Customer Behaviour

The results of an extensive study into customer interactions with banks have just been revealed by Clarabridge, Inc., the leading provider of Customer Experience Management (CEM) solutions.

Amongst the main findings: More than half (58.3%) of customers said that they are comfortable carrying out their transactions without speaking to a human being at all, unless they have complex issues such as loans, mortgages and financial planning (60.2%) to discuss or they want to double-check something (33.7%).

In addition, whilst 92.5% of customers said they used online or mobile banking, 11.9% said they were not aware of their bank’s mobile offerings and just under 10% (9.7%) think bank mobile apps are confusing. In fact, rather than using a mobile app 13% still prefer to call and speak to someone.

The research was commissioned by Clarabridge amongst 1000 UK-based bank customers with equal weighting between men and women and respondents aged between 18 and 100. The objective was to build a picture of the changing attitudes to banking, so that banks can identify where they can improve customer experiences but also make important strategic decisions about the services they offer.

Amongst customers who already use mobile or online banking, there is wide acknowledgement that it is quicker (45.2%), easier (14.7%), and gives a more convenient experience (15.2%), however, 8.4% didn’t think they could carry out all their banking transactions on their mobile.

Despite more than half stating that they are happy to carry out transactions without speaking to anyone, when all respondents were asked how they resolve quick queries with the minimum effort, the majority, 37%, prefer to do this over the phone and surprisingly, 34.9% still like to go into a branch. However, banks are not always able to respond to customer needs immediately as over a third (38.1%) report that when they have had to resolve an issue with their bank it has taken two or more interactions.

“These findings show that there are some conflicts in how customers like to interact with their banks, largely dependent on the query they have, and to meet their expectations, banks must be ready,” said Fabrice Martin, Chief Product Officer at Clarabridge.

“Better communication about all the functions that mobile banking apps can provide would help banks to lower their cost to serve and reduce the effort that customers are making to interact with them around simple queries. At the same time, when customers call the contact centre, agents need to be prepared with quick responses to quick questions, but also to be able to efficiently deal with more complex enquiries within one call, which will improve the customer’s experience.”

The research also revealed that customers are keen for banks to use the mine of data they get from recording their calls as long as they are used to improve the quality of services. In fact, 67.1% of respondents said that they don’t mind if it improves services. This will allow banks to extract information that can shed light on the most common queries, and how these differ to second or third interactions with customers. They can then improve their ‘First Call Resolution’ metrics by solving issues on the first call without any need for follow-up.

“This is important,” continued Fabrice Martin. “Not only do banks need to record calls to ensure they are compliant, they can also use voice analysis for vital insight into customer sentiment and to improve training for call centre staff.  We can see that most customers only call the contact centre when they have an important query, so the onus is on banks to meet very high standards when these occasions arise and that means call agents must be prepared.”

Additional findings:

Incentives and experience –
Amongst those customers who were considering changing their bank, 22% are looking for better incentives and 15.8% said it was for a better customer experience.

Being mobile –
Amongst those using a bank mobile app, 40% use it to track their balance and 31% to transfer funds.

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