Practical Strategies for Transforming CX in Banking
April 8, 2024

Customer Delight in Banking & Practical Strategies for Transforming CX

Creating a Customer-centric Culture in Banking

Culture eats strategy for breakfast, according to Peter Drucker, a man not known for hyperbole. This is truer nowhere more than when it comes to customer experience.  An organization that prioritizes products, operations and business lines and sees opportunities and challenges through that lens will not be able to compete.

At its core, a customer-centric culture prioritizes understanding and fulfilling customer needs over internal goals or product quotas. According to research firm Gartner, customer centricity is the ability of people in an organization to understand customers’ situations, perceptions, and expectations.  A corollary to this understanding means that employees at all levels are empowered to advocate for the customer and design solutions that address their unique financial journeys. Fostering this shift requires a multi-pronged approach and continuous improvement.

Six key strategies to build a customer-centric culture within your community or regional bank:

Metrics & Measurement

Move beyond traditional internal metrics (products sold, loans originated) and prioritize customer-centric ones like Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI), and Customer Effort Score (CES). Regularly track and analyze these metrics to identify areas for improvement and measure the impact of customer experience initiatives.

Personas and Customer Journey

As discussed, the creation of clear and well supported personas and detailed customer journey maps is crucial to enhancing customer experience.  Both will go a long way in developing a customer-centric culture. Operationalize rich personas and detailed customer journeys throughout your organization. 

Employee Empowerment & Training

Equip your employees with the knowledge, skills, and authority to resolve customer issues efficiently. This includes training in active listening, product knowledge, and problem-solving. Empower them to go the extra mile for customers and make decisions without needing constant managerial approval.

Embed customer empathy

Empathy is one of those buzzwords that sound good, but very few companies understand what it means, much less practice it. Customer empathy is the ability to identify more than a series of customer objectives or tasks.  It requires sensitivity to a customer’s emotional needs, and the ability to use active listening and other communication skills to and respond effectively. According to PwC, only 38% of U.S. consumers say the employees they interact with understand their needs. The creation of rich personas, and organizational understanding of journeys will help, as well as effective use of machine learning and predictive analytics.  At the end of the day there is no substitute for hiring for this quality, and conducting consistent ongoing training. 

Feedback Mechanisms and Recognition

Create open channels for customer feedback through surveys, social media, and dedicated hotlines. Actively listen to customer concerns, address them promptly, and share positive feedback with teams to reinforce customer-centric behaviors.

Incentivize Customer-Centricity

Align employee incentives (bonuses, promotions) with customer-centric goals like high NPS scores or positive customer reviews. This reinforces the importance of customer satisfaction throughout the organization.

The Case for Customer-Centricity: Studies by Accenture have shown that companies that embrace customer-centricity can achieve up to an 80% increase in customer retention and a 25% increase in revenue. For example, USAA, a customer-owned financial services company consistently ranks at the top in customer satisfaction, demonstrating the tangible benefits of prioritizing customer needs.

By implementing these strategies and fostering a culture that prioritizes customer well-being, community and regional banks can differentiate themselves in a competitive market, build lasting customer relationships, and drive sustainable growth.

Transform your banking CX today! Contact us for expert guidance and customized solutions to elevate customer experience and stay ahead of the competition. Explore our whitepaper for more insights and strategies for banking success.

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