Thursday, May 17, 2018

BANKING TIPS: Customer service key in banking

Kelvin Mkwawa

Kelvin Mkwawa 

By Kelvin Mkwawa,

The relationship between a bank and a consumer has been drastically transformed by advanced technology available in which customers have vast amounts of information, hence more knowledge in their hands. Currently, we have more than forty commercial banks in the country which give consumers more options than ever before in choosing their bank. Today’s customers are less loyal as they are always looking for a better deal and are more likely to have a relationship with more than one bank. To retain those consumers, a bank has to offer added value services other than products since almost banking products are identical across the different banks.

Great customer service should be at the heart of banking service delivery and key for bank’s growth and stability. It is very important for a bank to understand their customers’ needs and journey before offering their services and products to them and the only way to achieve that is through excellent customer service. In this article, we will discuss five reasons why I think excellent customer service is more important than anything else in the banking industry. Customer service is becoming an increasingly important factor in banking as competition is fiercer than ever before and banks are looking to add additional value to their customers. Here are the five reasons why I think customer service is more important for banks than anything else:

• It builds awareness – If you offer excellent customer service, customers will talk about you. They will remember and advocate your brand. Word of mouth is the most powerful tool to bring awareness among consumers. Customers want more from the experience of banking with you and expects to be treated as a person and not just another number and for this reason, excellent customer service will increase awareness for your bank resulting in you meeting your customers’ expectations.

• It builds trust - Today’s banks have a wide variety of competitors and many customers make a decision whether or not to bank with a particular bank based on customer experience. For that reason, banks need to take their time to understand their customer’s needs and expectations; we all want someone who can listen, understands us and most importantly someone who we can talk to and trust that our needs will be met. All this makes excellent customer service very important to the customer. By providing the best in customer service, the bank will increase trust with its customers and that could mean a difference between long term success and losses.

• It increases customer retention – Customers are more likely to stay longer with a bank that offers great customer service. This is major since it has been proved that it costs approximately five times more to attract a new customer than it costs to retain an existing customer. Hence every bank should do whatever it takes to ensure customers are happy so they can continue to bank with them.

• It improves employee turnover – Employees pay careful attention to how an organization treat its customers. By offering excellent customer service, the bank shows that it cares for its customers and regards them as important. When the staff see that, it makes them proud to be part of the team and boosts their morale, making them more likely to stay for a long time with the bank.

• It improves the brand image – If the bank wants to create and maintain good reputation and strengthen its brand, it has to ensure it provides excellent customer service. The process of creating a brand should be a responsibility of each unit of the bank as each one has a role to play to ensure excellent customer service is provided to the customers.

In conclusion, offering excellent customer service is emerging as the valuable way for banks to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Today’s customers are less loyal so it is imperative for the banks to ensure, both services and products are adequately aligned with customers’ expectations. For achieving excellence in customer service, banks need to clearly understands the needs of their customers and expectations.