The banking industry has experienced a huge impact as a result of the increased technology use ranging from smartphones to other smart gadgets. Due to this transformation, transacting methods have changed to become more personalized which has allowed customers to take part in seamless banking across different channels. Furthermore, this has elevated potential of formulating an enhanced customer experience.
In 2014, a report released by Ernst & Young revealed that over half of Kenyan customers reported that they had a bad banking experience. More scrutiny of the report revealed that many of the banks customers expected much more than just a perfect mix of products. They indicated that they sought for unique customer experiences that satisfy their expectations and provide additional value.
Banks like MFinance, Ecobank and Pan African Bank have adopted the digital banking platform so that they can ensure that their consumers can execute transactions through their phones and access digital assistance. This provides additional value to their customers.
Maintaining customer loyalty has always been one of the key objectives in all financial institutions. Customers expect financial institutions to simplify engagement and make their lives easier as they use their services. If the financial institution fails to accomplish the expectations of the customer, they normally seek another institution that will accomplish their needs. According to a Digital Banking Report, 71 percent of customers move from one bank to another due to a poor experience.
Currently, digital channels have become important tools that have facilitated positive customer experiences which catalyze referrals as well as encourage consolidation with one financial service provider.
Digital Banking has proven to be highly beneficial, some of the benefits include:
· Cheap operating costs
· Higher profit margins
· Enhanced service delivery
· Improved digital analytics
In addition, financial institutions have used digital banking to identify and comply with the continuously changing customer preferences. On the other hand, the customers have gained from digital banking because their service have improved, they have improved product offering, 24hour access to banking services through mobile, convenience, lower charges and access to more services and products.
In view of all these benefits, financial institutions still need to constantly introduce new ways to improve customer experience. Some of the ways include:
1. Improve convenience
Over the years, most banks have closed down branches as a way of saving money because of the availability of their services online. This has been convenient especially since customers easily execute transactions at anytime, anywhere. However, customers still need to visit their bank branches but this is limited by the fact that there are limited opening hours which leads to long queues that jeopardizes customer experience.
Banks can use the strategy of ensuring that their branches are open seven days each week and offer speedy service that will be in line with the busy lifestyles of their customers. Additionally, they should protect against customer delay by adopting a solution that will ensure network downtime does not halt the bank services and transactions.
2. Rethinking product and service design
Financial institutions have to place new technologies into consideration when they design their products and services. The new technologies appeal to different customer segments, therefore, it is important to study and understand the preferences of the customers so that the technologies appeal to every individual. This means that the customer will feel included which will eventually improve their experience as they use the product or service.
Banks have to consider the relationship that the customers have with technology as well as the subsequent changes it instills in the standards for service, experience and engagement. The introduced technologies have to incorporate the needs of the customers in terms of what they expect, value, what enlightens them and why.
3. Increase Digital Channels
Apart from efficiency, flexibility and ease of access, customers have expressed the need of integrating all banking activities across different digital channels and a more personalized service. This can be accomplished if the financial institution keeps track of the past, present and future relationship with their customer.
Therefore, financial institutions have to concentrate on establishing an enhanced digital experience and utilize it as the competitive advantage.
Ensuring Improved CX
Digital banking (both mobile and online) has improved customer experience significantly. Customer analytics have shown that 64 percent of bank customers have acknowledged better customer experience through digital banking.
However, customers nowadays compare their experiences with other leading firms like Google, Uber and so on. This means that consumers need banks to constantly simplify engagement and simplify their lives.
There are tools that can help financial institutions improve their customer experience by focusing on specific departments and finding ways that will ensure efficiency and proficiency throughout all bank branches. For instance, there is mobile banking technology with a customer centric design that has all the features needed to fulfill all the technical and business requirements.
Financial institutions need to continuously carry out research on the market so that they can remain competitive and eventually incur more profit gains. Focus on the customers is very important in formulation of new products and services which will not only satisfy the customers but also keep them loyal to the chosen bank.