How Do You Prefer To Connect with Your Bank? [VIDEO]

Posted by
Erin Kang
LivePerson Contributor
Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - 15:04

According to a report from Juniper Research, 590 million global mobile phone owners will use their device for banking purposes. In 2017, that number will exceed 1 billion.  In fact, “about one-third (32%) of U.S. adults, or 35% of cellphone owners, now bank using their mobile phones … and 51% of U.S. adults, or 61% of internet users, bank online,” (Pew Survey). 

Forrester found that more than 75% of consumers  go online to pay bills, apply for loans and credit cards, research investments, or trade stocks and bonds. Throughout what can be at times a complex and detailed process, brands have the opportunity to intelligently engage customers at key moments and help them successfully complete financial activities.

It’s clear that more and more consumers want to connect to their banks digitally. So how can we meet their expectations, and how can banks improve the experience in these channels? We know the stats, but contextual insight into how consumers prefer to connect with financial services providers, and how happy they are with customer service channels is critical for improvement.

To find our answers, we hit the street—Wall Street specifically—to ask people how they connect with their financial service providers, and how happy they are with their customer service. This post and the video below detail real consumer complaints, preferences, and suggestions for better financial service experiences.


How do consumers prefer to access their bank?

There are many channels available to today’s financial customers—they can bank online, go to the nearest teller, drive or walk through an ATM, call, or download an app. So which method do consumers prefer and why?

Based on our interviews on Wall Street, we found that for some, it’s a mix of digital and in-person channels, like using the ATM, banking online, and going into the bank. Others, however, have a strong preference for digital access and “try at all costs never to go into a bank.” For example, one person interviewed uses a banking app—and checks it “a few times per day.”

When asked why a consumer prefers online or mobile access to their banks, we heard the following:

  • Time is an issue. “I don’t have to necessarily go into a bank to see what’s going on.”
  • Digital engagement offers privacy. “Usually when I’m thinking about is during the workday, not necessarily when I’m at home when I want to relax. So it’s easy if I can go on and see what’s happening without having to involve any of my coworkers in the discussion.”

What do consumers consider a  “bad service experience”?

When asked, “Have you ever had a frustrating customer service experience?” consumers shared their annoyances.

  • In-Person: Some are frustrated when they go to a bank only to encounter unfriendly and disengaged tellers. As one respondent put it: “You’re dealing with my money, you need to actually look at me, see who I am, talk to me, get to know me because I want to know you—you’re actually handling my money.”   

Tip: Listen to your customers when they reach out to engage with you, and don’t forget, a little smile goes a long way. Listening includes affirmative body language, as well as helpful, and personalized questions and responses.

  • On the Phone: Customers get frustrated when requests aren’t met, and then they have to call again to repeat the scenario. “When they say they’ll do something and it’s not done, then you have to call back, go through the whole process again.”

Tip: Share consumer notes, requests and history across your team and in real-time. Don’t let your customer end the conversation until their problem is solved. Also, consider offering live chat, where a pre-chat survey and authentication form will help you identify the returning customer.

  • Online: Consumers are frustrated when they seek information and find generic, unhelpful answers. “The most frustrating thing is when you actually go to customer service and there’s pre-written instructions for your pre-described problem, and usually that are not very helpful.”

Tip: Make sure your website FAQs are helpful, up-to-date, and consider offering click-to-chat or click-to-call options on the FAQ section in case your customer’s answers are still not answered.

How do you resolve your banking issues?

We asked consumers: “When you do have an issue, how do you go about resolving? How do you connect with your bank?”

One customer took us through this preferred method: “I try chat first because it’s fast and easy.” If that doesn't work, he calls a number of someone he knows, such as a local bank or teller. From there, he’ll go to the bank Saturday morning. Remember, many don’t have time to physically go to a bank during weekday office hours.

Another preferred live chat because, “you don’t have an hour to wait around, so I really like when [banks] have the chat sessions … I didn't have to wait on hold, or go through any menus. Just click, and it’s right there to talk to someone.”

The Digital Reality

Digital banking is no longer a novelty, it is a reality. Not only do consumers today trust digital banking, they actually prefer the convenience of online and mobile. And as more connect to their banks on the go, and at their fingertips, their expectations evolve as well. They want a seamless customer experience, and they want assistance to be immediate and personalized. In an industry where customer experience is the key differentiator, financial services organizations can’t afford to neglect consumer preferences.

LivePerson’s goal is to help banks deliver meaningful customer experience on all channels, and in real time—improving customer satisfaction and loyalty. See how to better engage your customers online with LivePerson’s Financial Services solutions.

Let us know about your banking experiences, challenges and recommendations in the comments below!

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