3 Ways For Financial Service Companies to Improve Customer Experience
Whether you’re a home loan company, a credit union, an insurance broker or any other financial service company – consistently delivering on your brand promise is mission critical. But as financial services scale, initiating more transactions to more and more customers, sticking to that promise becomes increasingly challenging. Unhappy customers slip through the cracks and repeat business and referrals suffer as a result. So how can you iron out the creases, and tackle the inconsistencies in your customer experience? How can you make every customer feel equally blown away by their experience, no matter the branch, location or employee they visit?
Here are some tried and tested solutions.
Become a Service Standard Master
For customer-facing teams to be able to consistently deliver awesome experiences, they need to know what awesome looks like first. Financial service brands who not only set clear service standards, but make them visible to both their staff and customers (a service standard master) deliver more consistently awesome experiences than those who don’t.
Here are the 4 steps you need to take:
- Set the Standards: What are the 5-6 things that you promise to your customers?
- Make the Standards Consistent: Make sure every branch and location are using the same standards. Creating consistently in your standards is step one to creating consistency in your service delivery.
- Make Every Employee Aware: Every single individual in your team should be able to recite your service standards with their eyes closed. They should know exactly what they need to do to create a 5-star experience every time.
- Make Your Customers Aware: Making your customers aware of your service promises shows your commitment to service and balances customer expectations.
The State of Frontline Work Survey, which analyzed 215 service businesses, many of which were in the financial service industry, found that just 17.7% of businesses had consistent, documented service standards that were made available to customers and staff. That’s just 17.7% of businesses who are nailing the four steps above.
Collect Streamlined & Regular Customer Feedback
Tackling inconsistent service delivery using long, irregular customer surveys is a non-starter. To understand where your inconsistencies lie AND how to fix them, you need to be collecting and sharing streamlined real-time customer feedback with your frontline teams after each customer interaction.
New Zealand Home Loans (NZHL), a home loan and insurance provider used to survey their customers annually. Head of Customer & Product Chris Wong said the surveys provided “pretty good” feedback and “a good level of insight.” However, getting feedback to the frontline was a manual process, and the delay between receiving feedback from customers and giving it to the frontline could take up to 3 months. By the time the frontline received feedback, they “had already lost the chance to follow up or solve the issue”.
After switching to streamlined and real-time feedback based on the NPS framework, Chris and his team gained clarity on how customers felt at a big moment in their journey, which helps the frontline understand what matters most to their customers, and create a more consistent level of service. As a result, they saw a massive 7x increase in referrals in a year, accounting for an additional $530K in revenue.
When you collect streamlined and regular feedback, you can understand where you are meeting your service standards, where you are not, and what to do about it – which helps tackle inconsistencies to the ground.
Use Feedback to Coach Your Lowest Performers to Match Your Best
The magic of small, regular and actionable soundbites of feedback can go a long way, especially when you can use it to coach your frontline teams for daily improvements. Inconsistent service delivery is often there because of differences between your highest and lowest performers. Let’s say that John’s performance from said brand is superb, but Sandra’s performance from said branch in another location could use a little polish. How can you get Sandra up to John’s level?
With regular pieces of actionable feedback, you can personally coach your lowest performers to match your best. When you deliver coaching in small, actionable doses that are specific to each person, it makes coaching more realistic, efficient and motivates your team to keep improving, little by little, day by day. Plus, coaching using actual customer sentiment ensures that you are coaching to what matters the most to your customers, instead of generalized CX training that’s full of generalizations and irrelevant jargon.
Before DebitSuccess, one of the largest full-service direct debit management services in Australia and New Zealand used this approach to coaching, they were majorly struggling with inconsistent service delivery. Frontline staff in offices throughout the globe were delivering varying levels of service, which subsequently resulted in varying levels of customer satisfaction. Without consistently delivering awesome customer experiences, DebitSuccess was losing out on repeat business, referrals and ultimately revenue growth.
After switching to coaching based on customer feedback, individual solution center agents saw dramatic improvement in their performance. Agents who ranked in the bottom third, increased on average 21.5 NPS to more closely match the high performers. Debitsuccess went from having an inconsistent service delivery and a lack of empowerment amongst frontline employees, to winning on customer experience and satisfaction through real time customer feedback and evidence based coaching conversations.
Smoothing out the inconsistencies in your customer experience can feel like an impossible feat. With so many teams, branches and individual employees to lift to the same awesome standard, it can all feel a little overwhelming. But with the right service standards, real-time feedback and personalized coaching in place, it doesn’t have to be as hard as it seems.
Curious? Learn more about how some of the world’s leading financial service providers have cracked it using this very approach.