Can customers learn to love their banks? Banks are losing their luster with e-banking sites like PayPal and Google Wallet making banking and completing financial transactions simple and easy, even outside regular business hours. No waiting for the bank to open, filling out deposit slips or checks and waiting in line to complete a simple payment or deposit. Can’t sleep at night? You can log on to Paypal and pay your bills or transfer money at any time, day or night.
If banks don’t make the effort to change their processes and upgrade their services, they could go the way of bookstores or video rentals, according to a Forbes.com article, “How To Make Customers Love Their Banks.” The author suggested three things that could help banks upgrade their customer service. The tips can be applied to other businesses as well.
The first is a clear vision. A vision is a look into the future at what should happen to make a business successful. Businesses need to determine who their customers are or who should they be. Until the business understands where they want to go, they could spend a lot of time and money on computer systems and other technology that doesn’t make sense for its customer base. Customers define the products and service the business offers, and technology has to enhance the delivery of those services.
Every business tells a story. The vision defines the characters in the business’s story—the customers. The businesses need to develop a compelling story of how they service their customers. How do they interact? What story lines define the business’s customers? Are they small business entrepreneurs? College students? Factory workers? Government workers? What are their needs?Communities differ with their populations, environment, culture, demographics and economic health. The business’ story more clearly defines the products and services, and helps to craft marketing, advertising and community outreach to get the story out to customers.
The third suggestion is to create a customer-centric experience. It’s all about the customers. The instant transactions available with PayPal or Google Wallet satisfy a digital, online world with banking and financial transaction speed. No waiting. Businesses need to upgrade their technology and speed of service delivery to complete with online’s efficiency.
Banks are known for their approval hierarchy. Loan applications can take several rounds of approval and signatures to complete. With the right technology, banks and any business serving the public can complete risk analyses quickly and shorten approval time. Businesses have the advantage of building real relationships with customers. All the efficiency in the world can’t fill the need for customers to see a familiar face and build a trusting, long-term relationship with a business and its employees. Being part of a community that knows a customer’s name can make a difference in the disconnected world of Facebook and Twitter. It’s difficult to show compassion, empathy and genuine concern over a website or online chat.
E-business is the future, and a way for businesses to help their customers fall in love with them again, for different reasons. E-business should be convenient and easy. Combined with a business that is efficient, technically up-to-date and cares about its customers, it is irresistible.
Photo Source: Stuart Miles / Freedigitalphotos.net