As banks become more digital, and as consumers get more comfortable transacting electronically, the role of banks is evolving. And consumers — as pesky as they can be — sometimes have conflicting desires. We’ve seen that people want self service banking, transactions to be digitized, and banking to be easier. But at the same time, we still want a personal connection with our financial institutions — some of us, anyway.
Genpact’s Raja Bose joins us on the Tearsheet podcast to discuss how important the customer experience is in banking and what happens when you get it right. Raja explores his firm’s recent research into the human component in banking and how he consults financial institutions to think about their channel mix. Raja also riffs on the role trust plays in banking and recent news about fintech banking charters.
The following excerpts were edited for clarity.
Consumer banks’ biggest challenges
Consumer banks need to figure out who they’re going to be. For the longest time, we knew what being bank meant for us. Over the last decade, as banking has become more digitized, what it means to be a bank today is changing. Consumer bankers are feeling this. This has implications for everything from customer experience to how people should engage with banks to check processing to loan underwriting. Is this really your business anymore? Or should you focus on something else?
The human component in banking
There are two things true but sometimes in opposition of each other. On one hand, consumers like more things digitized, easier to use and self service. But at the same time, when it comes to banking, they still want a personal connection with someone. Think about it: people can go on Amazon and buy whatever they want without interacting with a person. But compared to managing your money, life savings and your income, it’s very, very different.
So, we can create as many different digital ways for consumers to interact with the bank, we — as the banking industry — shouldn’t ignore the fact that consumers still want face to face, hand holding. They want guidance that they’re making the right moves. People are still insecure about their money. The true art to this is figuring out how to digitize the experience as much as you can without losing that sense of humanity.
Trust in banking
Trust is a moving target. The things you need to do to engender trust for older generations is very different than what a younger generation requires for trust. As banking activities become more something you do and not somewhere you go, as banks partner with third party providers, as the banking transaction becomes scattered throughout a consumer’s daily life — there’s an opportunity for banks to prove that they are a trusted source. You’ll start to see that trust and security can become an area of competition.
Loyalty and satisfaction in banking
Consumers are satisfied but not loyal. If you look at satisfactions scores, they’re not bad. But if you look at NPS scores, they’re not that great. What does loyalty look like in a digital world? Banks need to start thinking about the entire end-to-end customers experience, instead of just merely looking at selling products. No one wakes up in the morning and says I want a mortgage! They wake up and say they really want their dream house.
Up until this point, banks have just played a role in getting the mortgage. In just this transaction, you can’t build a lot of loyalty. If I can be supportive throughout the entire home buying journey, it’s a totally different experience for consumers. Being an advocate and support is how banks should think about themselves to drive loyalty.