Banks need to pay attention to how business and retail clients prefer to receive communication. This is particularly vital in the business sector where stakeholders need fast, accurate information about their accounts and transactions. In today’s digital world, customers do not settle for excuses and promises that one day their needs will be met.
Let’s take a look at how customers want bank information communicated to them.
How Customers Prefer to Communicate with Their Banks
Customer preferences for how they communicate with their banks vary depending on the type of information they are requesting. For example, a retail client withdrawing cash may choose a face-to-face transaction with a live teller or a visit an ATM. It all depends on personal preferences.
Gallup conducted a comprehensive study that examined which channel, overall, customers prefer for different banking transactions. The study examined bank communication from two perspectives.
Here is what business and retail clients indicated regarding their preferences for various interactions with their banks.
- Customer needs to get account information or transfer money between accounts – preference is online banking.
- Customer needs to report an issue or ask about fees or service charge – preference is branch or call centre representative.
- Customer needs to open or close an account, complete a loan application or get financial advice – 75 percent prefer branch interaction.
- Customer needs to deposit funds, preference is branch.
- Customers wants to withdraw money – preference is branch or an ATM.
- Customers’ need to learn about what the bank offers, the most preferred channels are: online, visiting a branch, or speaking to a live call centre representative.
- To receive statements and pay bills – preference is mail and online channels. Most want statement by mail and online bill pay.
- For alerts, customer usually want to receive on multiple channels, including online, mail, and email.
What Happens When Channel Preference and Use are Out of Sync?
The study talks about what happens when customer expectations and bank communication do not align. Overall, customers used their preferred channels but some had a great deal of fluctuation with their stated. However, there was a lot of fluctuation, which suggests that there is a greater need for diverse access to all channels, whether human or digital, including after-hours access to certain information.
If businesses and retail clients cannot get access to their information, updates or questions, they become dissatisfied. When customers are less satisfied, they complain or defect to a new bank with more accessible means of communication. Unhappy clients who do stay will be less engaged with the bank than those who readily receive their information and service in their preferred channels.
Highly emotional, complex, and expensive transactions usually involve preferences for human interaction. This includes opening or closing an account, seeking financial advice and applying for a loan. If clients did not receive satisfactory communication in these channels, they often just went to another bank where they were better accommodated.
Lower Engagement Leads to Reduction in Customer Base
Banking executives care more about disengaged customers that have more money in the bank, such as small businesses. Businesses have more leverage with banks in demanding communication that works for them. Banks are more likely to accommodate businesses than retail clients because consequent declines in satisfaction and engagement from the business sector would result in a higher loss of revenue, profitability, and customer retention.
How to Optimise Communication Channels
There are a number of reasons why financial institutions are optimising their communications channels, including cost, customer preference, loyalty, and security. With todays advanced communication technology, banks and financial services companies need to build more real-time option for their corporate clients.
With more apps, services and devices available, it is vital that banks and financial institutions embrace the technologies that could provide their clients with increased convenience and a more personal experience. This is how customer loyalty and retention are built. Overall, there has been a higher level of investment in mobile and digital applications, as well as communication technology. The industry is attempted to service clients better and decrease defection due to poor communication and accessibility.
Better Communication Options
Operational inefficiencies and complex global multi-banking systems have created major weaknesses for corporate cash management. These haven’t been addressed since the financial crisis. To address these challenges, innovative solutions are required. New technology, such as SWIFT transfers and SWIFT payments allow corporate treasury and finance teams to manage multiple accounts across the various financial institutions. SWIFT also has a superior messaging platform that addresses customers across a variety of preferred communication methods: email, text and mail.
By implementing better communication, banks, businesses and customers will be able to function and operate together in harmony.