how banks can enhance their customer service by using digital media.
Introduction of digital channels lifts the pressure from traditional branch banking and ATMs, as it empowers customers to make their transactions from any place in the world. In addition, customers are able to pay their bills, get their queries answered and gain information regarding a product or service without getting into a queue.
Some banks have already started to offer video chat for a better customer experience. This feature connects the customer to a relationship manager who then helps the customer in conveniently completing a transaction from anywhere. Barclays became the first bank in the UK last year to offer video banking service to customers on their laptops, smartphones and tablets. Similarly, IndusInd Bank in India last year launched the ‘Video Branch’ service for customers which allows them to have a face to face video interaction with their bank branch 24/7. Customers of the bank can access this service from their digital devices and conduct transactions without having to visit the branch.
The highpoint of digital banking is that it saves the time and money of the customers’. It won’t require them to drive all the way to their branch or wait in long queues to gain information or make a transaction. Customers can do all these activities from their home or office by simply connecting their mobile devices with the internet.
Adopting digital measures will also allow banks to reduce their cost as well, as they can shrink their expenses by eliminating physical branches that are running at a loss.
At the same time, digital media will enable banks to expand their product variety, tap into new markets and strengthen relationships with customers. This will eventually boost profitability and customer retention.
The main aim of customer service is to provide a seamless experience to the consumers, so they can become brand loyal. By adopting digital media, banks can offer customers 24/7 service, instant access to an advisor, immediate information of products and services etc.
Bain’s 2012 retail banking analysis has found that, for 72 percent of the customers, personal banking advisor is “important” or “very important” when it comes to making financial decisions. Hence, in terms of digital customer service for banks, banking advice can be given via video to customers.
Banks can also make the customer experience more seamless by developing websites that offer “immediate customer satisfaction”. For instance, their websites should offer rich content and easy navigation. Similarly integrating proactive live chat on the bank website is a great way to offer support and advice to customers. This makes it easier for customers to get instant online answers to their questions.
To retain and boost customer loyalty, it is essential that banks should develop an understanding of consumer behaviour. Customers want easy access to services and solutions through their preferred online channel. Therefore, it is important to have a strong digital presence which provides customers the choice to reach a bank through multiple means. It is also essential that customer information should be available to bank staff across multiple channels in order to improve the overall customer service delivered.
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