Consumers need banks, just as much as they need food, clothing, and shelter. But just as they have a wide range of choices for these essentials, they also have a lot of choices in the banking sector. If you want your financial institution to be competitive, you need to understand what consumers want, and you need to provide it.
New research indicates that banking customers rank the following seven items at the top of their must-have list when selecting financial institutions. Is your financial institution delivering these essentials?
1. High-quality customer service
Customer service still means a friendly smile when you walk through the doors, but increasingly, it also means well-tuned, easy-to-navigate digital experiences. Whether they’re dealing with chatbots or customer service reps, loan officers or online applications, your customers expect and deserve high-quality customer service.
Modern-day customer service requires a well-trained staff, but now, it also hinges on the right technology platforms. In addition to having these two elements in place, you need to create seamless transitions between them.
You also need to ensure you’re offering your customers the type of customer service they want. Some clients prefer handling customer service questions on their own. They don’t want to deal with a human if they can take care of it online or through an app. Others want to interact with humans. You need to pre-empt their preferences and give them what they want.
2. Low fees
Customers want low fees on checking accounts and other services, but they’re willing to accept fees when they perceive that they’re receiving value in return. When setting fees, make sure the fee corresponds with value. Otherwise, you risk sacrificing customer retention rates for short-term revenue streams.
Retail customers are twice as likely to switch banks if they’ve been charged any type of fee over the last three months. Fees are often punitive, and even if they aren’t, they can be perceived that way. Customers want to feel like their banks are helping them, not punishing them for small mistakes.
3. Security and fraud protection
Your customers trust you with their money but even more importantly, with their data. They want to know their funds and their personal details are safe from cyberthieves and scam artists.
Trust issues have always plagued the banking industry, and a lack of consumer confidence can undermine your appeal. To attract and keep customers, your bank needs a strong commitment to cybersecurity and anti-fraud measures.
Your customers don’t necessarily need to know every detail about your cybersecurity and anti-fraud measures, but they do need to know that those solutions are working in the background to protect them. Ideally, these processes should be relatively invisible.
They shouldn’t create hurdles for your clients. Instead, they should improve security while also enhancing the customer experience.
Your customers want easy access to mobile and online banking tools. They want to be able to manage their accounts, discover new products, and access banking services conveniently from anywhere. But they also still need convenient access to ATMs and branches.
5. Competitive interest rates
As banks streamline their onboarding processes, customers can easily go anywhere when they want to open a savings account or take out a loan. They will go toward the best rates. To keep your customers and attract new ones, you need to offer competitive interest rates.
Your customers need savings rates that help them beat inflation and earn a return on their investments. They also need low-cost access to loans. To stay relevant, you need to structure your offerings in a way that beats the competition.
6. Positive brand reputation
Banks receive a lot of negative press over their reputations, and they spend a significant portion of their revenue on marketing to protect their images. Customers want to work with banks that have a positive reputation. But, keep in mind your reputation can’t just come from clever marketing — It also has to be built on real experiences and interactions.
If your bank succumbs to data breaches or fraud, your reputation will suffer. If you don’t mitigate these experiences carefully, your reputation will suffer even more. At the same time, you also have to show a commitment to social responsibility by assisting customers through financial hardship and giving back to the community.
7. Different types of accounts
You need to protect your customers from theft and fraud. You need to provide them with great customer service. You need to build their trust with a positive reputation. But of course, you also need to give them the products and services they need.
Your customers need accounts, loans, and financial services tailored to their needs. They expect personalized recommendations and guidance. If you don’t provide that, your customers will find another option.
To be successful, your financial institution needs to understand what your customers want and make a plan to meet their desires. At SQN Banking Systems, we can help you provide your customers with the security and fraud protection they expect from a high-quality financial institution.
Are you meeting the needs of your customers? Do your anti-fraud strategies provide strong, reliable protection to your customers? We can help you answer these questions and create a path forward. To set up a review of your fraud processes and to talk about how we can help your financial institution improve its customer satisfaction rates, contact us today.