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After the Chaos. How do your self-serve options look now that the dust of implementation has settled?

Oct 29, 2013 by Stacy Litke

The past couple of decades have been focused heavily on rolling out technology to allow banking customers to self-serve. If you’re like most institutions, your implementations involved multiple vendors, different internal resources and were done in a hurried manner in order to keep competitive pace.

On top of that, many of you  have gone through a merger or two over time and combined products from different institutions. That means your channels may not provide a consistent or frictionless experience for your customers.

Aspects of Outstanding Self-Serve Banking

So, you may be offering self-serve banking, but are you offering OUTSTANDING self-serve banking? Here are some things you should be thinking about:

Personality Management. What is the personality of your self-serve channels? Is it consistent with your institution’s image and branding? Does the tone of the messaging fit with your culture? What opportunities are you taking to humanize digital interactions? Good ways to humanize the interaction are to add features like online chat, and videos of help topics.

Consistent Experience Regardless of Channel. Branding and personality aside, have you looked at your channels to make sure the features and functionality are consistent? Nothing is more frustrating to a customer than inconsistency, for example, a customer can make a bill payment online, but not through the mobile channel. Or worse yet, the customer makes a payment through mobile, but cannot research the payment online. How about balances? Are they the same across all channels? Make sure you take advantage of cross-channel integration wherever possible; it solidifies the perception that no matter where the customer goes you’re taking care of them.

Self-Service Doesn’t Eliminate Customer Service. Customers get stuck, receive error messages, have questions. The majority of them (80%) go online to try and solve the problem themselves. Make sure your help screens and menus are all up-to-date. Make sure contact information, links or other documentation is relevant and current. And remember, if customers are calling you on the phone, they’ve already exhausted all the other options. You may want to consider if your service options are at odds with this independent, in-control demographic. There are new tools available where customers can schedule a call back when it is convenient for them rather than waiting on hold.

Pay Attention. Now that your channels are up and running, don’t assume they will run themselves. Set goals for adoption, measure results, and watch what’s happening with inactive users. Having a large number of inactive users that you’re paying for can be costly to your institution. Either work to engage those customers, or deactivate them so you’re not paying the fees to your vendor without the benefit.

Listen to your customers, ask them periodically what they like, or don’t like, about your services. Ask them what problems they have that need solving, and then find the technology that solves it for them.

Never underestimate the impact of social media. Back in the day, an unhappy customer shared their experience with between 9-15 people, but in today’s world of Facebook and Twitter, one disparaging remark about your bank can spread across the Internet quickly.

Reviewing Self-Serve Solutions 

Before the next wave of mobile driven products hit the marketplace, now is a good time to review your self-serve solutions, and create a strategy with benchmarks so that you can be effective as each new product rolls out. And, as your technology contracts come up for renewal, ask yourself if the product or vendor has kept pace, do they continue to offer the types of products, services and pricing that are in line with your strategy. Are there options that might be more tightly integrated, or more flexible and includes pricing that doesn’t penalize you for growth? Don’t be afraid to ask questions or negotiate your renewal.

With a little care and feeding, your self-serve banking solutions can continue to provide you servicing efficiencies and loyal customers for years to come.

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Stacy Litke

Written by Stacy Litke

Stacy Litke is Managing Director at Northeastern Banking Services group and has nearly 30 years of experience in the banking and financial services industry with a wide net of experience, including Lending, Retail Banking, Operations, Technology Implementation, Customer Service Call Center and a strong focus on Electronic Channel Delivery. If you would like more information or are interested in having Northeastern Banking Services group perform an evaluation of your self-service channels, contact Stacy at slitke@nebsg.com Visit website: http://northeasternbankservices.com/

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