Money Talks: The value of customer experience

Customer experience is everything in the financial services sector. Banks need clients, savers and investors who need to be valued to retain business.

customerservice250Within the financial services sector, the customer is everything. Investment banks need clients; retail banks need savers; fund managers need investors.

It’s a simple concept and no-one’s getting any medals for knowing it. Keeping these customers happy is an on-going mission that can’t be underestimated in its value.

The term ‘customer experience’ can be loosely described as the sum of all interaction a customer has with their supplier.

So in the case of financial services, this means clean websites, clear forms, simple documentation, good customer service etc. Getting these right leads to customers retaining current business – THAT is the goal.

Think of the last time you were applying for a credit card, opening an account or managing some investments. At one point, you’re bound to have asked “why do I need to fill out this form?” or “why is this so complicated? Don’t they want my money?”

If you’ve felt such frustration, then you’re statistically more likely to use another supplier next time. In fact, you might even choose to do so subconsciously!

Making the customer’s life easier

Look at Metro Bank for example; since the opening of their first UK branch in 2010, the advertising effort has put a focus on their convenience and customer-centric way of operating.

Famously, they allow customers to bring pets into branch, and even provide dog biscuits and water bowls for your furry friends. Also, Metro Bank can offer a while-you-wait service that provides customers with a payment card within 15 minutes of opening an account.

Services like these aren’t just a marketing gimmick; there will have been serious time and effort devoted to whether a 15 minute account is desirable and/or possible.

The process will have been mapped meticulously – from the moment you step into the store, to the moment you walk back out with a smile on your face (and with your money in their pockets).

So whose job is this?

Invariably, FS businesses will solicit the services of a management consultant for this kind of project. Organisations like Capco specialise in customer experience management within financial services.

Equally, the solution may be investing in permanent staff within the company whose role it is to relentlessly make their customer-facing processes cleaner. In this sense, customer experience has close ties with operational excellence.

In essence, a company’s ability to deliver an experience that sets it apart in the eyes of its customers serves to increase the amount of consumer spending with the company and, optimally, inspire loyalty to its brand.

Currently at Grovelands, we’re on the lookout for customer experience consultants within the financial services space. For more details on our current vacancies, please contact James Williams.

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