33 per cent of consumers believe more focus is needed on customer experience in the financial services industry

According to new research

Research commissioned by Engage Hub, the data-driven customer engagement solutions company, questioning over 2,500 UK consumers, has found that 33 per cent of consumers don’t believe that financial service providers take customer experience seriously, as a part of the service they offer. Sixty-five per cent of consumers also identified accessibility as one of the crucial factors in determining what good customer service looks like.

The research, designed to better understand how fragile a customer’s relationship with financial service providers can be, also found that when consumers started using services elsewhere, better in-store experience (26 per cent), more personalised services (25 per cent), targeted promotions (19 per cent) and a better mobile experience (17 per cent) were key factors in their decision to switch.

Indeed, where the financial service sector has got it right, over half (53 per cent) of consumers believed that good communication was having the biggest impact on their overall experience.

This was followed by instances where they were treated like an individual (40 per cent) and where they had good accessibility to support and advice.

The research also showed that being seen to take feedback on board was the biggest opportunity identified (42 per cent) for the financial service sector to improve the customer experience.

Worryingly though, a quarter (25 per cent) of consumers believe that feedback based on a bad customer experience is infrequently, or never acted upon. Other factors consumers believed would improve the customer experience included tailoring of offers (38 per cent), personalised communication (37 per cent)and making services available through more channels (27 per cent).

Mark Grainger, VP Sales Europe, Engage Hub said: “Consumers today expect 24/7, cross-channel access to financial services, and it’s clear that better services being offered elsewhere are starting to turn a few heads.

“The increasing popularity of challenger banks is disrupting the way traditional providers operate, by adopting new ways of engaging with customers.

“Digital offerings are about more than simply launching a new app though, they’re about meeting a customer’s needs, and in this sector, that means on demand customer support.”

Sixty-four per cent of consumers have seen that technology has had a positive effect on customer experience. Just nine per cent percent believed that an over-reliance on technology had made the customer experience worse, indicating that in the main, technology is being deployed effectively by financial service providers to interact and engage with their customers.

Grainger added: “As digital transformation in the financial services industry gathers pace, and more and more consumers make use of digital platforms to access services, the in-branch experience shouldn’t be ignored.

“A personalised service is important for consumers, and that means communicating with them on their terms, by that digitally, or in the real world. Personalisation based on the whole customer profile, including behavioural data, is essential to maximise the quality of customer engagement and give reassurances that their feedback is being taken seriously.”

Other research findings include:

  • Consumers also believe that good customer service from the financial service sector is: Helpful (81 per cent), friendly (70 per cent), with detailed product knowledge (62 per cent), and rapid to respond to queries (62 per cent)
  • One in ten (11 per cent) consumers are less loyal towards financial service providers than they were a year ago
  • A lack of communication (11 per cent), hard to use customer interfaces such as apps, mobile sites and call centres (nine per cent) and a lack of personalised communication (eight per cent) all caused consumers to stop using the services of FS providers in the last year

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