Which Banks Deliver A Great Customer Experience?

The most recent Forrester Customer Experience Index rated the Customer Experience (CX) at 28 different US banks. The Forrester CX Index is focused very much on generating customer loyalty, which is an important variable to measure when the retail banking industry is experiencing so much disruption from direct and digital services.

 USAA led the field by a long margin with Capital One coming in second. When looking only at the traditional branch-focused banks the winner was the Navy Federal Credit Union, well known for their low rates and exceptional service.

Forrester analyst Dylan Czarnecki wrote a feature in the business journal Forbes exploring the results and he offered some interesting observations on how banks in the US can improve their CX and even use it to gain a competitive advantage.

Czarnecki focused on four key areas in his analysis of the research:

  1. Customer service is the most important driver category for direct banks’ CX; 73% of direct bank customers said that their customer service is good, so the bar is high for these organizations.
  2. Traditional banks will see the least loyalty benefit from improving communication; most banks are pretty good at basic communication – it’s almost always easy to find your balance. The question is how can they go one step further, advising you that you are overspending in restaurants this month for example?
  3. Customers want to feel valued; if interactions with your bank make you feel appreciated, confident, and valued then you are much more likely to remain loyal to that brand.
  4. Making customers feel confident is less of a driver for traditional banks; giving and creating a feeling of respect is more important than creating a feeling of confidence in traditional banks.

What’s interesting to observe from the Forrester data is how there is a growing divergence between digital and traditional organizations. Some commentators believe that this type of digital disruption will be the end of many well-known brands, but I believe the situation is more complex.

Many existing brands will fail to adjust and will go out of business, but it is the heritage brands that have built trust, advocacy, and a huge customer base over time – even in banking. If the traditional brands can see research like this and act to put the customer at the heart of their business then there is no reason why they need to lose out. They can still be a part of the future customer experience story.

Let me know what you think about how CX impacts an industry like banking.

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honeybee was created by people who've lived and breathed the challenges of complex retail businesses and contact centres, where creating exciting and engaging customer experiences was always threatened with speed to market pressures, legacy systems that were hard to intergrate and small project budgets.

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