What Consumers Want From Their Banks
By Charles Western, Web/Graphic Designer
Consumers are not shy when talking about what they want from their banks. And banks should listen. Consumers want banking to be easy, no matter what channel they are using. They want to interact with their banks on their terms, how they want, when they want. They want personalized offerings and service to create their own unique experience. Most of all, they want value and great customer service, both online and in person.
Banking needs to be simple and easy. With the popularity of smartphones, mobile banking is the preferred choice of users. But the expectation is that using their smartphone should be identical to using their computer. The branding should look the same. The navigation should be similar enough to be intuitive. The same options should exist throughout. Customers should not have to learn an entirely new system to use a bank’s applications on their phone. This should carry through to the physical locations. Banks are using more self-service kiosks and other digital options to perform banking activities in their branch locations. Moving from one channel to another should be a seamless experience.
Personalized, tailored banking is something consumers want to see more of. They want to be better understood by their bank. Offers should be relevant to how they bank, not generic or spam. Consumers want banks to help tailor advice and information to their specific financial situation. They expect their bank to find markdowns and purchases for them, locate the best interest rates, and offer mortgages that fit their portfolios. Close to 90% of customers said they expect banks to anticipate their needs and act accordingly. People are more willing to share their personal information with their banks if they know it will help get them a tailored, personal experience.
When dealing with their financial situations, consumers also want a good value. When asked if they could only have one feature in a bank, they said it would be low fees. Over 90% want competitive interest rates. Saving accounts with the best interest are high on the list. A third of customers participate in loyalty programs and use credit cards with points to get better deals from their banks. Over half of banking customers expect their banks to do the legwork and find them the best deals available.
Above all else, whether they are interacting in person, online, or on the phone, consumers want and expect a superior level of service. Customer service should be responsive and fast. A third of customers report poor service as the reason they leave their bank. Over 80% would have stayed if their issue had been resolved in the first contact. Banks have the information to advise customers on their financial decisions, and customers expect them to do that. Customers want that personal service, not generic, cookie-cutter interactions. During the Covid pandemic, customers placed importance on assistance with financial hardships. They want banks to give back to the communities in which they operate.
Growing technology is opening more channels for people to access their banking needs. Banks can build strong connections with their customers by infusing humanity and personalization into these channels. Banks need to be responsive to the needs of the customer. Avoiding or minimizing problems if possible and solving them quickly if they do arise. Customers see banks as a primary contact point to help advise and plan for their financial stability and future. Banks need to be able to use all their information to tailor that advice to each individual customer. By being aware of their customers’ needs, banks can keep and grow their client base.