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The opportunity for gaining loyalty with Millennials through better online support.

  • Mark Ryan
  • March 13, 2017
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Financial Services Customer Support Chart

In a lot of ways, high customer satisfaction scores are the pinnacle to success in the financial sector. Financial institutions such as banks and credit unions with high customer satisfaction scores have lower churn rates, better Net Promoter Scores, and have higher conversion rates on customer acquisition.

The definition of good customer service has changed significantly in the last 20 years and will continue to change rapidly in the years ahead. Millennials are looking for customer service in a digital format. The days of a smiling teller that knows your name are long gone. The days of an artificial intelligence entity serving your banking needs are not far off, but they are not here yet.

We recently surveyed Americans of all age groups 18 and above with accounts at banks, credit unions, or other financial institutions to see why they seek customer service and how they prefer to be supported.

Here are some of the findings:

  • Customer service is needed by most customers: 76% of the respondents said they need to reach out to their financial institution for support at least once year.
  • Online before Phone Support: >60% of the respondents that eventually call the support line for their bank first look online at the banks website or do a search on Google.
  • Issues solved at the call center could be solved online: Of the top 15 reasons that users call the support line, 9 of them are needs that could be solved on the website or in the mobile application.
  • Age gaps: It’s clear in the data that the younger the respondent, the more predispositioned they were to look for solutions to their support needs online before calling or emailing their bank. Millennials were 3X more likely to look for answers online than seniors.

Multiple opportunities are evident in this data:

  • Reduced Costs: They average phone call at a contact center costs the bank or credit union a fully loaded $5.00.  While the cost per impression on customer service documentation on a website is often less than $.10.  This means that financial institutions save a significant amount of budget by shifting some support resources to service customers online.  In many cases, this cost savings will exceed $1 million dollars annually. 
  • Higher Satisfaction / Loyalty: When users navigate between channels trying to get problems solved their experience has friction.  For common support needs that can be answered online, it reduces friction if they can solve their problems on any or all channels.
  • Improved Conversion Rates: We find that sites with robust customer support content and tools (i.e. chat) have higher visitor to application ratios.  This shows that good customer support actually improves conversion rates.

The opportunities for improving customer service are everywhere on a typical banking website. Improving support related content, organic search optimization, optimizing onsite search, easy to use account management tools, and live chat are some of the ways industry leaders are impressing customers and winning loyalty. The financial institutions that finding new and innovative ways to serve customers online are paving the way for the financial industry of tomorrow.

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