There is a single quality that unites every company regardless of industry: customer service. Every organization is striving to build loyal customers by increasing the level of service they deliver. When it comes to companies that require a high level of trust with their customers, like banking, customer service becomes even more important.
Technology has continued to evolve the way banking customer service operates. With much of banking happening online, any chance your bank has to form a personal relationship is that much more important. Quality customer service has the biggest impact during tax season. Customers are stressed with the mountains of paperwork they need to file. If your bank is making it difficult to access the documents customers need, that stress can become associated with your company. The tips below will help your agents deliver quality customer service no matter how busy you get.
Have a Foundation of Industry knowledge
Everyone who interacts with customers should have a strong understanding of the products and services the bank provides. This allows everyone from bank tellers to contact center agents to answer questions accurately and help customers make the most informed decisions. This is especially important for tax season, as customers may have unusual questions that differ from the inquiries that are posed more frequently. For tax season, agents should understand how to find interest and mortgage statements. In general, here are some of the other services that bank employees should be familiar with:
- Checking and savings options
- College savings plans
- Certificates of deposit
- Individual retirement accounts
- Tax and estate planning
- Business, personal, home and auto loans
- Lines of credit and other credit products
- Safe deposit boxes
- Financial planning
Staying up to date with the latest services and systems will ensure you’re able to deliver quality banking customer service.
Refine Communication Skills
Strong banking communication skills have a huge impact on the level of customer service your bank can deliver. Many financial concepts are complex and confusing, making clear communication crucial. A good first step is to avoid industry jargon and instead explain concepts in common language. Make sure customers are following what you’re saying and pause for them to ask questions.
Money is a sensitive topic for many customers. Communication skills can help establish trust and respect. Unfortunately in the banking industry, there are several times when you will need to deliver bad news. A loan application may have been denied, a customer may have been a victim of fraud, or a mortgage can’t be processed. Offering explanations and next steps with empathy will alleviate any negative associations customers may have with your bank. Other communication skills to develop and train for include:
- Interpersonal skills
- Conflict resolution skills
- Active listening
- Attention to detail
Provide Self-Service Options
Consumer self-service has become a booming trend across all industries, with 74% of customers reporting that they’ve used a self-service support portal in the past; another 81% reported that they’ve attempted to resolve issues on their own before contacting a live service representative.
Self-service has become an important part of business in every industry. In fact, 81% of customers have reported that they attempt to resolve issues on their own before contacting a live service representative. Banks that haven’t implemented self-service capabilities are missing out on opportunities to reduce call center volume and improve overall banking customer service.
There are a few capabilities you can put in place to enable customer self-service:
- Allow customers to set up automated account alerts
- Use chatbots to answer basic customer questions
- Create detailed support content that is readily available for customers to reference
Collect Customer Feedback
Nobody understands what customers want better than your customers themselves. This makes customers the most valuable resource in determining the areas your customer service can improve in. Monitor mentions of your company in social media posts, send email surveys, or ask your customers to answer a few questions at the end of a call. This will give you insight into where customer needs aren’t being met and where you can level up your strategy.
Use Branded Calls
Our State of the Call Report found that 35% of customers prefer voice for communication with banks and lenders (with email coming in second at 22%.) This trend of consumers preferring voice calls is particularly critical for banks. Speaking over the phone with an agent helps customers feel that their assets are secure and their security is protected. With the voice channel having such a big impact, it’s important to optimize your voice strategy as much as possible. By displaying a branded caller ID, customers will know it's your bank calling every time. Branded calls allow your bank to display the company name, logo, and reason for calling. This increases answer rates and leads to better conversations. As a bonus, Branded calls also increase trust with customers. Rather than fearing if a call is actually a scammer claiming to represent their bank, branded caller ID will let the customer know that the call is legitimate.
Good banking customer service should be the norm all year long, but tax season places additional pressure on banks. As an influx of inquiries about interest and mortgage statements come in, it’s easy to hurry through each customer interaction. If you aren’t prepared, communication and customer satisfaction will begin to break down. Download our Contact Center Metrics eBook for more information on how to optimize your voice channel.