The value of superior customer service can never be overstressed, and the initiative to provide excellent support is one driven by industries across a variety of verticals, including banking and financial institutions. Keeping clients happy is a top priority, along with maintaining a reputable and trustworthy brand identity and cultivating long-term relationships that lead to sustained business growth. To this end, banking executives are increasingly looking to technology to help them reach audiences across channels, better engage with existing clients and key prospects, and stay ahead of the curve on digitalization opportunities.
Strategically Focused: Keeping Up and Standing Out in a Competitive Industry
To provide this level of service, however, requires that executives make strategic investments in the areas that are of most concern to their customers—thankfully, the proliferation of digital and mobile technology has made it easier than ever to meet clients where they are and support their needs through a variety of inventive and convenient channels.
According to a 2016 industry study of more than 100 banking executives across various asset sizes and geographic locations, the top areas of strategic focus this year are EMV implementation (the chip-card payment standard originally created by Europay, MasterCard and Visa that provide specifications for smart card payments and acceptance devices), cited as a top focus by 58.2 percent of respondents, followed by CRM initiatives, cited by 36.7 percent; and social media participation, cited by 25.5 percent.
One shared characteristic all three of these focus levels have in common: a commitment to applying technology to address customer pain points and demands. In fact, the survey notes that as a top-three area of strategic focus, CRM solutions help baking executives more easily recognize and anticipate client needs via their preferred channel, and when integrated with a financial institution’s core processing platform, the opportunities for seamless engagement and follow-up are endless.
This type of engagement couldn’t come at a better time, as the speed and flexibility afforded by the Internet of Things (IoT) has made users more discerning than ever before, and the same customers who use their smartphones to make purchases online or learn more about a company are also expecting their preferred financial institution to keep pace by expanding their service offerings to an online environment. Another recent industry survey conducted with Harris Poll found that out of more than 2,000 randomly selected, nationwide customers age 18 and above, approximately 50 percent of respondents said that technology was a key factor in determining where they bank.
Plant Now, Reap Later: Investing in the Banking Customer’s Journey
According to the industry survey, 64.3 percent of banking executives plan to increase spending on technology in 2016, with this investment ranked as their second greatest opportunity this year. The time is now to set the stage for improving upon, expanding, and differentiating the customer journey through technology, and arguably no other platform allows greater insight and visibility into what customers want, and how they’re looking to communicate, than CRM software. Taking the steps toward implementation today can result in substantial ROI tomorrow—boosting the bottom line and customer satisfaction.
“Executive Report: 2016 Banking Priorities Study,” CSI, pgs. 9-10, 7.
“Executive Report: 2015 Consumer Survey Report,” CSI and Harris Poll, p.4.