Banking Execs Reveal 6 Essential Drivers of CX Success

The importance of an effective customer experience strategy has increased markedly in banking. Yet many banks and credit unions still struggle to achieve even basic levels of personalization, according to a survey. The results point to key factors leading to improved CX.

There’s no doubt the Covid-19 pandemic drove massive — in some cases, permanent — changes in borrower and depositor behaviors. And all of it solidified customer experience’s role as a determining factor in whether a financial institution can secure — then retain and grow — relationships with depositors and borrowers better than its peers.

But developing a differentiated experience for financial institution customers requires smart, strategic, data-informed decisions, not random experimentation or guess work. And, as many have learned, throwing money at the problem doesn’t usually deliver the best or sustainable results.

So what makes a bank or credit union better at CX? How mature are banks and credit unions at CX? What have other financial institutions learned in pursuing better CX? What banking products are creating revenue from CX upgrades?

That’s what Total Expert wanted to find out in its 2021 Customer Experience Maturity Model survey. The results offer financial institutions important insights based on the firsthand experience of their peers.

Three Key Findings from the CX Survey

1. Organizations recognize the CX imperative

Survey results show financial institutions invest in a strategic mix of people, processes, and technology to support CX:

  • 80% implement new technologies,
  • 73% add new processes and procedures
  • 51% work with outside vendors to improve their CX
  • 48% add new team roles to support the CX function.

But when survey responses were segmented by CX maturity, implementation of new technologies persisted as the most common investment as CX matures, while the popularity of other methods come and go.

2. Personalization is underutilized by the majority

Today’s fickle, pandemic-weary consumers want more than simple, personalized salutations from their financial institutions. They expect to be proactively alerted about the products, services, and offers that meet their unique needs — without being inundated with marketing messages that bear no relevance to their personal profile or circumstance.

Unfortunately, the survey showed more than half of respondents still don’t achieve this basic level of personalization — 28% generally send the same messaging to all customers, while 34% attempt rudimentary personalization by manually segmenting data that originates from multiple sources.

Beyond the Basics:

Consumers expect personalization beyond ‘Hello Rachel,’ but more than a quarter of financial institutions send the same messaging to everyone.

When survey responses were segmented according to CX maturity, however, it became clear that the most mature institutions do indeed leverage connected data to send highly personalized communication to customers.

3. Institutions in higher stages of CX maturity prioritize strategies that generate revenue

Banks and credit unions today have a wider array of customer engagement strategies they can deploy thanks to their expanding online portfolios.

While survey results found nearly equal usage of a core list of customer engagement strategies, financial institutions with more mature CX appear to favor engagement strategies that deliver revenue growth (e.g. by focusing on customers with low debit/credit card transaction volume, low mobile banking usage, low online banking usage, and online application abandonment).

Three Steps Financial Marketers Can Take

Three key learnings emerged from Total Expert’s survey results — learnings financial marketers can apply to improve and advance their institution’s own CX.

1. The race toward humanization

Financial institutions are making organization-wide investments — staff, process, consultants and technology — to improve CX. Time to deployment will define winners and losers because organizations that excel at experience tend to retain borrowers and depositors.

Better to be Faster?

Building a CRM and customer engagement platform from scratch is not advisable when speed determines the value of upgrading CX capabilities.

2. Lay the groundwork for scale

Banks and credit unions across all CX maturity levels still suffer some level of limited data access, manual data segmentation efforts and an inability to send relevant, custom messages to customers.

Without the right technology, every new milestone reached in segmentation and personalization brings more manual work, especially when it comes to maintaining contact data. Identify tactics to reduce inefficiencies caused by the manual work — data manipulation, custom email drafting, compliance management — that bogs down both retail personnel and marketing teams.

3. Base CX upgrades on increasing retail banking revenue

Our survey shows that respondents in the highest CX maturity stages prioritize customer engagement strategies that generate revenue. Marketing and Retail Banking leaders should include increased debit card and credit card revenue in their business planning and reporting on CX upgrades.

Additional Resources:
Learn about other insights and firsthand knowledge banks and credit unions shared in the Total Expert report. Read “Customer Experience Maturity for Financial Institutions.”

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