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Getting ahead of the game

In an age driven by technology and innovation, providing services that overlay technology with human touchpoints/interaction where appropriate remains crucial in achieving good customer service, regardless of what business you’re in. Whilst the popularity of the internet, telephone and mobile banking enables customers to bank how they want, when they want; nearly three-quarters (72 per cent) will still go to their local high street or shopping centre branch to access financial services.

With this in mind, and with the holiday season in full swing, retail banks need to ensure that customer journeys in branch operate as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Integrating processes seamlessly across channels is becoming increasingly important in this regard. For example allowing customers to start a transaction online and finish it in the branch ensures that the customer’s request is dealt with efficiently but also ensures that members of staff can be seamlessly integrated into the process as and when required.

Implementing self-service or assisted self-service branch processes facilitates a fast and efficient customer experience as well as enabling staff to focus on serving customers with more complex needs. Integrating flexible customer touch points into the branch model, such as tablet based applications, enables staff to freely roam open plan branches providing enhanced customer services on a one to one basis and ensures that face to face interaction remains a key focus.

Retailers are the experts at dealing with peak season demand and lessons can be learnt from their approach. Matching offerings to customers’ needs is vital in ensuring that the right service is available for that customer at that particular moment in time. For example retailers offer customers an enriched shopping experience in store, supported by staff for assistance and advice, but also provide fast, efficient online or click and collect services for those customers who prefer this channel for shopping. In the majority of cases, customers want to be able use different services at different times highlighting again the importance of choice within a seamless multi-channel consumer offering.

This isn’t rocket science, but putting the customer first – or at least designing services with the customer in mind. With customer experience a key driver of customer loyalty for banks, combining intuitive self service solutions with effective face-to-face interactions will help to provide an efficient yet personal service helping to ensure long term customer loyalty.

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