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Financial services

Customer experience key, says report

A report released by Capgemini and Efma has suggested that the next six months will prove tumultuous for the banking industry, with many surveyed customers intimating their doubts regarding whether to stay with commercial banks or not.

The annual report, entitled World Retail Banking Report 2013 (WRBR 2013), indicated that ten per cent of retail bank customers will likely leave their bank in the next six months, and 41 per cent expressing uncertainty as to whether or not they will stay with their current bank or not.

18,000 customers in 35 global markets were surveyed as part of the research for the report, which provides an insight into the correlation between customer satisfaction and the success of retails banks.

With half of retail banking customers globally not feeling loyal to their bank, it’s clear that banks need to close the gap and build customer-centricity into their DNA

Jean Lassignardie, Capgemini
11 of the 35 markets analysed in the WRBR 2013 saw a relative increase of over 20 per cent of customers with a positive experience. However nine markets showed a decrease in the number of customers reporting a positive experience.

The report found a strong correlation between positive customer experience and customers believing that banks have a strong and thorough understanding of their banking needs.

“With half of retail banking customers globally not feeling loyal to their bank, it’s clear that banks need to close the gap and build customer-centricity into their DNA,” said Jean Lassignardie, chief sales and marketing officer at Capgemini Global Financial Services. “With banking services commoditised, banks must seek to differentiate themselves and build customer loyalty in other ways. Providing the right products at the right time through preferred and emerging channels such as mobile is one clear way to build lasting customer loyalty.”

In all regions except North America, the quality of service emerged as the most important customer driver with regards to potentially changing banks, with the report finding a vast percentage of customers feel unsatisfied in areas such as knowledge of customer’s needs and preferences, product-channel fit, trust and confidence, intimacy and relationship building, and providing a consistent multi-channel experience.

The experience of customers is paramount to achieving sustainability in the current banking market, and with the influx of channels and variation of banking products, personal connections have suffered, limiting the impact banks can actively have on improving the customer experience.

Channels such as mobile and internet have proliferated in the banking space in recent times, and WRBR 2013 indicates that such channels are rudimental to customer decisions regarding whether or not to leave a bank. “Internet and mobile are not mere channels, but are the new way of banking,” said Virginie Fauvel, head of BNP Paribas Online Banking. “We have fully integrated mobile into how we do business and continue to innovate to meet the ever growing and evolving customer base that sees mobile as an easy, efficient and secure way to bank.”

Patrick Desmarès, secretary general of Efma, reiterated this point, saying: “The future of retail banking is mobile banking. By the end of 2013, there will be more mobile devices than people with a predicted 10 billion mobile connected devices amounting to a global average of 1.4 mobile devices per capita. Banks need to go where the opportunity is – and that is mobile.”

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