Customers expect fast action and are quick to respond when they do not get it. In a digital world, 24/7, always on access, is the expectation and is accelerating rapidly.
We set out, along with our partners at LogMeIn, to gather a snapshot of how financial services providers were striving to meet those fast-changing expectations and to understand the processes and tools that empower customer services teams. When we started this project, we had no idea how quickly the world was about to change. What was a key strategic priority for financial institutions, pre-COVID-19, has quickly become a necessity.
The contributors to our new Vox Pop Report – Empowering employees to deliver on the promise of customer centricity have provided in inside view into how they, their colleagues and institutions have delivered on that goal in a fast changing industry and in which the pace of change has become even faster still.
“Customers in 2020 will settle for nothing less than the best customer experience (CX), and so it is CX that is driving brands to transform their engagement with customers to discover new appealing ways to support their customers. Companies need to push the boundaries on how they deal with customers and think about the entire CX journey each time they engage with them,” said Sion Lewis, Vice President EMEA, LogMeIn, sharing his strategic view on the importance of delivering the best possible customer experience.
Key stakeholders within an organisation need to be engaged in creating the processes and solutions to deliver the best customer outcomes. Matthew Baillie, Director of Consumer Finance and Insurance, Group Transformation at Lloyds Banking Group, makes this point by commenting on the need to “deliver change safely and responsibly, our Value Stream (in the main) follows the Optimus Model. This involves a significant level of engagement and sign off across the Group depending on the size of change.”
Technology and, in particular chatbots, will play an important role in empowering customer services agents. However, the human touch is still important. “Human touch is absolutely essential to delivering great customer service. Especially at the moment, when small business owners are facing significant headwinds due to Coronavirus. Whilst new technology can streamline customers so they speak to the right person about their problem or question, nothing can really replace speaking to a human and making customers feel heard about the particular concerns they face,” said Jenny Geary, COO, Asto.
No change or improvement programme is without challenges. Raouf Carmi Vice President- Product Management, Ascensus noted that “Organisations who are unable to keep up with the ever-advancing digital capabilities risk falling behind their competitors”. Highlighting the importance of getting it right, he pointed to the fact that “Almost 7 percent of customers will leave a company after one poor experience and around 65 percent will wait no longer than two minutes for assistance.”
Working with partners also has a role to play in supporting an organisation’s customer service strategy, Vanessa Norhausen Senior Customer Success Manager, Checkout.com responded emphatically: “100%, absolutely. I really do believe a healthy partnership network is essential to good customer service. We are specialists in our sector and there is great value to be had in collaborating with other businesses that have different specialities to enhance our offering.”
At the end of the day it is important to know how to measure success. Rona Ruthen Director of Customer Operations, Monzo said, “It’s a great question, mostly because it’s really not as simple as it sounds. There isn’t one magic number that tells the whole story, so we look at a variety of metrics from different angles and we value qualitative feedback and research… We constantly strive to identify what we could be doing better and to make sure we have the metrics that would tell us if we’re getting it right and, more importantly, if we’re getting something wrong for our customers.”
Finally, from Sion Lewis, “Customer-facing employees are… gaining tools and resources to handle customer requests more easily and provide a more satisfying service experience. It is also freeing up their time to deal with far more challenging and complex enquiries that a chatbot cannot, greatly increasing a customer agent’s job satisfaction.
To read our full Vox Pop report and to learn more about their views on delivering the best customer experience, download the report now.