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Improving the Customer Experience in Financial Services

The following is a guest post by Nelson Vauxhall, SaleMove. You can follow him on Twitter at @NelsonVauxhall

When a customer comes to your website looking for financial solutions they are going to be on high alert. With matters that are personal and financial, their guard goes up because they will understandably be cautious about sharing sensitive information.

Every company has only a few seconds to make a good first impression and the smallest of red flags can drive potential customers to your competitors. In a white paper published by Bright Info about financial services marketing, they state that “you only have 12 seconds to engage your online audience.”

Once engaged, the challenge is keeping customers on-site by providing an exceptional customer experience. Here is a hard fact: according to a study by NewVoiceMedia, 62 billion dollars were lost in 2015 due to poor customer service.

With that in mind, what are the areas that financial service companies need to focus on to enhance their customer’s experience?

Personalization

Customers want to feel like they are important. And of course they are. In such a competitive industry, customer acquisition can be expensive and difficult. It takes a personal touch to keep them coming back.

The challenge is to provide a remarkable experience for each customer that feels bespoke.

How does a company create an experience that feels unique for each visitor?

One cannot open a news feed these days without reading headlines about AI and its various applications. In the customer experience vertical, that means Chatbots are becoming more and more prevalent. While they can be great at delivering instantaneous interaction, they are limited in terms of personalization. There is no algorithm that can be written that can be all- encompassing enough to satisfy every customer need.

Having a live agent at the other end of the interaction can make the experience much more personal for the customer. Especially when the agent is armed with data that today’s solutions can collect combined with multiple channels of communication.

Financial institutions have a much higher level of expectancy when it comes to security and one of the best ways to put a customer at ease is to provide a personalized experience that leads to resolution on the first call or interaction. This can only be done by pairing cutting edge technology with well-trained agents.

A study by McKinsey found that “A number of banks and wealth management firms around the world are already building execution expertise in delivering remote advice, attracting new clients and reaping significant cost advantages.”

Security

The NewVoiceMedia study mentioned above provides a revealing snapshot of the effectiveness of multiple channels, but as a financial institution your customers are going to be cautious when it comes to interaction. They need to feel safe and secure and that means your omnichannel platform needs to be on point when it comes to digital safety.

The good news is that there are solutions out there that can provide a human touch without jeopardizing your customer’s security. Your customer needs to know that their information is safe before they engage at any level, so it is imperative that you both show and tell them that they are in good hands.

CoBrowsing

What if you could implement a turnkey solution that combines on-time issue resolution with a personal touch? CoBrowsing does both of these, and using a tested solution (like OmniBrowse) can allow your agents to deliver exceptional service with a personal touch.

Today’s customers are often provided with a swath of communication channels. The millennial who is looking for student loan assistance is going to look for a different form of interfacing than the soon to be retiree who is scanning investment solutions.

With that in mind, the way forward is to offer a suite of communication devices that allow each customer to interact at their comfort level.

Here is what we have found:

  • Chat– Real-time, on-site chat results in a 32% increase in conversion.
  • Audio– Audio channels have a 28% conversion lift over chat alone. (This represents phone conversations.)
  • Video– Video communication has a 56% conversion lift over chat.

Now, here’s what happens when we couple the above channels with CoBrowsing.

  • Chat and CoBrowsing– Combining CoBrowsing with chat provides a conversion lift that is 69% over chat alone.
  • Audio and CoBrowsing– When a voice conversation is combined with CoBrowsing there is a 78% conversion lift over just chat.
  • Video and CoBrowsing– Video interaction, combined with CoBrowsing has a 138% conversion lift over a singular chat channel.

 

Conclusion

At the end of the day, we want conversion, right? In the world of financial institutions, prospects won’t become customers unless they feel that their information is safe.

It’s important that you put your prospects at ease with a secure suite of channel options. Of course, there is more to the story. Your prospects need to feel like they are the only one in the room. The best way to do that is to provide them with real time tech without sacrificing human touch.

Customer Thermometer specializes in survey data and they recently compiled a collection of tips based on their findings. Let’s look at the top two:

Be Relentless with Your Questions

It’s a tale as old as time. The best way to convert prospects is to ask them questions so that your agents can tailor a solution that seems like it was designed just for them. Chatbots can ask boilerplate questions and give pre-written answers, but they will quickly miss out on simple human touches. A well trained agent with a solid tech channel can deliver the personalization the customer needs in tandem with efficient first-interaction resolutions.

Don’t Be a Machine

While this may seem like a given for any customer-facing company, it’s so much more important in the financial industry. No matter who your customer is, the way to stand out from all of the noise is to provide a customer experience that feels tailor-made and safe.

The beauty of providing a unique and memorable experience is that it will cut way down on your acquisition costs because your customers will evangelize for you.

The right tech coupled with the right human touch is the key factor when it comes to customer experience for financial service companies.

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Nelson Vauxhall writes about Customer Experience, CoBrowsing and SaaS for the SaleMove blog. SaleMove is the premier website engagement solution that allows companies to recreate the in-person experience online with video, voice, chat and dual-cursor CoBrowsing. SaleMove works with some of the world's leading companies in Insurance, Banking, Automotive and Retail.