By Jorge Santiago
The proliferation of connected technology over the past decade or more has reached a point of near ubiquity, with smartphones, tablets and other Internet-enabled devices just about everywhere we look today. These devices, and the power to connect, has given rise to a drastic shift in consumer expectations and behavior, forcing all industries to rethink their strategy for engaging and retaining customers.
The financial services industry has been no different, based on the results of a recent Accenture Consulting study. The study of nearly 33,000 banking customers spanned 18 markets throughout the world and found that five key attributes were reported consistently.
So what were the five key attributes that consumers today expect from their bank? Let’s take a closer look below:
- Service expectations: The modern consumer expects a high level of customer service and is not afraid to look elsewhere if expectations are not met. According to the results of Accenture’s study, a majority of consumers want banks to match tech providers’ digitally-driven service level.
- Personalization: Consumers today are willing to share data with their bank, this study shows, but they view data as a currency and want something in return. Banks must add value with data by personalizing experiences, from offering tools for financial management or real-time offers based on location.
- Appetite for innovation: Over half of survey respondents said they would want to be able to receive instantaneous financial advice via mobile communications. This exemplifies the type of innovation consumers today demand, in which new ways of accessing banking products and services can make a tangible impact in their day to day lives.
- Seeking self-service: While consumers do expect a high degree of customer service from their financial institutions, a majority of customers still want the availability to resolve a majority of inquiries without any assistance. This even extends into services themselves: 61 percent of survey respondents said person-to-person payment tools would be useful, while half of respondents wanted tools providing direct access to digital currencies.
- New branch experience: While we’re certainly living in a Digital Age, consumers still have plenty of use for their local branch too. However, they do expect that experience to change. Two-thirds of consumers say it is important to have devices that allow them to access their online banking in the branch, and that it is important to have advanced ATMs at the branch.
At The Milford Bank, we’ve taken extensive steps to stay at the cutting-edge, eagerly bringing technological innovation into our branches to facilitate a greater degree of care for our customers without sacrificing the personalized, community bank experience that makes us unique. To learn more about all the ways The Milford Bank is stepping up to meet the changing needs of our customers in the Digital Age, click here.