The financial industry is feeling the effects of digital disruption. Smartphones, tablets and wearable tech have forever changed customer expectations – and many banks and credit unions are finding themselves offside when it comes to customer loyalty. Instead of delighting customers with digitized customer experiences that are on par with retail stars like Amazon and Starbucks, they have fallen into the “Customer Experience Gap” – the chasm between what customers have come to expect from their service providers and what they actually experience.
Overcoming the Customer Experience Gap is especially challenging for many community banks and credit unions because they don’t have the deep pockets of big banks or the innovative applications of fintech startups. But they tend to know their customers better than larger competitors. This knowledge, coupled with a fresh approach to digitization, can help community financial institutions build the capacity to climb out of the Gap. That’s important because a new CEB report shows that a satisfying digitized customer experience is exactly what consumers are looking for.
In “The Digital Tipping Point”, CEB points out that just three years ago, over 1/3 of consumers preferred to bank via personal channels. By 2016, that number had dropped to less than 20%, with nearly a quarter wanting to do their banking exclusively via digital channels. The rest (58%) also preferred digitized services but still saw value in having access to a bank employee when they needed it.
In the “good old days”, customers naturally went to their PFI to obtain a loan, open a new savings account or conduct other banking business. Consolidating all that activity with one institution was the easiest way for them to keep track of their personal finances. But here’s the rub: as customers’ digitized experiences grow and evolve, these same consumers no longer see the need to turn to a single financial institution for all these services.
Now, they can use their digital devices to easily manage multiple accounts with different institutions or service providers. There are apps for almost everything, and consumers are using them to build their own information and resource networks. So, while your customer is browsing Zillow for a bigger home he may come across an ad for the perfect mortgage. Or maybe when she’s looking for a new SUV online, a great finance deal pops up, accompanied by an ad for an easy to use digital loan process. As a result, these customers are making major financial and life decisions without your bank or credit union even knowing they had a need. By making sure they know that the same great digital experiences are available from their PFI, you can go a long way to ensure they choose you rather than a third party supplier when it comes time for that new mortgage or car loan.
According to CEB analysts, the vast majority of consumers now take digital convenience and access for granted. Yet they continue to value banks and credit unions that understand their needs, respond with relevant information and help them stay on track with their financial goals. By building out your digital infrastructure you can start to bridge the Gap, moving from routine customer interactions to extraordinary customer experiences – every time.
Need help getting out of the Gap?
Download our latest eBook:
“The Customer Experience Gap – the real threat to Community Banks and Credit Unions”.