1. Customer Experience Management Survey 2013
Financial Services 2013
A survey from
2. Customer Experience Management Survey 2013
About this survey
The aim of this survey, conducted in August 2013, was to get a snapshot of how banks are taking action to
improve customer satisfaction, by focusing on how a customer interacts with the bank – from the products and
channels on offer, communications with bank representatives, through to complaint handling and resolution.
This online survey received 103 responses from 52 different European retail financial groups and card bodies
across 12 countries, with the UK having the largest number of respondents.
The need to ensure customers get an appropriately consistent service as they move across channels is
driving investment in integrated multi-channel delivery. But legacy infrastructure is the biggest hurdle to
achieving this goal.
Trust and reputation trump loyalty and advocacy as the key values banks would like to encapsulate in their
interactions with customers.
A head of customer experience has been appointed by 40 per cent of banks to take responsibility for
these programmes. But they are not in it alone. 61 per cent of respondents say that C-level executives
have an active role to play in developing day-to-day customer strategies. At most banks, budget for
customer experience programmes is held by various lines of business.
Smartphone market penetration and the rise of mobile banking services are seen as the biggest trends
affecting the customer experience.
95 per cent of responders have either completed a customer experience management transformation
programme, are in the midst of one or are planning one.
Big Data ranked second in importance as banks seek to scour the masses of data they have to spot
trends and inter-relationships that would previously have gone ignored, and turn this into actionable
intelligence to improve customer interactions and satisfaction.
3. Customer Experience Management Survey 2013
CX investment underway
Unlike some bank projects, such as compliance initiatives, customer experience (CX)is not something that
can be addressed once, finalised and translated to business-as-usual activity. It is really a journey of constant
refinement. Despite this, 15 per cent of respondents claim to have completed extensive customer experience
As banks took a reputational beating during and after the global financial crisis, some of the most affected
banking groups have undertaken significant re-engineering of bank management structures. This has often
included investment in new senior management roles and training customer service staff who are tasked with
evaluating, measuring and quickly fixing the problems that are driving customer dissatisfaction.
The number of banks investing in customer experience management is on the rise. The trend is being
accelerated as banks at the leading edge of customer engagement make their achievements known through
their quarterly /annual reports and media. 60 per cent of respondents say they are in the middle of a customer
experience programme, while a further 20 per cent are in the planning stage.
Q1: Enhancing the overall customer experience:
My bank does not have the budget or
resources for a customer experience project
My bank has already completed an
extensive customer experience programme
My bank is planning on starting a project to
enhance the overall customer experience
My bank is in the middle of a project to
enhance the overall customer experience
4. Customer Experience Management Survey 2013
To get the best results from a customer experience programme, it has to be a business-led change
underpinned by an integrated IT platform. If anything has been learned from large complex CRM software
implementations over the past 15 years it is that programmes that are IT-led, focusing overtly on creating a
magical single platform, can yield very little benefit for significant outlay.
Similarly, programmes that focus too much on sales conversion based on customer behaviour insight, rather
than delivering an experience with the bank that is satisfying for the customer, often fail to live up to initial
Enabling customers to move seamlessly across channels that are convenient for them, and provide access to
products and service they require is absolutely key to customer satisfaction. This fact was recognised by 92
per cent of survey respondents, who said an integrated multi-channel delivery approach is necessary.
Q2: What programmes are necessary to ensure high levels
of customer satisfaction? (Tick all that apply)
An integrated multi-channel delivery programme
An enhanced digital offering
A single IT platform that eliminates product silos
Heavy investment in call-centres
5. Customer Experience Management Survey 2013
The core function of a retail bank is to keep their customers’ money safe and to provide them with products and
services to help manage their financial affairs. As a byproduct of this, banks also retain a lot of sensitive data. For
these reasons it is not surprising to see trust ranked the most important value around which banks want to build
their customer relationships. When trust is gone, a run on deposits can quickly cause a retail bank to fail in extreme
But trust can take many forms. From the essential trust that my money is safe in the bank, to trust that if a problem
arises in dealing with the bank, my requests and complaints will be taken seriously and handled efficiently.
The value that most polarised survey respondents was advocacy, with 20 per cent ranking it a top priority, but 36
per cent ranking it last.
Q3: Which values are important when developing
customer experience programmes?
6. Customer Experience Management Survey 2013
Who is in charge?
Almost all banks surveyed are at least in the planning phase of a customer experience programme. Although
ultimately CEOs take final responsibility, a growing number of financial institutions are appointing heads of
customer experience to oversee the details of the programme.
40 per cent of respondents claim to have a head of customer experience in their organisation. Where this role
does not exist, responsibility tends to lie with the product or marketing heads to drive customer experience
strategies for the organisation
Q4: Who in your organisation is most responsible for
driving the customer experience?
Head of customer experience
Head of product
Head of marketing
Head of sales
Head of IT
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Obstacles to improvement
While government regulation is providing a push for banks to improve their customer service in many markets
(for example the UK’s FSA requiring that banks publish complaints data), regulatory compliance is not seen by
most as a hindrance to improving satisfaction. But IT system complexity and lack of integration is. 37 per cent of
respondents say their organisation’s legacy infrastructure is the biggest hurdle to better customer service.
Although there is a lot of hype in the market from organisations and individuals promising to help banks embed a
customer-centric culture as part of their transformation projects, internal culture was only seen as an obstacle by 16
per cent of respondents.
If an organisation’s customer experience champions can’t find the budget to effectively deliver higher customer
service (a challenge for 20 per cent of respondents), everything else becomes more difficult. But with buy-in from
senior management levels, budget in place and the right strategy, there are a range of solutions in the market to
help banks leap over the IT hurdle.
Q5: What most stops your organisation from delivering high
levels of ongoing customer service?
Lack of internal strategy
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Who holds the purse strings?
Large customer experience programmes may draw budget from a number of areas within a bank, depending
on the component project. For example, channel integration or deployment of a solution for monitoring data
about customer interactions might come from an IT budget, whereas staff training might come from human
resources, sales or product.
In any case, the line of business is seen as the major source of funding for customer experience programmes,
with more than half (51 per cent) saying the majority of budget came from here.
In Q4, we saw that the head of customer experience was most often responsible for these programmes. This
question suggests that these managers sit within the line of business structures, or if they have separate lines
of reporting that they get most of their funding from the line of business.
Q6: Where does the majority of the budget for a customer
experience programme come from?
Line of business
9. Customer Experience Management Survey 2013
As many banks seek to rehabilitate their reputations after the global financial crisis, or to differentiate
themselves from those that suffered the most during this period, C-level executives, marketing
and investor relations teams have begun placing much more importance on customer satisfaction
benchmarks as well as acquisition and retention figures.
They are no longer seen as just key performance indicators to be looked at quarterly in management
appraisals or mentioned in reports if the results are good. Large drops in complaints or faster time
to resolution are now numbers to sing and dance about. And as a result, the majority (61 per cent)
of banks expect their C-level executives to play an active role in developing day-to-day customer
Q7: Do you believe that the C-Suite has an active role to play in
developing day-to-day customer strategies?
10. Customer Experience Management Survey 2013
Mobile and big data
The majority (58 per cent) of respondents see the trend for nearly universal smartphone penetration as having
the biggest impact on how customers experience their banks. It has become such a critical channel for
interaction that some customers will switch banks to make use of their preferred m-site or app.
Almost all banks today will have at least some kind of basic mobile channel, along with a business case for
enhancements and development.
New customer acquisition will undoubtedly be a key part of that business case. But banks also need to
consider how to align the customer’s mobile experience with other channels as well as the end-goal of their
customer experience transformation journey.
As the mobile banking channel matures and becomes more integrated with a multi-channel approach to
customer experience management, Big Data will play a bigger role. 18 per cent of respondents see this as the
most important enabler for customer experience.
Banks generate vast amounts of data relating to customer behaviour and interactions across touch points.
Growing mobile channel usage will only add to this, and banks need to find a way to analyse stored data,
and monitor data in real time, to generate new product and service ideas and improve communication and
Q8: Which trend is the most important in enabling
the customer experience?
Social media outreach
Loyalty programmes and vouchers
11. Customer Experience Management Survey 2013
Looking for inspiration
When banks benchmark their customer satisfaction and experience delivery, they are looking not only
at their peers, but also other industries. Multi-channel retail in particular is seen as providing examples
of exceptional customer experience, with 56 per cent of survey respondents considering the leading
companies in that sector good examples to emulate.
And there are some similarities. Like banking, the retail sector comprises companies that operate a mix
of bricks and mortar and online channel, and those that are online only. But the financial industry is much
more constrained by regulation in the range of customer data it is able to aggregate with other sources
Q9: Which industry, outside of finance, do you think is
delivering exceptional customer experience?
Travel and transport