In today’s difficult economic climate, the relationship between banks and customers has deteriorated to the point that banks are finally realizing that some type of action is needed to regain the trust of their clientele. The ideal way for banks to rebuild the relationships with its clients is by putting them at the center of everything they do; this way, it will show that the financial organization takes pride in itself on customer service.
There are a few banks that do have “good” customer service and there are those that have made attempts to quickly repair their customer relationships, but, there are concerns about those banks that have yet to change their habits even after receiving complaints about terrible customer service.
Customer service is an integral part of a banker’s job, and customers would like them to care about their needs. One way banks are using technology to rebuild the relationship is by improving communication and increasing the number of communications channels available to their customers. Simply greeting customers by telephone or in person and assuring them they will be taken care of is all that they expect.
Gone are the days where relationships with banks were based on physical visits to a branch. In this digital age and focus on client-service relationship and transformation, nowadays banks should be fully utilizing all possibilities that modern technology and IT systems provide to give clients control over their accounts and take charge in their dealings with their financial institutions.
These days, customers want 24/7 service, and banks have worked in providing that through Internet banking, advanced call centers, mobile phone communication and now, next-generation technologies to improve customer service.
Some banking industries have gone as far as making significant investments in transforming customer service and banking relationships by utilizing one of more of the six transformative technologies, which include video, proactive outreach solutions, SIP, mobile applications, analytics and social media.
One of the technologies that banks are now using is video through computer systems. Cheaper and faster than traditional videoconferencing services, video through IT allows clients to converse with bank customer service specialist as they would be able to do in person, regardless of where the employee and the customer are located. This technology helps customers who would like a more personal approach but don’t have the time or possibility to visit a bank branch in person.
Banks are also tapping deeper into available technology for data analysis that can help them improve their customer service; they are even including social networks in their operations.
Even data capturing and analysis technology is being used by banks to discover flows in their customer service processes and to quickly figure out ways to fix them. Data analytics allow managers to isolate agents that don’t perform as they should and it also helps them to understand what went wrong in a single customer transaction.
Mobile technology is, obviously, the fastest-growing communication means for customer service. As the smartphone market grows, so does the number of operations that bank clients can do simply using applications while on the go. This is in addition to the wide use of Internet channels. This technology also allows financial institutions to be able to reach out to customers much easier and faster.
Prescient banks that have contact centers where they handle customer interactions have noticed fewer contacts through phone calls as a result of technology. There is evidence that more information is now being conveyed via e-mails, SMS messages and automated voice messages.
Another way technology is helping banks provide better customer service is session initiated protocol (SIP). This technology allows customers to input information only once to be able to access a variety of services across the bank’s different channels.
Customer service problems can also be spotted via monitoring of social media comments. Users nowadays look for and exchange information through social media channels and the reputation of companies is often built upon comments and posts from previous customers. Banks haven’t fully gotten involved with monitoring comments on social networks like on Facebook or Twitter (News - Alert), but it’s very probable that they will soon dive into that technology too to fully exploit its potential.
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