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The Customer Experience — What’s New? (And What Isn’t)

The instant accessibility digital technology provides has forever changed the customer experience landscape. From answering account holder complaints via social, to a fast and efficient contact center, to converting traditionally in-person services into mobile technologies – here are the new “game changers” for customer experience.

What’s New in Customer Experience

The prevalence of mobile – Mobile and online banking are on the rise across age groups, while in-person interactions at the branch continue to decline. In fact, by 2020, BAI predicts that 61 percent of all banking interactions will take place remotely, including 30 percent via mobile device. In-person usage at bank branches will fall to just 39 percent.

The rise of the millennial account holder– Millennials now account for 25 percent of the population. As this generation ages into being the most dominant consumer group, many businesses need to optimize for the “millennial way” of doing business in order to stay competitive. Millennials desire automation and mobile capabilities. They also desire for all products, including financial services, to seamlessly integrate into their hyper-digital lifestyle. [1]

The desire for easy, intuitive self-service – Online self-service help, either via an FAQ section or web accessible portal, is the number one most used form of customer service. Seventy-six percent of customers use online self-service. A self-service portal is also no longer a “nice to have,” but a customer “must have”; 90 percent of customers expect a brand to offer this type of customer support.

….What Is Not New in Customer Experience

Omnichannel capabilities are still important– The desire for omnichannel communications isn’t going anywhere, although the methods used may change.

There are more ways to field account holder communications than ever: email, contact center, social, and self-help to name a few. Additionally, each year technological developments present even newer ways for brands to interact with account holders; 2016 saw a significant rise in web chat adoption and self-speech service among brands.

The need for a contact center – Just because consumers desire more mobile and self-service channels does not mean financial institutions should neglect the contact center. Picking up the phone to call is now seen as an escalation action for more complex questions or concerns, like those that may arise during an online conversion or branch closure. When done well and efficiently, the contact center increases customer satisfaction and delivers a more positive customer experience. When done poorly, especially in escalation related situations, the experience and satisfaction costs are significant, particularly in light of high customer expectations.

Unfortunately, nearly 80 percent of contact centers say current customer service systems won’t meet future needs. New offerings, such as Burst from Harland Clarke, can augment existing contact center staff when there is a new enterprise initiative, such as a conversion. Burst provides an ideal way to add short-term scalable contact center capacity without a long-term commitment requirement.

A Good Customer Experience is Still Highly Valued – It is 6-7 times more expensive for a company to attract new customers as it is to maintain old ones, meaning keeping customers happy is not only crucial, it’s directly tied to your business’ bottom line.

Account holders today want everything instantly: answers, products and customer service. Because of this, financial institutions that provide an excellent customer experience, one that values their account holder’s time, will often be rewarded with loyalty, increased spend and good word of mouth.

> Learn more about how Harland Clarke’s Burst can help improve customer experience

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Harland Clarke Corp. is a leading provider of best-in-class integrated payment solutions and marketing services, serving multiple industries including financial services, retail, healthcare, insurance, and telecommunications.

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