Banks and the ones they bank on

Sharing information accurately and quickly with customers is critical when handling financial products and services. An effective CRM banking solution ensures that customer information from multiple systems is secure and available in real-time for all permitted users. It can be accessed using any web-enabled device and displays all relevant customer information as per the logged-in user's role.

A popular quote by Bob Hope - "A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don’t need it!" Most consumers would agree with Hope’s sarcasm and even go one step further stating that the opposite is more likely as of the post-recession era. 

As an industry, Banking is galloping towards higher technological advancements; database tracking software, mobile banking and incorporating real-time intelligence at each micro-step of their banking operations. The post-recession period has changed the short term vision and long term targets for banks across the world, focusing on customer loyalty, service and integration of feedback loop. 

However, a true measure of the success of its recent ventures can be gauged by the following snippets of this “feedback loop”:

“I have spent an hour today and at times spent over 3 hours ‘on hold’ being transferred everywhere by untrained staff. How can a company like this function? This is so irritating. I have 10 accounts with them and I have to move from here.”

“My wife and I needed to draw on the "overdraft protection" on our checking account. A week later, my wife paid back the money ($4125.00) via computer at 8:30 AM. At 9:00 AM the same day, I visited the local branch and paid the same amount by check. As soon as we discovered this - that very afternoon - I went to the bank to request the refund. IT IS NOW ELEVEN DAYS, THEY STILL HAVE NOT RETURNED MY $4125.00, AND NO ONE CAN TELL ME WHERE IT IS!”

“I should've known better then to open an account here, when the lady at the branch acted as if I was a bother to her and was very unhelpful. The reps are rude and today a Tina Smith just made me decide to close this account all together. She actually yelled at me! I'm sure the supervisor I spoke to will do nothing, but DO NOT BANK WITH *******!!!”

CUSTOMER SERVICE in logical terms is merely about every action that can provide service to a consumer. Banking is particularly a service oriented industry, which technically means that banks earn their profits through a mono-focused vision to provide superior service to consumers. Inspite of technological advancements, consumers complain of rotten experiences with bank personnel, delay in getting help and a confusing system of operations.

Clearly, the 360 degree view encompassing customer experience with banks provides legitimate evidence of the fact that banks ARE NOT LISTENING to consumers. Providing momentary help and solving issues immediately belongs to the passive stage of hearing complaints. The need of the hour is customer relationship management to actively participate in understanding their specific service related needs and providing avenues of staging a memorable experience.

Summarizing, the customer service complaints on the websites of various successful and large banking companies, it is apparent that consumers are simply seeking some relief to their anxiety with respect to banking solutions. The recession brought about immense personal and financial insecurity, and individuals are merely suffering from a lack of trust. Building transparent operational services, and inculcating trust driven customer relationships can eventually lead to a loyal base of consumers. Working with these directives to build a strong foundation, banks can then tailor their investments into higher technology to eventually save consumers’ time and energy.

Focusing on customer service to match customer needs such as sharing product knowledge, reachability, rapport, issue resolution and post-purchase feedback can prevent churn. A consistent consumer base leads to higher returns on investment (ROI).

Customers rarely share their good experiences with customer service personnel, but always use sounding boards like social networks to share bad experiences and ridicule poorly performing customer facing departments. Banks need to induce a ‘back to basics’ focus using a CRM banking solution at every operational step to ensure effectiveness.