Banks are not taking full advantage of their online banking platforms, despite increasing customer engagement in the channel, according to a consumer study by Cable&Wireless Worldwide.
Sixty percent of consumers say that online banking has become the most valuable factor to engagement over the past two years, ranking it higher in value than banks’ trustworthiness and even their return on their money in the bank.
Cable&Wireless Worldwide has long-term relationships with most of the world’s leading banks and in the UK provides communication solutions to eight out of 10 of the leading retail banks. This includes integrated social media and online channels with banks contact centre and branch environments, and also connectivity to over 70% of contact centre agents with their customers and 4,000 UK ATMs.
The research also finds that online channels typically deliver only functional banking services, but that around half of customers want banks to incorporate social and human aspects of customer service – such as more personalised customer service and tailored advice – into online banking.
Untapped customer contact opportunities
The study suggests there are untapped oppportunies for customer contact in new technologies such as mobile technology, social networking and video conferencing. Customers are not using newer communications channels for buying products, but rather as channels for gleaning advice and information. But only 1% of consumers, who have sought advice from banks in the last month, have done so through video conferencing. Mobile phone applications (1%) and social networking (1%) are of similarly low incidence.
Michele Metcalfe, Director of Banking & Financial Services at Cable&Wireless Worldwide, says, “Consumers increasingly prefer remote interaction, but also want good customer service, greater trustworthiness and a fair level of engagement with the banks. These findings suggest that financial institutions have an opportunity to better meet customer preferences by investing in the right online innovation.”
- 33% of bank customers have been called Stressed Technologies because they have busy lifestyles (professional full time jobs). They find using technology easy and convenient and they use the online system for both functional banking, problems solving and buying new products. For them, social and human aspects of banking (ie more personalised customer service, tailored advice and help) delivered online would improve their satisfaction with banks.
- 22% are Stressed Complainers (like the Stressed Technologies but by their nature they are hard to please and very demanding). These adults still make heavy use of the online system but when problems arise they switch to telephone contact. This group of adults indicate a potential for enhancing the online system with greater compliant handling capabilities.
- Consumers want banks to offer both virtual and personal services
- Virtual banking threatens traditional bank sales systems
- Smaller banks face widening gap in mobile banking
- Mobile banking apps may keep customers loyal
- Majority of U.S. & U.K. businesses use Facebook, Twitter for customer service
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