Last March I was asked to join a roundtable discussion with industry leaders in FinTech and financial services to discuss future trends in customer experience. In this session, we tried to predict the timescales over which these trends might occur and what effect they could have on firms.
Looking back at what felt like several years ago now, I think we’d all be happy to see that many of our predictions were accurate, but surprised to see how quickly they happened.
Let’s look back at three of my original predictions, what they mean for us in financial services, what some of the research has unearthed and what technology we can put into practice to support to enhance our customer experience and save time.
In a survey we ran in August 2021 we found that 39% of respondents said they are ‘More likely’ to expect a firm to offer out of hours support compared to pre-covid times.
Convenience was already an important factor for customers engaging with a company before the pandemic. Added on top of that, the prevalence of early/late home deliveries from online stores, on-demand food couriers and the ability to hail transport from a couple of app clicks has contributed to a growing consumer trend of “I want it now”.
Add in flexible working hours, which have become increasingly common in the last 12-18 months, and you have a recipe for customer engagement occurring outside of standard office hours through a variety of different channels.
Something to try: Live chat tools like Crisp and Acquire are great ways to provide live customer support chats and can be accessed by staff from anywhere via their mobile devices. And if you have staff that tend to work later hours anyway, they’d be ideal to cover the early evening shift and capture the after work messages.
Expectations of a firm having self-service options are up 79%.
With an ever-growing number of organisations from pubs, banks, garages, opticians etc. offering the ability to find information and make/manage appointments online, it’s easy to see why this is becoming a common expectation.
Not only does this improve the customer experience, but it can also cut down on staff admin time as well as enhance a firm’s digital brand.
Automated tools financial firms could consider:
1 in 3 households now have smart speakers installed
This trend doesn’t seem to have accelerated as much as the other two, but it’s still worth reviewing as smart speaker sales are on the rise and their functionality is increasingly being added to other devices such as cars and TVs.
So if you want to make sure that your firm’s contact number, opening hours and local address etc are accessible next time the nearest Google Nest and Amazon Alexa gets shouted at, you’ll need to check your data is submitted to Google in the correct way.
About the author: Aaron Coates is an experienced product designer, technical architect and currently the Chief Product Officer at Money Alive. He is responsible for the design, delivery and support of the Money Alive platform and works with financial services leaders to develop better engagement strategies through the use of video engagement.