How Can Unified Communications Improve Bank Customer Acquisition & Retention?
While they might have differing opinions about which is more important, most customers look for two things from their day-to-day banking: low fees and great customer service.
Maintaining a high standard of customer service takes work. It ties up staff and resources, but is often worth it because it keeps customers happy and builds a reputation for your bank that encourages growth.
A strong Unified Communications application suite can increase your organization’s responsiveness to customer needs, and make them feel heard and valued, all while reducing the strain on your staff. Not only that, but you don’t need to be a global megabank to afford a powerful UC solution.
To illustrate how UC solutions can enhance the user experience, let’s imagine that a hypothetical customer, Veronica, is looking for a new bank. She’s considering an established local credit union with several branches. How could UC enhance her journey from a prospect, to a customer, to an advocate?
When Veronica calls the bank looking for hours, directions, or a representative to answer a few questions, that’s the time to make a great first impression.
While the credit union probably doesn’t have the staff resources to answer every call as it rings, a speech-enabled Automated Attendant system will help set the tone. Automated Attendants (“phone trees”) have been the norm for a long time, but replacing button prompts with speech commands can help an organization look more modern. In the era of mobile banking, customers want to feel like their bank is on top of technology, not a decade behind.
Once the credit union’s got Veronica’s foot in the door, they want to keep her there. It’s more cost effective to keep current customers than to keep advertising for new ones.
Mobile apps are the new frontier for banking when it comes to customer convenience, but not every organization has the budget to develop, deploy, and securely maintain one. An Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system can offer some of the same benefits (allowing callers to check balances, pay fees, order checks, etc. during off-hours) at a lower cost.
It is essential that Veronica feel that she is valued as a customer. While that seems obvious, a significant proportion of banks (30+% according to a Forrester Research survey) aren’t succeeding in this objective.
Surveys show that associating negative emotions with the banking experience evaporates a customer’s likelihood of staying with a given brand. As you’d expect, they’re just as unlikely to pursue additional services or recommend the bank to others.
“Making your customers feel annoyed, frustrated, or disappointed is the most harmful to their loyalty. Only 14% of disappointed customers will advocate for the brand, only 14% say they will stay with the brand, and only 14% will spend more.”
(Forrester Research, Inc)
How can UC help Veronica feel like the credit union cares? By being there when she needs them.
Given the size of the organization, a full contact center is probably out of financial reach. Outsourcing support is perilous as it can lead to frustration (those trying to help are outside the organization) and an erosion of the credit union’s “local, community” marketing. The solution? An informal call center solution that empowers staff and customers.
Such a system can allow staff to bounce between phone support and other tasks (such as paperwork) in a more efficient manner. Callers can not only be routed to the agent best equipped to help them (via an agent pull system), but those agents will be better informed thanks to screen pop functionality. If the wait time is unusually long, Veronica can be given the option of leaving a message or just her number. That way she can go about her day without being chained to the phone on hold.
As a result, the credit union can provide a more personalized, convenient level of service within the limitations of their available staff. When Veronica feels like her bank listens to her, she’s much more likely to tell her friends.
Upgrade your organization’s communications without replacing existing infrastructure
XM Connect is an industry-leading Unified Communications solution that slots in to your existing IT investments, expanding their functionality without requiring an expensive rip & replace. XM TeamQ, the informal call center solution, can be added as part of XM Connect or separately.
As an additional benefit, XM Connect works with a wide range of phone-system vendors, making it perfect for integration across branches established with different solutions or added later via mergers and acquisitions.
Let the communications experts at XMedius plan the perfect system for your organization, including the functionality you need without the costs of features you don’t.
Forrester Research, Inc. (2018). The US Banking Customer Experience Index, 2018. Cambridge: Forrester Research, Inc.