Many financial service providers have customer centricity as a value or focus, but when it comes to customer experience, very few actually deliver.

That’s what Datacom found in 2021 after large-scale research into customer experiences with 16 Australian banks. We analysed over 1,500 interactions across the different channels offered by the providers. We then validated the findings by observing customers navigating the available channels.

Using the analysis, alongside unsolicited feedback from customers on social media channels and product review sites, it became immediately clear that few providers were taking the customer’s viewpoint into consideration.

That suggests simply getting the basics right could be an opportunity to differentiate and delight within the banking sector.

Take an outside-in approach

A key insight from our research suggests an outside-in approach will set leaders of customer experience (CX) apart. Often only small adjustments are needed to give customers a feeling of ease, speed, transparency and value. This may only require a simple process change, focusing on metrics that matter to the customer, or improving channel functionality.

Another opportunity could be to deliver omnichannel customer service, while upskilling banking staff so they approach enquiries with empathy, rather than transactionally.

Measuring CX with the customer in mind

Knowing what and how to measure your CX can be challenging. We often find business key performance indicators (KPIs) can contradict CX measures, and leaders easily become consumed in customer satisfaction (CSAT) and net promoter scores (NPS).

Instead, we recommend moving away from these traditional measurements, to elevating the voice of the customer. For example, focusing on handling times, rather than time to resolve, may do little to move the needle towards delivering better customer service.

Build contact strategies around customers

The all-too-common failure of large-scale digital transformation projects is often caused by failing to centre the customer. Let's take a classic business case of introducing a chatbot to ease demand on contact centres. Customers get a general response to questions, and more personalised or complex questions are deflected to contact centres. Over time, the chatbot will become more optimised based on customer use and top questions. That sounds excellent on paper, but putting the customer at the core would move the organisation to take one more step — solving issues before they become enquiries.

By implementing solutions to common problems instead of shifting demand, companies can ease pressure on contact centres and improve customer experience.

Partner with customer service leaders to scale voice of customer efforts

The observations in this report are a small example of how immersing ourselves in the customer experience of an organisation, from the outside in, can quickly put a different lens on how a business performs against operational KPIs compared with customer effort and potentially failure demand being processed by the business.

The Datacom customer forensics programme can offer unbiased insights into your customers’ experiences across each channel. This gives you the basis for a contact strategy in which customers are empathetically supported, building loyalty, trust, and endorsement.

It’s time to take the lead

Our research has highlighted that the entire banking sector struggles to deliver on the basics of customer expectations. This means there is an opportunity to differentiate and delight within the banking sector — all it takes is for one organisation to be bold enough to follow the voice of the customer and lead with metrics that truly matter.

Chloe has been part of the professional services team within Datacom since 2012, with prior experience in financial services. She has over 10 years' experience in contact centres across frontline leadership and support services roles in government, financial services, and insurance.

Related industries
Financial services
Related solutions
Customer experience