Dear Banks and Insurance Companies: Deliver a Much Better Customer Experience or I’m Out

I have have my personal banking, business banking, credit cards, car loans, and my mortgage all with the same bank (that shall remain nameless).

Do you know what I get in return for literally paying tens of thousands to the bank every year?

Reward points.

This is where I spend $100 on credit card, and the bank will “reward” me with 1 measly point that I can use to buy overpriced blenders, vacuums, and BBQs – if I live long enough to accumulate 400,000 points.

Yup, it blows.

How much do I need to spend to earn that deluxe BBQ in reward points?

via GIPHY

And it’s no wonder that here in Canada banks continue to make record profits year over year.

And insurance companies?

Even worse.

Whether it’s home, auto, life, business, or even pet insurance – when do you ever hear from your insurance provider other than when premiums are going up?

Never.

Banks and insurance companies rely far too much on this “passive revenue”.

This is where they take your money every month, but deliver little or no value “beyond the transaction”.

In other words, their customer experience sucks.

The good news for us disgruntled consumers?

It ain’t sustainable.

Why?

Because we are moving to a marketplace where customer experience is everything.

According to a Walker Study, 2020 marked the year where customer experience overtook price and product as the key brand differentiator.

According to a Walker Study, 2020 marked the year where customer experience overtook price and product as the key brand differentiator.


There’s an old saying, if your business isn’t marketing-led, you’re dead.

Now that’s changed: if your business isn’t customer experience-led, you’re dead.

Want a bit more proof?

Customer Experience Stats for Banking and Insurance industries:

  • $35.3B is lost every year by US businesses in customer churn caused by avoidable CX issues (CallMiner)
  • 3x greater return CX leaders outperform CX laggards in terms of stock performance. (Watermark Consulting)
  • 90% of Americans use customer service as a factor in deciding whether or not to do business with a company. (Microsoft)
  • Only only 37% of customers believe that banks understand their needs and preferences adequately. (digitalbankingreport.com)
  • More than 30% of consumers switched their bank providers in the past six to 12 months due to competitive pricing, customer service quality or value for money. (Accenture Banking 2020)
  • 61% of banking customers expect to have access to more online interactions across their entire customer lifecycle. (Accenture Banking 2020)
  • The CX health insurers provide is among the lowest the research firm tracks, ranking 15th out of the 19 categories. (Forrester Research)
  • Customer churn because of declining loyalty and poor customer experiences represents as much as $470 billion Life and Property & Casualty premiums globally. (Accenture Strategy Report)
  • Less than one-third (29%) of insurance customers are satisfied with their current providers. (Accenture Strategy Report)
  • Almost 75% of customers who attempted to purchase insurance online reported a myriad of problems. – (Accenture)

 

Okay, Now What?


I think we get it, CX is not just important – it’s paramount.

So as a bank or insurance company, where do you begin to build an exceptional customer experience?

We’re not going to solve all your CX woes in a single blog post, but we’ve put together a few things below.

Start with a CX Audit

Everyone wants to deliver a better customer experience, but 99% of companies don’t formally document all the touch points around the customer lifecycle.

As the saying goes, you can’t manage what you can’t measure, so start by conducting a full customer experience audit within your company.

To help, my colleague Sam Fiorella outlines 5 steps to conduct a customer experience audit here, but here’s the summary:

1. Formally document the customer lifecycle

You probably have different departments dealing with different stages of the customer lifecycle (e.g. sales and marketing with lead gen, customer service with client satisfaction), but you need to document ALL stages, which are:

  • Awareness
  • Nurturing
  • Conversion
  • Satisfaction
  • Loyalty
  • Advocacy

2. Identify customer touch points across the lifecycle

Reach out to all necessary stakeholders in your company and document all the touch points your business has with clients.

This can include social media, website, email, direct mail, customer services, trade shows, all the way to surveys and invoices.

3. Gauge the influence of each touch point the customer experience

With each touchpoint, your business’s prospect or customer is influenced to a continue to the next stage the customer lifecycle, stay where they are, or drop out of it entirely.

Each experience results in a determination of the value of doing business with you, and a perception of the difficulty or worth of maintaining that relationship.

4. Cross reference customer satisfaction ratings with customer value ratings

A proper audit will cross-reference customer satisfaction of each touchpoint with the influence that touch point has a decision to spend the same, less, or more money with your business. Or advocate for your business beyond merely continuing to buy it.

5.  Benchmark CX score and audit regularly

Your audit should benchmark experiences at each stage by customer and customer group that indicates satisfaction, as well as the effect on the customer lifecycle.

When aggregated, these scores become a benchmark that your business can measure customer experience management success.

(Note: if you’re looking for help auditing your CX, check out our CX Services)

 

See What Others in Banking and Insurance are Doing with CX

Positioning your brand is never about emulating, it’s always about differentiating.

That being said, it doesn’t hurt to see what the competition is up to.

Here’s some examples borrowed from my previous blog post, 5 Memorable Customer Experience Examples from the Financial Services Industry.

Voya Builds Long-Term Relationships Through Shared Values & Special Needs

The Voya Care program connects clients with specially trained advisors who understand the physical, emotional – and, yes financial – needs that come with caring for a family member with special needs.

OppenheimerFunds Prepares the Future Generation for Financial Success

excellent customer service in banking
Michelle Borré, Portfolio Manager, Oppenheimer Fundamental Alternatives Fund and Oppenheimer Capital Income Fund, assembles care packages at the firm’s Distribution Symposium in Chicago. (PRNewsfoto/OppenheimerFunds)

Financial services leaders like Oppenheimer demonstrate their commitment to future generations through continued outreach and empowerment programs on an ongoing basis. Engaging with clients from the customer call center and the front lines.

Metro Bank Takes CX in Another Direction

According to Paul Riseborough, commercial director of Metro Bank, the new business model is “a matter of fitting into the busy lives of our customers.” This new approach supported by digital technology allows bankers to develop targeted campaigns with a specific offer at the right time for every customer.

Wealthsimple Considers CX As a Core Business Value

By providing an immense amount of investment education, a reliable and personable customer support team, consistent email communication about investments, and designing it all to be simple and beautiful (even picking up a handful of design awards) Wealthsimple has used customer experience as the keystone to their strategy.

See 20 more unique customer experience examples here

Go Beyond Digital for a Truly Exceptional CX

via GIPHY

We’re all very, very tired of screens.

Another email, mobile alert, or zoom call is not what your prospect or client wants.

So what can you do?

Here’s what my colleague Sarah-Anne Savaria suggests in her recent post, Your Customers are Tired of Screens: 5 Ways to Connect with Customers Beyond Digital

1. Get Gifting

Corporate Gifting Excitement

One way to secure a spot in customers’ happy memories is through corporate gifting

A top-tier example of a company imparting memorable, personalized gifts is TD with its “TD Thank You Account”. In this 2016 campaign, TD customers across North America were surprised at their local ATMs and bank branches by a sincere thank you message from TD, accompanied by a delightful, personal gift. 

In the world of client gifting, TD’s campaign was a slam-dunk. It’s plain in the customers’ emotional response to these gifts that TD succeeded in truly making them feel special. 

Read more about corporate gifting here

2. Think VIP Events & Experiences

Guests Raising a Glass of Wine at Corporate Event

Experiences are everything.

Help your customers find and access these unique, exclusive (in other words, Instagrammable) experiences. By making your customers feel like a VIP, you’ll become the MVP of their contact list. 

For example, Morgan Stanley’s loyalty program, MS Reserved Living & Giving, offers exclusive discounts on first-class experiences like National Geographic expeditions, luxury bike tours, and yoga class memberships

Read more about experiences here

3. Involve Your Influencers

Business Meeting Discussion

There’s lots of ways to utilize your influencers beyond shelling out millions of dollars for a sponsored Instagram post, ways that can more profoundly improve your CX.

Consider getting your influencers deeply involved in a special project. 

In an influence marketing campaign by BONDAI, Acura invited influencers relevant to their target audience to drive their newest line of TLX cars on a race track.

The influencers got to test drive a new car, and got a whole bunch of exciting content from the trip. Immersing these influencers in the experience allowed them to produce richer content that generated millions of impressions in Canada alone.

Read more about involving influencers here

4. Create an Advisory Council

Team Brainstorming in Meeting

Brand advocates are the most valuable type of customers your business can have (FYI, they’re the ones who actually care enough to see your brand improve).

Why not take the opportunity to involve them further? 

Advisory Councils (or Advisory Groups, Advisory Boards, etc.) are formal groups of brand advocates created by a business for the purpose of getting feedback, ideas, and content from those who are loyal to your brand and true believers of your product.

Note that incentive doesn’t have to mean cash payment. Take the example of ECHO Inc.’s User Advisory Group (UAG), which is an integral part of its green industry community platform, ECHO Means Business.

Read more about creating advisory groups here

5. Network It

ECHO Mean Business Social Media Lounge Networking Event

In-person networking events are another COVID casualty, and let’s face it–the experience just isn’t the same over Zoom.

The appeal of the networking experience is in those informal, spontaneous interactions that are impossible to replicate virtually. 

Sponsoring or hosting a networking event for your customers–in-person, when possible–could be another way to level up your CX strategy.

Read more about networking events here

Finally, Consider BONDAI (self-promotion warning)

When it comes to improving your cx, we’re biased.

We built BONDAI to help solve a lot of big business problems, including:

  • Poor CX (or CX that doesn’t differentiate)
  • Low levels of loyalty and advocacy
  • Little or no true engagement

Banks and insurance companies typically have these problems and often lack client “stickiness” that a lot of consumer brands have.

BONDAI can:

  • Help audit your cx and build a measurable strategy
  • Build better relationships with prospects, clients, and even advisors, brokers, and employees
  • Provide unique engagement and experiences, whether it’s with a loyalty program or building a branded community
  • Create more brand influencers and advocates and help increase loyalty

Okay, I think you get the idea before this blog turns into a BONDAI brochure.

Take a look at our explainer video above or check out our case studies.

My point in all of this is that banks and insurance companies need to step up their CX.

If not, a lot of people like me are going to take their business to companies that do offer value “beyond the transaction”.

It’s going to be every business’ choice: be cx-led, or dead.

Deliver exceptional CX with BONDAI

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