Improving the Customer Experience In Banking Egyii

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Financial institutions are at a crossroad. There is a financial crisis and it is the customer who is suffering, causing a break of loyalty and trust and therefore a loss of business. …

Financial institutions are at a crossroad. There is a financial crisis and it is the customer who is suffering, causing a break of loyalty and trust and therefore a loss of business.
How to address this?
Financial institutions can continue to focus on re-engineering products, systems and policies, or they can turn their focus towards the customer and customer experience.
What is missing from all the "customer experience" banking programs today?

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  • 1. Egyii Singapore www.egyii.com An Egyii White Paper Improving the Customer Experience in Banking By James Irvine, Director
  • 2. and how well it delivers on their Introduction wants and needs.quot; Financial institutions are at a This white paper will focus on the crossroad. There is a financial interaction that the customer has crisis and it is the customer with the customer-facing staff they who is suffering, causing a deal with. break of loyalty and trust and therefore a loss of business. How do customers feel when they leave the bank after dealing with a How to address this? member of staff? By delivering the right experience, financial institutions Financial institutions can have the opportunity to win back continue to focus on re- their customers’ trust, loyalty and engineering products, systems business. and policies, or they can turn their focus towards the customer and customer The Challenge Financial institutions experience. Face David Amano, Senior Partner at What is “customer Dachis Corp, reports walking by a experience?” Bank of America branch in the USA and instead of seeing a bank full of According to Peter Merholz, ATMs and promotional materials, he “Customer experience refers looked through the window at what to the totality of experience a he calls an ‘oasis’. Right at the front customer has with a business, of the branch was a lounge with a across all channels and flat screen TV, designer lighting, touchpoints”. leather chairs and gourmet coffee. All interactions with the The Problem customer should culminate in a positive customer This is all nice on the surface, but experience if customers go here’s the problem. Financial away feeling that their institutions are creating “pleasant personal needs were met and environments” in physical space and they were treated properly. through technology solutions (such as CRM systems). But will this cut the On top of that, quot;Loyalty and cake? trust,quot; says Jessica Debor in her article ‘CRM Gets Serious’ in Do all these “positive” feelings CRM Magazine, quot;is now driven remain once the banker starts primarily by a company's personally interacting with the interaction with its customers customer? Or do these feelings
  • 3. dissipate immediately when banker, then everything else will be the banker doesn’t interact overshadowed. the way the customer wants to be interacted with? It is the customer’s experience of the banker that is the critical decision factor. What do Customers Really Want? The Opportunity On a personal experience However, this is where the greatest level, what do customers want opportunity lies for financial from their banker? institutions to differentiate themselves. They want patience. They • Banking doesn’t have to be a don’t want to get the commodity business. While it’s feeling that they are being relatively straightforward to copy rushed so that their banker another bank’s products, systems, can move on to another environment and policies, every customer. interaction with a customer is They want to feel special, • unique. like a five-star hotel guest. They don’t want to feel But financial institutions have even that they are being given tried to commoditize this aspect of exactly the same speech their business by instituting step-by- and responses as every step processes for conducting a other customer. customer meeting, and by They want to feel taken • implementing rules and policies for care of. They don’t want ensuring that their customer-facing to feel that their banker people are honest and open. has his mind on his sales targets or anywhere else While these initiatives help to support other than on them and the customer interaction, the secret their individual situation. of differentiation lies in the banker’s ability to flexibly manage the minute- by-minute experience the customer It’s all very well to claim that a is getting with him. When the banker customer trusts his/her banker is right there, in the customer’s world if he is honest, open and with her, acknowledging and reliable. But this is not enough. responding directly to what the If the customer does not get a customer is thinking and feeling in positive feeling during and the moment – then the customer after a meeting with her experience takes on a new meaning
  • 4. or a ‘sales person’, he can reframe and true liking and trust begin to develop. his situation and see himself as a guest relations officer and his customer as a guest. How Can This be Achieved? So what needs to happen for With this metaphor from the hotel a bank to create such a industry in his mind, the banker’s customer experience? Bankers whole demeanour with his customer who interact with customers changes. Everything he does – his will benefit by developing two words, the sound of his voice, and his key drivers of their body language will take on a new interpersonal performance: dimension. Their mindsets, especially • This new perception alone can their perceptions of transform a customer’s experience themselves, their roles and from one where she feels their customers disconnected from the banker, to Their communication, • one where she feels honoured and especially the way they respected. connect with customers minute-by-minute Reframing is a powerful tool which can be used to change the way a Neither one of these drivers of member of staff feels about himself, performance can stand alone. his responsibilities and his customers, It is essential to have the right thus changing his behaviour and the mindset in order to results he gets. communicate the right signals to the customer. 2. Strive for personal congruence. When our words, voice and body Developing the right mindset language are in alignment and are To adopt the right perceptions all sending the same message, we and create authenticity are congruent. Too often in requires a two-step initiative: customer meetings a banker’s words say one thing but his voice and/or 1. Reframe the situation. How a body language say another. The banker sees his situation result is mistrust on the part of the controls the experience the customer. customer has with him. To achieve personal congruence, Rather than see himself as a the banker must take a hard look ‘banker’, a ‘financial expert’ at his sense of who he is, what he
  • 5. believes, what skills he is listening and responding to her, his using, and the kind of mind is actually elsewhere. When behaviour he one is responsible for hitting monthly demonstrates. These four targets and promoting the latest aspects of himself need to financial products, these things sit be in alignment to create just behind the front of one’s mind, personal congruence and affecting one’s behaviour. The be perceived by the customer can see that her banker is customer as authentic and being driven by an agenda, not the sincere. real-time information being passed between them. Consequently she For example, if a banker feels devalued. sees himself as a trusting, caring person but believes ‘Presencing’ is a way to manage that customers will switch and direct our attention. It means to between financial be 100% ‘present’, in the moment, institutions for even a small whenever one is with a customer. improvement in return on investment, then this inner To achieve this requires making an conflict will reveal itself in effort in three respects: mixed signals being sent to Eliminate all thoughts about the the customer. On the one • hand everything he says to past (e.g. previous customer the customer might show experiences) and the future (e.g. an interest in their situation, what your planned outcome while nonverbally he might from the meeting is) and focus communicate impatience. your attention on the present. Take notice of your customer. • Such mixed signals can Notice as many aspects of their spell the death of a dress, face, posture, gestures, business relationship tone of voice, key words and because they undermine phrases used, and overall the development of trust. demeanor as you can. This act of observation is enough to fully Developing the right occupy one’s attention. communication Respond directly to the whole • The right communication for message your customer is an improved customer sending you, not just her words. experience is ‘presencing’. This means you don’t respond with a pre-prepared message, Too often, when a customer is but you enter her world and interacting with her banker she can see that although he is
  • 6. connect with the generate great buzz about the organization. information and sentiment she is communicating. The second benefit is that bankers will perhaps for the first time get to This method of really know and understand their communicating sounds customers as unique individuals. This obvious. Of course we should will lead to customers being offered all be totally present when solutions which really fit their needs, interacting with customers! The thus creating commitment and long truth is that we’re not there term loyalty. with them most of the time. Today’s work demands ensure Finally, the bank will stand out in the that half of our attention is marketplace. The creation of its own directed somewhere else. brand of unique experiences for the customer every time she interacts Be under no illusion, with a banker will set the bank apart ‘presencing’ takes effort and from all others. These experiences determined concentration. cannot be copied, and the bank will But when done effectively, it build its own ‘aura’ around these transforms the customer experiences which will drive its experience – and thus creates competitiveness. the liking and trust that helps the banker to achieve those Overall Business Results challenging targets. The overall business impact of How Will Financial Institutions improving the customer experience Benefit? in this way cannot be over- The first and most important emphasised. benefit of this new approach to the customer experience is If a customer feels good when that the pervasive negative interacting with a banker then she customer word-of-mouth will both give the bank more of her about the financial institution business and tell everyone else will cease, and will be about it. The result will be more replaced with something customers coming to the bank and much more positive. It is the a higher share of wallet per human experiences in the customer. bank that customers are Summary driven to talk about. Improving the feelings they get when If a bank wants to reap the rewards they are doing business with of an improved customer the bank is a sure way to experience, it needs to go beyond
  • 7. environment, systems and policies and ‘get down and dirty’ with the minute-by- minute human communication going on. The rewards in terms of the hundreds of thousands of positive conversations taking place about the bank can only be of the highest value at this time. About Egyii Egyii is a learning and development consultancy that helps financial institutions get better results through their people's relationship skills. At Egyii, we have developed a set of simple, new tools that leads to higher performance for better results. http://www.egyii.com/The_Eg yii_Toolkit.pdf Are you ready for something new? James Irvine: james.irvine@egyii.com Trip Allen: trip.allen@egyii.com www.egyii.com http://twitter.com/egyii