Banking UX

Improving the banking customer relationship – a simple, non-technical solution

Improving the banking customer relationship – a simple, non-technical solution. Photo by iPhotoDesign, Shutterstock.com
Written by Daniel Latimore

Daniel Latimore suggests a simpler method of improving customer service, using a couple of examples to underline how easy it should be for banks.

We’ve seen that banks are focusing intensely on the customer experience, and very often they’re using technology to try to make that happen, whether it’s through predictive analytics, bots or new branches. There’s another tack to take that can complement these laudable efforts: just be more human – and mean it!

I travel a lot, and have been reading recent stories of airline customer service disasters with a mixture of horror and disgust. Yet, some airlines manage to rise above this. Here’s a quick test – which airline offers this: a 2x4x2 business class seating configuration between the US and Europe, and then wouldn’t let a passenger switch to an empty seat in the same class? Is it Southwest or United?

Here’s the other one: Which airline turned a plane around on the tarmac when a passenger’s husband called because their son had suffered a grievous injury, and then rebooked her to the city where he was in intensive care, all for free? Southwest or United?

The answers are, of course, United and Southwest, respectively. So here’s my point: what would it take for your bank to have a reputation for customer service like Southwest’s?

Here’s one simple suggestion that has nothing to do with technology. It has to do with homes, the biggest assets of most families, and something invested with a tremendous amount of emotion. In the course of home ownership, I’ve received a really nice bottle of wine from a contractor (perhaps an indication that he was overpriced, or maybe a referral inducement, or perhaps that’s just the way he does business). We got flowers from our realtor. But never once has any of the banks I’ve financed (or refinanced) with acknowledged me with anything remotely personal. How hard would it be to send along a fruit basket, or a guide to the neighbourhood, or even a decent bottle of wine? If my contractor can do it for a job worth a few tens of thousands of dollars, why can’t my bank do it for hundreds of thousands? Just a thought.

READ NEXT: More stories about customer service …

– This article is reproduced with kind permission. Some minor changes have been made to reflect BankNXT style considerations. Read more here. Photo by iPhotoDesign, Shutterstock.com

About the author

Daniel Latimore

Daniel W Latimore, CFA, is the senior vice president of Celent’s banking practice and is based in the firm’s Boston office. Dan covers the banking ecosystem, digital and omni-channel banking, innovation, and core systems.

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