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Customer satisfaction doesn’t have to be a banking stumbling block

The wind of change is starting to blow through financial services. With a few exceptions, customers of banks are quite often an unhappy bunch. Just looking at some of the latest research on current accounts shows that a quarter of current account holders are unsatisfied with their bank.

However, historical challenges with changing provider often made it too hard for customers to do anything about it. With these restrictions now gone and new, innovative banks entering the market, will we start to see more and more customers change their financial services providers or will banks finally tackle the root cause of poor customer service head on?

So far there seems to be few winners and losers in account switching as customers cycle between the top five or six providers. According to the latest figures from Bacs, the number of people who chose to switch during the last 12 months was actually 11 per cent lower than the previous year. However, getting customer service right for the current, and future, generations of customers has to be the key to positive brand differentiation and long term sustainable growth. 

Implementing solutions that enable a bank and its customers to engage effectively with each other irrespective of channel, product and location is vital – particularly for the next generation who seek convenience as a driving factor behind the choices they make.  

Whichever channel they are using, customers quite rightly expect the same seamless experience. Customers will no longer accept an experience that’s driven by fragmented legacy infrastructure. It’s therefore imperative that financial institutions have a renewed focus on bringing down the barriers between these platforms, enabling them to react much quicker to consumer trends and changes in demand.

Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done. Banking platforms are an intricate web of systems and infrastructure that have a vast amount of data to deal with. They are based on systems that have been integrated and developed over many years which will make the journey to a new, modern architecture fraught with problems – not to mention expense. However, this cannot be avoided. Banks need to overhaul their system architectures and think like their customers if they are to give them the experience they expect. Building systems from the ground up with customer experience front of mind will, in this new world of retail banking, pay significant customer loyalty dividends in the long run.

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