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Killing with Kindness - In the Financial Services Sector, How Much Is Too Much Customer Service?

  • elizabeth_keenan

We touched briefly on Customer Service in the Financial Services Sector in our post 'Financial Services - Driving Innovation & Transformation With Salesforce'. Today, we will dive a little deeper and discuss this topic in more detail.

It is not difficult to understand the importance of customer service for most businesses. However, with all the advances in digital technologies in recent years, businesses have to remain at the forefront of innovations and provide consumers with exceptional customer service. This particularly true for the Financial Services Sector.

In a world where there is so much choice, no one person or business is solely reliant on any one company. Whether it be a fintech brokerage or a bank, it has never been easier for consumers to switch institutions and move to a competitor offering better services and experiences.

Right now, it is a “Consumers” market.

How Much is Too Much Support?

Is it too much?’ ‘Is this going too far?’ ‘Do our customers really need this level of support?’. These are all questions typically asked when it comes to customer service.

So when is it too much? The simple answer is - it’s never too much. Money is a sensitive and confidential subject for many business and people alike. When dealing with customers, exceptional interpersonal skills and care on approach are always needed!

Jim Marous (Digital Banking Report) tells Forbes - "Customers don’t see a bank as a collection of silos. They expect convenient service from their bank, whether they are on a mobile, checking the call centre or walking into a branch to ask about a strange balance they noticed on their phone".

Now, almost two years later, this still an accurate and relevant description of how customers think. The key to customer service is to look through your customer's eyes.

As the world of customer service continues to expand rapidly, companies from all industries are at a constant battle to keep improving and exceeding their standards. Customers are getting smarter and expecting even more from their interactions with businesses.

Your Customers Are Comparing You!

Customers are always comparing you to other experiences, and, not just those of your competitors. They are comparing you to other experiences in different industries. They are comparing your level of customer service.

All businesses are your competitors when it comes to Customer Service. Whether it be an individual or a company, customers will want to do business with the companies who are the easiest to work with. They are often even willing to pay more for good customer service and ease of delivery.

What is Important to Customers?

Consistency & Convenience

When it comes to customer service, consumers demand reliability, ease of use and instant access to support.  As we said, potential customers will want to work with the most well-rounded company that will make processes convenient, while being precise and exact.

Personalised Experiences & Customer Satisfaction

Personalisation and Data-Driven Marketing

With so much competition in the financial services sector, it is no surprise that marketing teams in this industry are putting a high priority on retaining current customers. Companies are now marketing their user experience as a tool to entice any potential new customers who may be having bad experiences elsewhere.

Companies are investing a more conscious effort to focus on human interactions to create a personalised and emotional style of customer engagement.

A great example of this is U.S. Bank. Previously they had been building trust through individual entities of the company, yet customers were doing business with multiple departments such as mortgage, loans and investments. U.S. Bank could see that they needed to improve and create a unified customer experience.

They decided to implement Salesforce to achieve this unified and companywide platform. After implementing in 2009, the company began to see significant differences. Upon implementing Einstein, as part of their marketing strategy to focus more on customer data and personalisation, they saw an increase of 2.35x in conversions of top-ranked leads. Using data and predictions gathered by Einstein, customer service agents at U.S. Bank are able to understand their customers better and offer services and solutions which are specific to each customer.

"Salesforce allows us to serve our customers in the moments that matter most" -Bill Hoffman, Chief Analytics Officer, Head of CRM.

Other great examples of customer success in the financial services sector from our own case studies are Allianz Worldwide Care and Wonga.

According to a report by Econsultancy and Adobe when asked what the “single most exciting opportunity” in 2018 was, over 10% more industry leaders from the Financial Services Sector answered ‘customer service’, compared to other industries.

Similarly enough in the same report, when asked about other key areas, 60% of leaders in the financial sector pointed towards marketing and/or personalisation compared to that of 37% of leaders from other industries.

As we mentioned in our last post, customers are more open to sharing their data but want personalisation.

  • 65% of clients are willing to share personal data.
  • 72% of these want personalised advice in return. - Salesforce Investor report

Self Service - Allow Customers to Feel Self-Sufficient? Vs Phone Service - It’s Not Dead

In this day and age, self-service is not an added bonus or just ‘acceptable’ service, its expected. With today’s generation, customers/users want answers, and they want them now. They don't want to have to make a phone call to get that answer. While saying this, you do not want to eliminate phone options either, they will still require the option to call directly if they want.


Omnichannel’ has been thrown around in articles and reports about customer service for a while now. At the end of the day, most B2C customers do not really care about the term ‘omnichannel’ or how many channels you are available on.

They care about being able to reach you when it matters. Whether that be via a self-service community of a CRM system, through a social media channel like Twitter or an AI Chatbot on your website, they just want to be able to reach you easily.

Changes, Changes, Changes.

Rebuilding/Diversifying - A Big Trend?

Offering more options and services to customers - a trend or the way of the future? Things are changing in the financial services sector and many companies are expanding on their services. If a customer is happy with your customer service and likes your service/product, they are more likely to choose you for other services.

An example of this is ‘Robinhood’, a fintech brokerage. Recently, they announced they will be launching a no-fee Checkings / Savings Service that will offer 3% interest. While details are still being finalised, and success does not seem clear-cut, it is still a big step and raises the competition immensely!

Not only will it create more loyalty with their customers if done right, but it also creates new revenue options, and an opportunity to build a bigger customer base.

In the banking sector, Open Banking is on the rise. Open banking, in short, means with the permission of the customer, regular payments, spending habits, etc can be shared with authorised 3rd party apps and banks. For example, sharing with apps like Yolt or Revolut (both money management apps).

This movement is inspiring the financial services sector to invest in their own experiences. Not only are they doing this, but they are also creating their own competition, and teaming up with other institutions.

Mid-way through 2018, RBS announced they will be launching next-gen challenger mobile-only bank. What does this all mean? A new source of revenue, a new option, potential to draw customers from other banks. It all boils back to the same thing, what can you offer your customers that other businesses are not able to offer?

Excellent Customer Experience = Excellent Customer Loyalty

Chatbots / Mobile Apps

Chatbots and mobile apps touch on many of the things listed above - self-service, omnichannel, consistency and convenience. Having a customised mobile app for consumers to be able to contact/log issues on can be an easily accessible way for your customers to reach you.

360-Degree View of Your Customer/s

Salesforce Service Cloud and Community Cloud allow customers to be able to connect with companies on their own terms. Having a well-rounded CRM platform like Salesforce gives you a holistic view of your customer from the first point of contact.

If you have many excel sheets, data silos or misplaced data, your customers will know. If your business is not running well on the inside, it will be visible to the outside. There is a reason companies such as Salesforce, Google and Amazon are highly regarded! Having everything on one unified platform enhances productivity and efficiencies, so you can focus more of your time on your customers.

Earn Trust Continuously - Invest in Data Security

Phasing out anything that threatens trust is a regular practice for industry leaders. Good leaders create structures and processes to make trust continuous. Prioritising digital trust will give your customers more reason to remain loyal. Trust, as well as customer service, in general, is ongoing. Companies have to continuously work on this at all times.

Data security is something that you should always invest wisely in. Data Breaches? Lost information? These are things that will decrease customer loyalty. Unfortunately, once a data breach happens, that reputation can remain for a very long time. The best thing is to avoid the possibilities of it happening before it’s too late.

Be an Advisor, Not Just a Lender

  • Create good workflows
  • Know your product and know your employees.

Part of customer service is an exceptional knowledge of product/service, as well as the regulations. The number one way to start with good customer service is to train your employees to a very high level. One thing that often frustrates customers is a lack of knowledge from the person they are dealing with. A lack of knowledge will also lead to less regard for the brand from the customer. Do you think an unsatisfied customer will continue to come back?

Distilled confidence in a brand means the customer will look elsewhere for new services.

At the end of the day it all boils down to that 360-degree view and what you can do to make your customers even happier and trust / recommend you.

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Financial Services Sector interested in Salesforce implementation? Take a look at our Financial implementation options today or contact us to find out more.

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