Banks make the news when they make major mistakes, whether foreclosing on the wrong house or depositing an amount with a few extra zeros in someone’s account. They, unfortunately, also make the news when company practices become abusive, such as debiting someone’s account for all bills before depositing their paycheck to maximize fees.
Banks can solve this by improving the customer experience. Here are four ways banks can improve customer experience without spending a fortune.
Don’t Make Them Wait for Their Money
Don’t make customers wait any longer than necessary for their money. Allowing deposited funds to become available a day sooner will do wonders to improve customer morale, and if you cannot clear checks faster, allowing a percentage of the deposited money to be made available for debit card transactions or ATM withdrawals make customers happy.
You should also alter the ATM layout so that customers don’t have to wait longer than necessary. Bank of America started installing two drive up ATMs in sequence so that one customer pulls up to the first and a second customer pulls up to the second, speeding up the line for ATM usage.
Improve the In-Branch Experience
Make customers feel like they are stepping into a supportive atmosphere when they come to open an account or apply for a loan. Don’t let them sit in a cramped corner waiting to talk to a customer representative. Train your customer service reps to give good customer service. A condescending loan officer could cost you millions in the mortgage business, whereas a cheerful, helpful loan officer will generate more business via word of mouth referrals.
Adding one more teller so that the line doesn’t get too long is a practical and immediate way you can improve customer service. Being open later in the day or over the weekend could have a significant return on investment and end the dismay of customers arriving after work told to come back tomorrow.
Deliver Speedy Service
We’ve already addressed altering the locations of ATMs to decrease customer waits. However, there are many other things you can do to speed up service for your customers. Offering online deposits via an app, letting them open a new account within five minutes online and check balances within seconds are all essential to meeting the expectations of the on-demand generation.
Redesigning a website so that it loads faster and completes transactions without ever timing out is an affordable investment in customer satisfaction. Install Bank Systems Marketing scanners to process checks in two seconds instead of relying on a teller to manually enter the information over several minutes while reducing the risk of errors.
When someone is calling for assistance or special needs advice, every hand-off to another department or service representative adds to the frustration. Design your phone tree and customer service process to take almost everyone to the right department on the first try. If the customer ends up in the wrong department, take the time to take them to the right person so that they aren’t thrown into the same morass that they couldn’t navigate correctly the first time.
If someone is going through a complex process, such as rolling over an IRA or applying for a mortgage, give them a single point of contact instead of leaving them to figure out which department to call.
Customer experience is one of the most major criteria customers use to decide which bank they will end up doing business with. This is why it is essential for any bank to put as much effort as possible in user experience.