Change is catching up with the financial industry quicker than ever before and processes which stayed the same for decades are being turned upside down in favor of better customer experience and improved customer care.

With the rise of better technology and improved connectivity between businesses and their customers, market trends across the board are starting to look similar.

These trends and changes in customer mentality aren’t as industry-unique as they used to be and many are looking for ways to capitalise on the new expectations customers have in order to come out as a top competitor.

We’re seeing the same consumer expectations sprout up in drastically different industries, where some industries are being forced to go out of their way and come up with customer-centric services just to please the customer, even if these services do not correlate with their main offers.

Companies are coming up with apps, blogs, social media campaigns, etc… just to give the customer a sense of comfort and care. However, this is not a futile effort since results show that customers now, when won over with such service, stay much more loyal to a brand.

As such, the financial industry is no different. It’s true that it’s an industry that hasn’t had its fair share of ‘change’ in the past but the changing customer trends now are influencing it more than ever before.

The need for high level of service and better accessibility for nearly all processes is becoming a norm in the financial industry, and as a result, everyone is looking for ways to better understand them and use them to their advantage.

That’s why in this blog we’re going to cover some of the bigger shifts in consumer and market trends, in order to give you, perhaps a new or refreshed perspective on the newest developments in the financial industry for 2017.

Customer Success

With customer centricity becoming a more prevalent topic of conversation in many industries, industries that serve the customer and provide services which the customer uses to develop something, or succeed, are seeing a much higher need for an emphasis on customer success. Businesses in industries such as banking for example, where customers used to be treated like just a number, are now being asked to commit themselves to the customer in an attempt to aid their efforts in whatever they wish to achieve. This could be seen as a better deal that’s tailored to help the customer reach their goal such as a customised mortgage option or a more flexible loan.

Better Omni-channel Support

As customer service tends to be on the forefront of all decision making, a high degree of customer-specific service is becoming a must for many businesses that wish to provide an impactful experience. Because of this, many companies are looking for ways to combine all support channels so that customer data can be used in conjunction with service plans much more easily. We’re seeing the implementation of newer technologies for this very purpose with customers now using apps and e-profiles to easily reach support and other services.

Self-service

Self-service is a growing customer expectation that can be seen across many different industries, including financial. Customers are now more in-tune with the services they use and are able to do many things on their own, without the need for a representative or direct support. As such, support given to people who don’t require it or overly complicated processes for simple things, such as paying bills, lead to frustration. In the banking industry for example, simple transactions, currency exchange or in-fact the paying of bills, can be done through a single app, and customers are now expecting such convenience.

Convenience

No developments occur without improvement to convenience, no matter if we’re talking about trends or internal business developments. Convenience is always a huge talking point in the financial sector and now more than ever before, people are expecting services to take seconds, in-tune with their busy schedules. As such, the entire industry is looking for and implementing ways to streamline processes in order to keep customers happy. Today, this means the implementation of better customer service with quicker response times and the implementation of technology to make everyday services fast, e.g. ‘apps’.

By meeting the needs of the Modern Consumer, the financial industry can avoid headaches through genuine care for the customer and their goals. Newly implemented ideas from other industries also work since customer expectations are, and have been for some time, the same across the board.

We’re seeing companies such as Virgin Money going out of their way to differentiate themselves through customer service, and while others are doing all they can to get ‘the best deal’, Virgin understands that customer loyalty comes from the level of care they provide.

The bottom line is that customers now expect the same level of service from their bank as they do from a retailer, hotel, restaurant or even mechanic. It all comes down to customer centricity, and businesses that genuinely implement it will always get the customer’s seal of approval.

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Customer Experience Magazine

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