We looked at all the 24* Banks in Nigeria and discovered that most have a timid approach to Online Customer Services whilst others are not sure what to do.
A mere 2 have capabilityto apply for products & services online Only 9 have interactive chat facilities and of the 9; Noneproactively recognises the presence of a customer 3 have online customer support helpdesk system and None have defined service levels An impressive 16 have FAQ sections; but the relevance of the answers are questionable None (0) have online community capabilities and destinations *Citibank Nigeria Limited does not have a country specific website. www.researchist.info Permission to republish with source citation 2
Interactive chat lets customer service reach out to a customer visiting its website in a one-on-one interaction to offer assistance or to push promotional offers. This is already done in Bank branches across the country and the website should be taken as a branch of the bank. As such, there is no reason why Banks’ websites should not have an Interactive chat facility and then appointing a dedicated staff to be responsible for the channel. For banks that have, the chat facility should be boldly represented on the website, unless of course, there is no customer service representative on the other side.
www.researchist.info On Online Applications
The ability to apply for Banks’ products and services via their websites should have zero risk posed to the Bank. Although the full completion of the account opening process cannot be done online, we believe that Banks are missing a tremendous opportunity to win the “eBuyer” customers who are generally on the increase in today’s technology age. Banks need to be bolder in creating a working online product application system that will satisfy at the least 90% of the application process and subject to only passport photographs and signatures.
Sending a support request through forms or email address provided does not give the customer a sense of logging a request. Providing visitors with an opportunity to log a request, have the ability to monitor the status of the request and know when to expect a solution via SLA is strategic thinking in online customer support. This will provide the Bank an opportunity to profile patterns of requests, users and other information that can guide in refining existing or creating new products or service offering.
www.researchist.info On FAQs
FAQs should be viewed as a part of an entire knowledge management system deployed within an organisation. The extent of details within the FAQ section of a website goes a long way to tell how information is readily available within the organisation itself. Using this interpretation, our take is that knowledge management systems within the Banks in Nigeria are not extensively used. Although FAQ sections of websites are currently static, there is an opportunity to allow the availability of database-web interfacing methods which will provide a way to scale-up your FAQ system to permit dynamic creation of web pages from the enquiries submitted by customers through your website support systems
Considering the amount of information on Banks website, searching and finding information should be a key area of opportunity to provide customers with the correct information they need. However, this is not the case. Your website is a great way to communicate with existing customers and attract new ones - especially if visitors find the information that they are looking for quickly. You can give visitors the same kind of search relevancy, speed and ease of use that they are used to on search engines and if well deployed, you can easily customise the search results interface to integrate with your site's design.
www.researchist.info On Listening through Surveys
Listening through surveys gathers opinion from consumers on the given aspects of a product or service under survey and defines the verdict. This is an area with vast opportunities that the Banks have totally ignored at this time of powerful social networking. Banks are able to add more value to their customers by using the online survey tool which can run 24x7 and on various topics for picking up vital leads to plan new venture, business expansion, product betterment, merger, diversification etc. We challenge any bank for instance to run a website survey on “providing the ability to make online applications for its products and services”
This is an area that Banks should immediately exploit to increase sales and product awareness. Your happy customers are already voicing their opinions in online forums and that’s why social media marketing is fast becoming a key weapon in every marketer’s arsenal. Online communities can be used to encourage consumer advocacy and drive positive word-of-mouth about your brand, products and services. Reviews give people confidence when assessing new products. Customer comments and blogs that evangelise about brands encourage new business and grow sales across all areas of your business
www.researchist.info On Defining Service Levels
Customers need to know when their questions or queries will be answered. Defining service levels help record a common understanding about services, priorities, and responsibilities. This is not to say that an agreement should be made with customers; it is better customer service strategy to inform a web customer that a reply will be provided within a specified period of time. Linking this with inbuilt helpdesk system creates a powerful customer service tool that creates measurability, accountability and most of all, ability to retain existing and win new customers