Researchers and practitioners in CX envisage that in 2022 and even beyond; aspects such as the omnichannel customer experience, advanced artificial Intelligence, virtual reality, interactive sales tools, personalised experiences, data security, instant gratification, CX-Centric approach and continuous measurement of customer experience are some of the trends that will dominate the CX space.
Our local banking industry or just CX in genera, might not have yet experienced some of these , however, snippets of such are already playing out and constantly reminding us that customers are getting more and more sophisticated, we need to step up and cater for their needs as well. Customer’s perceptions of banking brands do matter and ultimately decide if we deserve to be in business or not. Walls may remain, doors may be open for business, but the rates of customer acquisition, customer churn, attrition levels will always tell a story about your business and being immutable is certainly not an option.
Unabashed, my biggest gripe however is the fact that most local businesses and enterprises have not really understood the importance of getting CX fundamentals right. Creating and striving for an organisational culture that espouses and enables positive CX , devising strategies and tactics to operationalise CX, and finally continually and correctly measuring CX in all customer touch points, are some of the crucial building blocks to at least have in place as a starting point. If you are in disagreement I dare you to show me a riposte and let me into your world, let’s see how you are doing it and getting it right.
Elements such as customer satisfaction surveys are important, but how often do we carry out this exercise? How many customers do we actually get to hear from if we are only touching less than 5 percent of the base? What do we even do with the feedback once we receive it? You will probably have little success solving the CX problem that actually manifested more than 12 months ago, the customer has probably deflected to your competitor. Even with the famous feedback cards, manual or digital, a brand that has a serious CX agenda should at least reach out to the customer the day that feedback was given or in real time.
In financial services, banks have embraced the omni-channel approach and have given customers an array of avenues to transact and interact with their banks. It is these points of presence that should provide a litany of avenues for customer feedback regarding their experiences . It can be limiting to have these availed only when you visit a physical branch or after interacting with a real person? In advanced markets, upon performing a transaction at the ATM,banking APP or On-line banking, use of artificial intelligence through the use of robots to interact with you when you walk into a branch or when you leave. The rule is, experience should be measured at all touch points and customer feedback is taken into consideration and feedback analysed to build better experiences.
Recent trends dictate that banks should be proactive rather than reactive, being reactive is dilatory. Yes, sometimes a business needs to be reactive and respond to queries or complaints. However, the experiences should teach us what to do differently, or what to fix in order to minimise such. Succinctly speaking, CX has its roots in relationship marketing. The relationship between a customer and the brand is the end all and be all. Service providers need to sweat and ensure the relationship between them and customers work. Research has indicated that satisfied customers are more likely to recommend a brand to around 4 people , on the flipside, dissatisfied customers are likely to tell more than 10 people about their bad experience with a brand.
Therefore every moment needs to count in creating positive experiences. Being proactive as a brand would certainly come in handy, my wish is , before you tell your friends about my brand, I would rather you tell me about how ostentatious or bad my brand is , that way I have a better chance of making you my greatest brand ambassador or a room fixing my wrongs. I will certainly not be able to if I am only reactive, always too late, client could be already on social media, or escalate a complaint to the highest official in the business and this could have been easily prevented through putting the finger on the pulse all the time.
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