Customer Experience

How to Stop the Telephone Game in Banking Customer Experience

The whole point of the telephone game is garbled communication. It can be hilarious to see how a message morphs into a ridiculous statement as it is passed along. However, this kind of miscommunication happens in banking customer experience delivery, too, and in that case, it's not funny.  

If the message gets through clearly, there can still be communication issues in banking customer experience. It's like that famous banter between Abbott and Costello, where Costello becomes more and more frustrated trying to understand Abbott’s summary of a baseball game. He doesn’t know a key piece of information: the players have the unique last names of “Who”, “What” and “I Don’t Know”. The conversation goes off the rails because Costello lacks important details he needs to understand context. 

Information and communication challenges affect banking customers but also employees

Unfortunately, banking CX - (actually CX in any industry) can suffer from similar communication and knowledge gaps. Because customers entrust sensitive information and, of course, their money with their financial institution, they become understandably frustrated, like Costello, if their needs are not understood.

Internal CX teams inside financial services also have challenges, though. Operationally, the banking industry is filled with data silos inside legacy systems fortified over years and overlaid with custom code. That data often languishes and remains unconnected. Gartner estimates that 97% of data sits unused inside corporate platforms.

These data silos hold valuable customer detail but when they remain bespoke to individual lines of business, employees can only see a sliver of a customer’s relationship with the organization. Furthermore, that doesn't even consider all of the valuable interactions that occur with other service providers outside the financial institution walls, like core or payment processors.  Because these companies, teams, platforms and third-party providers are not sharing data back and forth in real time,  it can feel like a disconnected, impersonal experience to a customer. CX suffers, and customers, who now have more choices than ever, often decide to explore other options for their financial services goals. 

Unfortunately, your partner’s CX becomes your CX. If you are not working together using shared visibility in real time to collaborate and solve a customer's needs, the customer journey can fall apart and your brand may take the fall for a flawed customer experience you don't fully control.

Bank Customer Experience Research

Top analysts have studied the impact of subpar customer experience on business outcomes overall and on customer retention in financial services specifically. Each analyst comes to the same conclusion - if banking customers experience poor customer service, it will negatively affect a financial institution’s bottom line. These customer experience banking statistics tell the story:

How to Improve the Customer Experience in Banking

To overcome CX confusion that leads to a “who’s on first, what’s on second, I don’t know who’s on third” type of communication breakdowns with banking customers, financial institutions have to improve three main things:

  1. Learn Who: If you can’t see your customer experiences with partners and service providers or even across your departments, that has to be fixed. It’s impossible to improve CX without a full view of a customer’s experiences across your organization.
  2. Evaluate What: Once all of your customer’s experience and operational data is aggregated and unified in a single place, you need to ask “Now what?” The best way to do that is to apply AI intelligence to do the heavy lifting and uncover customer experience trends, and insights about what’s working and where there’s friction. Then, act to refine journey flows, apply automations and incorporate the next-best actions recommended by AI to improve journey effectiveness.
  3. Eliminate “I don’t know”: No company should put their employees in a position where they can’t find information to quickly help a banking customer. AI capabilities like case and customer summarization and intelligent knowledge delivery that can be surfaced with just a prompt put the vital information agents need, at the moment, right into their hands.

Individually, these banking CX best practices can transform how a customer experiences their banking, and when implemented together,  the impact can be profound. 

Learn Who: A Connected Customer Experience In Banking Is Essential  

What issues can be solved in banking CX by connecting all of a customer’s information across the entire financial services value chain? 

Confusing or missing communication: One of our clients discovered in a customer journey mapping session with us that their commercial customers were receiving 13 different emails from the bank, the payment provider, the equipment manufacturer, and the core provider during an onboarding journey. All came adorned with different branding and conflicting messages. No wonder the customer felt they were dealing with multiple companies instead of their bank... they were. Other times in that same journey, they received no communication at all, so they assumed nothing was progressing. 

Clumsy or missed handoffs: Handoffs between departments or channels are notorious drop-off points where financial institutions can lose customers. Seams are exposed and breakdowns occur because the journey has jumped to a different team with no visibility into what’s happened so far in their journey and what’s happening next.

Siloed platforms, disconnected internal and external teams: Each functional area creates processes and workflows that are highly efficient for their specific part of a customer journey, but what happens when a customer has to engage with multiple areas or organizations? The efficiency isn’t spread horizontally -only vertically. Sharing information helps multiple teams and organizations appear, to the customer, to be a single, unified team.

In OvationCXM’s research, we learned 76% of businesses had abandoned financial services onboarding, and the number one reason was too many people and systems involved.  

Today’s fintech and banking partnerships leverage robust ecosystems which can enable faster time to market for more of the products and services customers want. But what this research shows is customers don’t like being exposed to all of these organizations to acheive their objectives. 

OvationCXM created its connector network to solve this very problem, and we are the only one that has taken an ecosystem approach to managing customer journeys. The research bears it out - if you can't see all of your customers’ interactions throughout a journey, especially with third parties, you can’t manage their CX. Period.

What: Connected data + AI = future of customer experience in banking

For decades, companies have complained about data silos because they slow down support teams, leave them without the information they need to service customers quickly or make data-driven decisions. With the emergence of AI, bulldozing data silos takes on even greater urgency. 

Companies should be implementing infrastructure now to solve data fragmentation for good if they want to maximize the insights and efficiency of AI because AI is only as powerful as the data it's fed. The best customer experience management platforms should be aggregating customer interactions housed inside legacy systems, CRMs, case management systems, voice of the customer platforms, phone systems, chat and SMS conversations, and case notes as well as the platforms used by vendors and partners that fulfill part of the customer journey. 

Once that data is connected, AI has the firepower it needs to analyze CX and recommend specific ways to improve the customer journey.

When these insights are coupled with hands-on tools that synchronize with AI to orchestrate journeys and optimize them, not in silos but across the whole experience, then AI+CX becomes powerful and impactful to the bottom line. 

Overcoming “I don’t know”: Using AI to Make Knowledge Accessible

Overcoming “I don’t know” has to be a core tenet for the future of banking customer experience because it's what customers expect. With such abundance of knowledge available at their fingertips, customers have little patience to wait for answers or to resolve issues.

In our CXM Impact Report, we asked more than 3,000 businesses about their commercial banking customer experience. We discovered the second most cited reason commercial banking customers walked away from onboarding was communication and knowledge gaps. And they had a difficult time resolving them - 70% of businesses said it required two or more contacts with their financial institution to solve an inquiry.

“I don’t know” is no longer an acceptable answer to most customers now that they can receive on-demand answers via ChatGPT or other AI models. Google's search results are now being curated so an online searcher doesn't even have to go to a webpage to receive answers anymore. These are the expectations that companies are up against.  

Thanks to the emergence of AI, information housed in voluminous knowledge bases, help documents, articles, product manuals and more can be surfaced via prompt and served up to support teams in seconds. The best CX management platforms can even pull in unstructured CX data like call histories, case notes, SMS, email threads and FAQs and turn them into case, customer and journey summaries that make this elusive, but very valuable, information available to everyone in the CX value chain.

Teams can’t know everything, and to expect that is unrealistic. However, when the right CX intelligence is shared with everyone in the value chain, they can be prepared to better service customers with less effort and downtime.

About OvationCXM

We are the only CX management platform for financial services that unlocks data silos between your and your third-party partners, like your core, payment providers, hardware manufacturers and more, so you have shared visibility across a customer journey and the knowledge and tools to curate ideal customer joruneys that have less friction, broken handoffs and communication gaps.

Eliminate data silos and unify information so you can orchestrate every detail of your customer experience from the journey steps with our drag-and-drop builder to the AI models that are best for every stage and use case. Own the full CX value chain even if you share it with your partners.