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Digital Banking

Boost Your Bottom Line by Changing the Conversation on CX

Joshua Jordan
Aug 10, 2021

Banks and credit unions have known for years that experience matters. We know that customers and members, particularly mobile-first digital natives like Millennials and Gen Z, expect the same speed and ease-of-use they experience with Instagram and Uber from their financial institutions. In the modern world, a digital offering can’t be viewed as simply a checklist item or a means to an end. Digital channels are instead becoming one of the main ways banks and credit unions build relationships and trust with customers and members.

The strategies haven’t changed – communication and timing are still the keys to unlocking a strong connection. What has changed comes down to the preferred communication channels and ever-increasing demands for speed and simplicity. Account holders want to reach their bank or credit union anytime, anywhere, and expect their digital banking app to offer personal service, in real-time, at their moment of need.

Financial Institutions Are up Against Growing Expectations

We tend to think of customer experience in terms of key events and touchpoints that we control. In reality, trust is earned with communication; and impactful communication depends largely on timing. Often, this means communicating effectively when things go wrong. Empowering customers and members to get help quickly when they see a fraudulent charge or misplace their debit card helps them feel protected and connected to your financial institution. We all know how important it is to help account holders resolve issues quickly before they spiral out of control.

When they need help, you have a very limited amount of time to take advantage of the interaction. In a survey by Zendesk, 65% of people who had a bad customer service experience blamed it on the problem taking too long to resolve. A further 72% gave a poor rating because they had to explain their problem repeatedly to multiple representatives.

We have coined this phenomenon the “moment of need to moment of resolution,” and we view it as one of the most important performance indicators for banks and credit unions trying to improve account holder service. In short, when people have an issue with their finances, they want to take action immediately. Even if that action is simply submitting a ticket through their financial institution’s digital banking app and getting instant confirmation that it was received, they feel better than if they had waited on hold.

What Do Your Customers and Members Really Want?

Four out of five people who use online-only banks say they would switch to a big tech company like Amazon or Google if they offered a bank. This statistic is shocking to many of us, given the numerous privacy and security issues we’ve witnessed with similar companies. Where does this blind faith come from? I believe it’s a dedication to digital experience above all else.

Consumers trust that companies like Amazon and Google will provide a frictionless online and app-based banking experience unlike anything they’ve witnessed before. They assume that, even if they do have issues, these companies will solve them quickly without making users jump through hoops. They may hate that Google repurposes their data in theory, but they love the convenience and personalization it enables. So much so that they would trust them with their personal financial information.

Let’s consider the example of someone who has submitted a support ticket because they noticed a fraudulent charge on their debit card via their digital banking app. Ideally, the bank or credit union should not have to ask follow-up questions that delay the resolution because they should have all of the user’s personal information immediately available. If they do need additional information, they should be able to collect it quickly and securely through the same channel the conversation was initiated in. They shouldn’t have to transfer the conversation multiple times to multiple representatives because they can handle each step of the resolution securely through the user’s preferred channel.

This is the experience consumers are accustomed to with other tech companies they’re loyal to, and it’s why they’ll gladly trust those companies with their finances even if they have no prior experience handling people’s money.

Meeting Account Holder Demands Pays Off

So, how can banks and credit unions step up to the plate? More importantly, will it really pay off? For Michigan’s Cornerstone Community Financial Credit Union, offering accountholders digital banking solutions and the ability to easily self-serve and chat with support representatives through their digital banking app has made a world of difference. CEO, Heidi Kassab, who joined us to discuss her experience in a recent webinar, notes that use of authenticated chat quickly exploded and became the preferred channel for members.

While certainly impressive, these results aren’t unusual. We’ve been excited to see the significant difference that authenticated chat has been making for our banks and credit unions. As we all have witnessed, Covid-19 accelerated the adoption of digital banking, but now is not the time for financial institutions to rest easy just because restrictions are lifting. In fact, BAI research found that 87% of consumers plan on maintaining their increased usage levels of their digital banking app after the end of the pandemic. Banks and credit unions must adapt quickly to meet continued consumer demand for building relationships and loyalty on their terms, and Jack Henry is here to help.

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