Consumers want to feel local and personal when interacting with financial services companies. New research by BT and Avaya shows consumers want personalised services to be at the centre of their multichannel relationships when dealing with personal finance matters.
A whopping 73% of customers in the UK – and a similar number in Germany, Spain and the US – see their local branch as the most vital link with their bank in the future, the research found.
The local branch is second to cash machines. Since the use of telephone, mobile and internet banking is growing, it seems that the focus for financial services companies in establishing and maintaining relationships with consumers, should be on enabling personalised experiences across all relevant channels.
Despite the preference for direct relationships, consumers are interested in new ways of dealing with their finances, including web-chat, co-browsing and video-chat.
Multichannel: keep it personal
Mobile banking is becoming more important as well. However, social media are seen as an appropriate forum for financial conversations by just a very small percentage of respondents. Even to resolve customer service issues in banking, social media are not held in high regard.
The preferred way of voicing complaints or dealing with customer service questions is by telephone.
Financial matters are very personal. Financial services companies should embrace the multichannel opportunity but proceed with care and focus on digital interactions, whereby the personal and relational component is strong, as is the case with chat and co-browsing, for instance.
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