The Financial Brand published an interesting article this week titled “5 Major Emerging Trends in Retail Banking.” All of the points—from how consumers share data with their banks to which channels people use for online banking—were interesting. But the one that stood out to me was #4: “People Still Want That Personal Touch.”
Since you’re reading this on the Engageware blog, you probably have a pretty good idea of our position on the value for banks, credit unions, retailers and many other businesses to deliver personalized service to their prospects and customers, every time they engage. This article, which cites results from an Accenture study, reinforces what should be obvious: people want to be treated well when they buy products and services.
The article cites a caution from Accenture that it would be “a big mistake for financial institutions to commit to a purely digital strategy—one built entirely around AI, robo-advisors, automation and algorithms.” We at Engageware completely agree.
Responses to the Accenture survey echoed what we learned from the most recent Engageware State of Retail Banking and Credit Union Consumer surveys. Highlights from the Accenture survey included:
- 63% of respondents said if they share data with their bank, they would expect it to result in receiving a more personalized banking experience.
- 40% of banking customers say the ability to ask a real, live human being a direct question is “extremely valuable.”
- And nearly half of all consumers (48%) want banking providers to play a supporting role in the purchasing process for non-banking products, such as a house or new car or services related to those purchases (e.g., insurance products, closing assistance).
“Individuals increasingly expect interactions to be personalized and relevant to their financial needs and objectives,” according to the Accenture report. While these results are specific to banks and credit unions, the sentiment is essentially what consumers want in every business transaction, whether it’s obtaining a mortgage, buying clothes or selecting the right SaaS solution for appointment scheduling.
In the latest Engageware banking consumer survey, two-thirds of respondents said they would be willing to schedule an appointment to meet in-branch with a specialist to discuss a mortgage, wealth management or other important topics. And in the highly desirable millennial demographic (those aged 22 to 36 with increasingly large amounts of income), 75 percent said they desired such personalized customer service.
No matter who conducts the survey or what questions they ask, it all comes back to the fact that people like dealing with people, especially when they are seeking advice and confirmation before making major purchasing commitments. That’s why online scheduling software from Engageware has become the go-to choice for banks and credit unions that want to create conversations with their customers that drive business.