Across the globe, banks continue to face new challenges. The need to keep customers feeling supported and happy while ensuring they remain loyal remains a constant and critical goal for the banking sector.
Verint’s recent survey of more than 5,000 consumers across Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X and Baby Boomer demographics shows that customer satisfaction scores have fallen for the majority of the 20 banks in our benchmark. Average NPS ratings are also lower than pre-pandemic levels with the goodwill afforded to banks during this time ending. However, our research shows that by focusing on three key areas, banks can improve customer experience and satisfaction.
Security and Fraud Protection Top of Mind
Banking customers are not only concerned about the security of their money, but also about protecting themselves against identity fraud. This is not surprising as fraud has risen precipitously over the past few years as more transactions are digital by default.
In 2021, the number of global cyberattacks per company grew by 31%, with Accenture noting “…the vulnerability and uncertainty (of the pandemic) was a breeding ground for new attacks.” With the rise of digital-first engagement, customers are more aware of the vulnerability of their personal information, so having confidence in their financial institutions’ security measures is growing in importance.
When choosing a new bank, customers say “security of personal information,” is the most important factor and “fraud protection” and “fraud alerts” closely follow as top factors they consider when choosing a bank. These security concerns highlight the increased digitalization of banking, which is also supported by the year-over-year decline in the importance of convenient branch locations cited by respondents and a significant increase in the relative importance of an easy-to-use mobile app.
While consumers clearly embrace the convenience of apps and websites, they recognize it puts their money and data at more risk, meaning security and fraud factors feature higher in their reasons for choosing a new financial institution.
Despite fraud and security being high on the agenda for U.S. banking customers, more than one-quarter of Baby Boomers don’t know if they receive them—despite “security of my personal info” and “fraud protection” being the two most important factors for 58-to-76-year-olds when choosing a financial institution. And nearly half of consumers over age 41 don’t receive fraud alerts because they don’t know they are available.
Enriching the In-Branch Experience
Over the past few years, banks have rationalized their brick-and-mortar operations amidst shutdowns and as digital banking has grown during the pandemic. Despite a shift towards automation and a more digital-first world, many banking consumers still value human interactions, particularly for more complex banking tasks.
The research shows that digital channels are popular for straightforward tasks. To research a product or service (57%), conduct a transaction (53%) or apply for a product or service (49%), a large portion of consumers first interacted with the bank on its website or mobile app or via chat/email to complete those tasks.
When a task is more complex, customers prefer a human interaction. When asked about the last time they needed to resolve an issue with their accounts, 54 percent of consumers first called the bank or visited a branch or drive-through. Baby Boomers were more likely than younger consumers to go inside the bank (27%) – at least 10 percentage points higher than younger consumers.
Nearly 40 percent of consumers who visited branches reported they were left waiting longer than expected. With the rise of fully digital fintech and challenger banks, ensuring the in-person experience is as straightforward and efficient as possible is vital to retaining customers. The banking industry is challenged with a scenario where the Great Resignation is meeting the ‘Great Recalibration.’ Banks are calling back furloughed staff, reallocating team members who were solely dedicated to digital channels and rethinking how to adequately staff bank branches to meet fluctuating needs for in-person service.
Given this new challenge, bank operations should consider the addition of digital technology to improve the in-branch experience. Digital channels can be used by customers to make appointments through online forms or automated messaging flows. Customers can receive reminder alerts and information concerning the appointment, while branches can prepare for the volume and timing of appointments and allocate resources accordingly.
Zeroing in on the Needs of Gen Z and Millennials
It’s important that banks recognize modern consumer needs and expectations, especially as they court younger generations. This is crucial as the most significant transfer of wealth in U.S. history is well underway as Baby Boomers begin transitioning assets to younger generations.
Over $70 trillion is in motion, underscoring the need for financial institutions to focus on understanding the needs and preferences of younger consumers.
In the Verint Experience Index: Banking Report 2021, Gen Z consumers were pleased with new additive fintech banking services including the incorporation of micropayment apps such as Venmo and Zelle. This year’s research shows a continuation of the need to incorporate ancillary financial tools and technologies to empower Gen Z consumers with financial literacy and the means to better manage their finances; Gen Z and Millennials specifically voiced a need for help cutting costs, tracking subscriptions, creating budgets, and managing expenses.
Banks must provide more services to support the financial wellbeing of their younger consumers or risk losing them to rivals. With the pressures of global inflation rising, a lack of assistance with financial management is likely to have a bigger impact on younger generations than it might have six or twelve months ago. With many younger consumers willing to switch banking providers, banks must offer products and services to help address the gap in Gen Zs’ and Millennials’ financial knowledge to build a loyal customer base for the long-term.
Get Your Free Copy of the Verint Experience Index: Banking Report 2022
Click the link for more information and to download a copy of the Verint Experience Index: Banking Report 2022. The Verint Experience Index™ (VXI): Banking Report is a benchmark survey of consumer satisfaction with 20 leading banks and includes Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) and Net Promoter Score (NPS) rankings and insights from a survey of more than 5,000 consumers across Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X and Baby Boomer demographics.
The VXI looks at banking proficiency across five key drivers that impact customer satisfaction: branches (convenience, location variety, service level); confidence (transaction accuracy, security, protecting PII); products (meet financial requirements, flexibility, clarity of terms); representatives (understanding, responsiveness, resolution); and services (account management, access, simplicity).
Verint’s methodology measures several key drivers of customer satisfaction to calculate how they impact CSAT, to direct banks to succeed in an era where customer journeys are more complex, and expectations are higher than ever.
About the Author
Jenni Palocsik is vice president, marketing insights, experience and enablement at Verint.