Customer experience sets businesses apart. In competitive fields, where businesses are delivering on the same end-game, there are few ways to create a defining factor. But customer experience done properly is a major contender for being thee differentiating factor.

In some industries it is more difficult to create that divide between service providers, as with the financial sector. Insurance companies offering the same services, products and prices have little means to shift customer expectations and satisfaction, except by focusing specifically on the customers and their needs and wants. Many of these expectations include that the business finds alternatives to traditional ways of doing business by offering innovative solutions that are more customer-centric.

With so many internal dependencies, this can be difficult to deliver, but not impossible. Statistics uncovered by McKinsey indicate that “for every 10-percentage-point uptick in customer satisfaction, a company can increase revenues from 2 percent to 3 percent.”

McKinsey conducted research into five different customer journeys to identify the common threads in overall customer experience in the financial sector. The following four key points summarise their findings in relation to:

  •  Retail customer on-boarding
  • Mortgage applications
  • Car insurance claims
  • Life insurance acquisition
  • The on-boarding of small to medium sized enterprises

Focus On What Makes A Difference To The Customer

Not all factors of the customer journey have the impact that you think they do. Proper research needs to be conducted into your business and niche in order to determine exactly what it is that your customers benefit from. In the case of this specific research, the following outcomes were found to be most important to customers:

  • Transparency of fees or product prices
  • The ability to communicate easily with the financial institution
  • Clear status tracking of the on-boarding process

On the opposite side of the spectrum, these factors didn’t do much to sway the customer satisfaction performance:

  • Staff courtesy
  • Timely call-backs
  • Document clarification

Simplicity Is Key

The busy customer of today has limited time available and appreciates ease of use, convenience and simplicity. If opening an account can be completed successfully in a few clicks, chances are that customer satisfaction is going to be high. However, if these clicks then result in the need for phone calls, email queries, call-backs and issues, the trade-off for simpler sign-up is not worth it. There is a fine line between creating a simple customer journey and being able to tick all the boxes in terms of requirements. Find the balance.

Digital First, But Don’t Forget Online

There might be multiple customer journeys within your business. They might be 100% online, or they might start in the digital space and finish offline in a branch. They could take place within the branch, or they could start there and finish online. There is a need to refine all of these experiences, but which one result in greater customer satisfaction? When referring specifically to McKinsey’s study it was found that refined digital experiences resulted in higher performance on the customer satisfaction scale. Start there, but don’t neglect the other customer journeys or offshoots of the digital experience.

Perceptions Are A Thing

When it comes down to drawing the line between your business and a high-ranking competitor, people’s perception of your business, the brand and your capabilities, counts for a lot. It can be the defining factor between your business and another, specifically because you can create a perception that is desirable.

If you constantly reiterate that your customers are treated with personalised attention, and you actually carry this through to your communications and customer treatment, you will start to live that perception. And your customers will believe it too. Work of mouth can put you strides ahead of your competitors if you manage to get this formula right.

Being equipped with the knowledge of how to improve customer satisfaction is one thing, but actually doing it is another. If you are finding it difficult to get started, let us help.

Contact the team here and let’s get your customer satisfaction performance scoring an all-time high!

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