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Banking on Loyalty: How to Build Differentiated CX in Financial Services

Banking on Loyalty: How to Build Differentiated CX in Financial Services 

Record high inflation. Interest rate hikes. The threat of looming recession. For the financial services industry, 2022 has been a volatile year — echoed by a highly volatile market. As money matters remain top of mind, financial businesses need to be proactive about creating value for customers.

So, how can financial services leaders build better CX to foster a loyal customer base? In a complex industry growing more saturated, a few key opportunities to stand apart have emerged. We’ll outline the ways financial businesses can differentiate themselves, and highlight the ways Cresta can help. 

Anticipate Customers’ Needs 

A falsely-held belief in financial services is that customers will come to their current providers if they’re interested in a new product or service. That’s not necessarily true. 

According to some surveys, 50% of Americans have accounts with more than one bank, and over 20% have accounts with three or more.

So rather than waiting for customers to come to them, financial services providers need to help customers understand beneficial opportunities early. In fact, 58% of customers say they want their bank to proactively recommend products or services based on what they may find useful and which accounts they already have.

These suggestions aren’t one size fits all — the majority of customers expect all offers to be personalized. But in this industry, that’s a tall order. 

Given the complex nature of financial services (and rampant use of fragmented tech tools), it can be tough to unlock data in a way that fuels a process for value-add upselling and cross-selling. 

By swapping disjointed tools for a comprehensive platform that continuously learns what customers want and which agent habits result in the most positive outcomes, financial services providers can scale increasingly tailored best practices to their entire teams with features like hints, guided workflows, and knowledge assist. Insights gained through elements such as topic discovery show financial services leaders what customers are interested in and where their pain points lie, enabling quick response to emerging trends. 

A comprehensive real-time intelligence platform makes it easy for financial services leaders to anticipate customers’ needs and streamline the path from insights to action so they’re quick to catch on, not struggling to catch up. 

Provide Support Everywhere (and at Any Time)

Financial services customers rank clear communication and speed as their biggest priorities when contacting support, but as businesses struggle to maintain a full staff and mature their digital channels, those priorities aren’t always addressed — particularly if problems arise outside regular business hours when many financial businesses don’t offer support. 

Though financial services providers are focused heavily on improving CX, they’re also focused on cutting costs — two objectives that are apparently at odds in the context of providing quality round the clock support. After all, staffing during regular hours is difficult enough; hiring additional agents to work expanded shifts would be an even tougher and more costly endeavor. 

Fortunately, there’s an easier way to provide omnichannel support at any time. Rather than adding headcount, financial services leaders can opt for a chatbot that handles off-hours inquiries and simple conversations. And this option won’t be a budgeting nightmare — across the financial services industry, savings in operational costs through the use of chatbots will reach an estimated $7.3 billion by 2023. 

Importantly, those savings won’t translate to poor customer experiences. Cresta’s bespoke AI model learns from every conversation, training chatbot and IVR solutions in a continuous loop to ensure that automated conversations abide by the same best practices as those handled by agents. 

The idea that automation offers a CX-boosting opportunity in financial services isn’t novel. An estimated 75-80% of transactional operations and 40% of strategic operations are strong candidates for automation, but over 60% of financial services organizations say their struggle to offer self service options presents challenges to improving CX. Cresta’s Real-Time Intelligence platform takes the guesswork out of automation, identifying high-value interactions that can deflect volume from agents and provide quality omnichannel support at all hours. 

To stand apart, financial businesses need to consider all aspects of customer experience — wherever (and whenever) those touchpoints may occur. 

Humanize Interactions

Customers rarely feel a personal connection to financial services businesses. That’s not exactly a surprise — during conversations around interest rates, credit limits, or past due balances, the human element is easily lost. 

But there’s a reason the vast majority of customers value the option to talk with a live agent: people appreciate connecting with other people. So, a vital part of creating better CX that drives real value comes down to enabling agents to engage fully with customers. 

There are a few ways to achieve that in financial services contact centers. First, by deflecting unnecessary volume through the use of automation. When chatbots are handling the simplest conversations, agents can dedicate their attention to more complex interactions and customers seeking basic answers don’t have to wait on hold unnecessarily. 

To effectively handle those complex interactions, agents need real-time access to relevant information. Features like knowledge assist help agents find the answers they need exactly when they need them, cutting out frustrating waits and uncomfortable lulls in the conversation. 

A near-constant source of stress for financial services agents is compliance, but AI coaching and guidance remind agents to stay compliant so the customer — and not compliance anxiety — ranks as the key focus during every interaction. 

The Impact of Better CX on Business

Being highly intentional with CX doesn’t just create value for customers, it also translates to business results. 

  • 300% increase in revenue per agent
  • 10% lower AHT
  • 20% higher CSAT
  • 5x higher adherence
  • 60% increase in conversions 

Not all financial businesses are the same, but they have one important thing in common: they all need to stand out. In an industry racked with uncertainty but prone to resting on its laurels, businesses can differentiate themselves by taking a proactive approach to adding value for customers. An AI-driven solution can help. 

Get in touch to learn more about how Cresta supports the financial services contact center.