As acceptance of technology continues to expand and financial transactions previously reserved for exclusively being performed in-person at branches are being done virtually through online banking or mobile apps, the importance of delivering a satisfying experience to those customers who still choose to physically visit a retail location has become even more important. There is simply no better opportunity to add a “personal touch” than when one of your customers/members is engaging with your front-line staff face-to-face. Delivering on the promise of superior service and best-in-class experiences can be easier than you might think!
Our research at ath Power shows that simply using a customer’s name when speaking to them results in higher overall satisfaction, being more likely to recommend the institution to others, an increase in the likelihood that they will expand their relationship with the bank, and stronger feelings of appreciation.
Take the example of a large, regional bank where results from several hundred Teller-transaction related evaluations show:
On a scale of 1-7, with “1” being Dissatisfied and “7” being Delighted, 98.3% of customers who report their name being used rate their overall experience as a 6 or 7. Conversely, when their name was not used, only 64.2% of customers would rate similarly.
With a similar scale of 1-7, when “1” is Unlikely and “7” Very Likely, to rank the likelihood to recommend to friends or family. When a customer’s name is used, 98.5% of respondents rated a 6 or a 7. If their name was not used in conversation, 62.8% report being as likely to share their experience with others.
And, when questioned on the likelihood to use the institution for their next banking product or service with a scale of “1” being Unlikely and “7” being Unlikely, 98.3% scored a 6 or 7. For those who were not referred to name, that number dropped to 66.7%.
In related commentary on the previously mentioned evaluations, customers who have their names used also were more likely to report feelings such as the institution seeming to genuinely care about their business and that they are more appreciated.
As digital banking continues to grow, it is more important than ever to take every opportunity to make your customers feel more connected and appreciated. There are multiple drivers that can lead to an exceptional customer experience that creates devoted fans of your brand. Expensive marketing campaigns, increased technology, and store redesigns are all well and good, but we need to recognize that simple pleasantries and related personal touches to in-person interactions with customers can be a much more cost-effective way to improve & foster brand loyalty and overall satisfaction.