Customers determine consumer experience — not the other method around

Banking clients desire the most direct course to their cash, and they desire it now.

But what occurs when a consumer can’t get the instant responses they require on the interactions channels they choose? The reality is, in today’s world, clients wish to engage with count on their own terms, not the other method around.

John Kelly, vice president of monetary services, LivePerson

Research reveals that clients have strong viewpoints about how and when they interact with brand names — viewpoints that alter not just from individual to individual, however even for the exact same individual throughout the course of their day. For example, in one current study of countless customers, 63% stated they choose to message brand names instead of call them when they’re on their lunch break — this number soared to 80% when travelling on public transport — while 69% stated they choose to call when travelling by vehicle.

For banks, it’s similarly essential to keep in mind that clients have special choices about how to communicate depending upon the job they’re attempting to achieve. For some jobs, clients still prefer getting the phone and speaking with a representative. For example, when attending to charge card scams, 69% choose to call. But when it pertains to inspecting their balance (77%), making a payment (66%) and restoring a service (56%), the bulk choose to message.

The versatile experience

The bottom line is that clients desire alternatives. One bank that’s providing clients access to these type of versatile experiences is PNC.

“We want our customers to contact us however they feel most comfortable, whether that’s digitally, through our mobile app or by calling us directly,” stated Todd Barnhart, executive vice president at PNC. “We’ve seen firsthand that a few of our clients still choose the human-to-human interaction over the phone. However, we’ve likewise experienced an increased pattern in messaging volume, often even for things individuals can solve with self-service however don’t wish to.

“Either way, it’s our goal to provide customers with personalized interactions to ensure we’re meeting them where they are in their financial journeys,” Barnhart included.

In 2019, PNC started providing its clients the alternative to message with representatives straight from their phones. One year back, the bank went an action even more, taking what it gained from mobile messaging to update discussions on its site also.

In short, the PNC group went “asynch” — implying that discussions on mobile and web were no longer connected to live chat sessions, however rather unfolded gradually when and where it was hassle-free for the consumer. This shift from old-school live chat to asynchronous web messaging matches how we text with friends and family every day, and it has had an extensive impact on how clients engage with PNC.

Today, PNC holds about 150,000 messaging discussions monthly. One element behind the use is the acknowledgment that PNC’s clients remain in the chauffeur’s seat. “If they’re messaging us, the worst thing we can do is message them back to tell them to call instead,” Barnhart stated. “If they begin a conversation on messaging, that’s their preferred experience.”

Keeping it basic

Another essential to PNC’s engagement technique is providing clients an open door to request whatever they require through their chosen channels. “What’s unique about our program is that we don’t overly complicate the process. A customer can ask any banking-related question or ask for assistance right through our messaging channel,” Barnhart stated.

Indeed, 90% of clients who message the bank get what they require without ever needing to make a telephone call.

Finally, PNC’s adoption of hassle-free security procedures supplies clients with a sense of trust that whatever channel they pick to get in touch with the bank, their information will get a high level of security. The bank integrated safe and secure types to make it more secure for clients to send out individual information in digital discussions.

“Being able to provide our customers with a high level of security and simple ways to share their private data was crucial to completing our transformation to messaging,” Barnhart stated.

When it boils down to it, putting clients initially is not a matter of the most recent tech or the most recent patterns. It’s far easier than that. It’s about making the most of tech and drawing insights from patterns to deal with clients like people. It’s about appreciating their time and their choices, which in turn constructs their commitment and trust.

When you offer your clients the wheel and a direct course to what they require, you can wager they’ll wind up visiting more frequently.

John Kelly is location vice president, monetary services at LivePerson, a worldwide leader in consumer engagement options. Kelly is a digital change specialist who assists monetary services business establish 1:1 relationships with their clients through an effective mix of messaging, automation, and AI.

Bank Automation Summit United States 2023, happening March 2-3 in Charlotte, is an essential occasion on automation and automation innovation in banking. Learn more and sign up for Bank Automation Summit United States 2023.


A news media journalist always on the go, I've been published in major publications including VICE, The Atlantic, and TIME.

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