May 15, 2017 | Jason Veenker

What leading retail banks must do to maintain high satisfaction

Bank CX

While congratulations to those that ranked high in the latest J.D. Power U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Study (list below) is in order, the challenge for these banks (as well as others) is just beginning.

Today retail banks are asking themselves some pretty big questions. For instance, How do you continue to satisfy a nomadic, fickle, and multichannel customer, particularly one with ever-changing and increasing expectations? I’m talking of course about the next generation of customers, Millennials, which banks are on the precipice of missing out on converting.

Has there ever been a generation we’ve scrambled for more to ensure the solvency of our businesses moving forward? Note this quote from Jim Miller, senior director of banking at J.D. Power:

“There is no question that banks need to get the digital experience right in order to attract and retain customers, however, the branch continues to play an important part of the overall customer experience. The trend is particularly noteworthy among Millennials who represent the future of banking, and consistently demonstrate that overall satisfaction is higher among customers who use both the branch and mobile banking. Banks can’t choose between the two channels; rather, they must focus on how the two work together.”

While Miller’s assessment may suggest banks jump head-first into redefining their strategy to focus on branch and mobile experiences, there are yet more important questions begging to be answered: What specifically within those mobile and branch experiences should be improved? How do they contribute to each other to drive that satisfaction? How do banks make it seamless? What’s the right mix of capabilities online vs. in-branch? And keeping in mind that Millennials aren’t the only bank customers (and in many cases, aren’t the most profitable, yet), how do the mobile/branch experiences impact other customer segments?

The business discipline of Customer Experience (CX) — when done right — can deliver valuable insights about the expectations and needs of this highly demanding millennial generation. It can also provide greater understanding for how each customer channel is impacting other parts of the customer journey, aka digital contribution. Then, and only then, will banks be able to begin to unlock how to proceed in ways that result in enriching the lives of customers while meeting the fiscal responsibility of the bank’s business goals.

Take a look at your current CX program and start to ask these questions:

  • Do you have a technology in place that allows you to measure the whole journey — mobile and branch inclusive?
  • Can you account for segmentation of customers in these channels and across channels — including their wants, needs, desires, satisfactions, and behaviors — as a result of their experiences?
  • Do you have access to predictive insights to understand the next best action to take for each customer segment? When and where do you offer new products and value?
  • Do you know what steps to take to optimize the customer journey, as well as how improvement in one channel will impact the others? (Merely fixing a pain point doesn’t guarantee improvement; we’re talking real optimization that results in the biggest impact.)
  • Are your bank customers really loyal? Are they staying with you because they want to and will recommend you? Or, do they operate on purchased (reward program), restricted (lack of choice via geography), or convenience (easy access such as local branch) loyalty?

Getting customer experience right isn’t easy, but it is invaluable. So start asking the tough questions now, and challenge your program providers, partners, and supporters to deliver on the needs mentioned above. Doing so will ensure your bank has a stronger opportunity to make J.D. Power’s list next year.

For more helpful information on assessing and improving your bank’s CX strategy, download the latest e-book in our ForeSee Stairway series: Five Steps to Win on Customer Experience for Retail Banks.

Final note: Big congratulations to the top banks ranked in J.D. Power’s study for providing a more satisfying experience for conducting financial business… California: BBVA Compass; Florida: Fifth Third Bank; Mid-Atlantic Region: Huntington National Bank; Midwest Region: Wintrust Community Bank; New England Region: Rockland Trust; North Central Region: Huntington National Bank; Northwest Region: Banner Bank; South Central Region: U.S. Bank; Southeast Region: United Community Bank; Southwest Region: BancFirst; Texas: Frost Bank.

Categories: Financial Services

About the Author

Jason Veenker is a passionate advocate for customer experience measurement and serves as a trusted adviser for improving financial customer experiences with ForeSee. He brings over 13 years of partnering with Fortune 500 organizations to help maximize their technology investments. Prior to ForeSee, Jason supported organizations with their strategic business and technology decisions, most recently with Gartner. He earned both his BS in Marketing and MBA through Azusa Pacific University.

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