By Fabrice Martin, Chief Product Officer, Clarabridge
When a bank or financial services company directly uses customer feedback to make decisions at the executive level, it’s almost as if that company has given its customers a seat in the boardroom; however, just because a business is open to using customer feedback in this way doesn’t mean it has successfully done so.
Companies may think they’re listening to “Voice of the Customer (VoC) data,” but they must make sure their information is truly representative of the customer voice. Failure to address this subtle yet critical nuance can result in an organisation making decisions based on a limited understanding of the customer perspective.
If a company uses misleading data to make important business decisions, it will not be able to understand what the customer really wants. This reality can have devastating effects on a business’s ability to maintain a compelling value proposition and can put it at a disadvantage if competitors succeed in more effectively using the data.
To mitigate the risk of failing to consider customer input, businesses must first understand why certain metrics may be misleading and then understand how to turn accurate insights into action.
Understand when the data doesn’t show the full picture
Many executives in the financial services sector believe that relying on metrics such as NPS or CSAT provides a comprehensive view of the customer experience. In fact, an article in the Wall Street Journal states that the term “net promoter” or “NPS” was cited more than 150 times in earnings conference calls by 50 S&P 500 companies in 2018. But, as the WSJ article points out, this statistic fails to tell the entire story.
By relying on a single metric to capture the complexity of the end-to-end customer experience, senior executives can miss important data that impacts the bottom line. Businesses often measure NPS through surveys, but the results only reflect the views of those actually completed the survey and may be more likely to reflect the perspectives of those who had an especially good or bad experience. Therefore, the findings may not represent the views of customers outside of those categories, causing the company to overlook a potentially huge portion of its customer base and sacrifice relevant insights that could increase profit.
While executives may be mentioning NPS frequently, a sole reliance on this metric offers a very shallow and incomplete picture of how customers actually feel.
Listen to multiple sources of data
In order to broaden the types of metrics used to examine the customer experience, companies must look beyond the survey. Customers are using a variety of channels such as email, chat, calls, surveys and social media to interact with banks and financial institutions regarding issues ranging from checking an account balance to arranging a mortgage. They’re also sharing their experiences and communicating with other customers on blogs, forums and review sites. Regardless of the channel, it’s imperative that customer-centric organisations analyse them all.
By including feedback from multiple channels, businesses can access the unsolicited feedback their customers are offering and review insights that reflect both structured and unstructured data.
Through the process of analysing multiple sources of data, companies can ensure that the voices of all their customers are heard.
Integrate findings and enrich your insights
Once a company establishes a process for ingesting feedback from a variety of channels, it must integrate the findings from those sources. By looking at a single, aggregate view of the data, the business can begin to identify the areas where customers are satisfied and those which they feel need improvement. Then it can begin determining recommendations and action items.
Using this approach, a large banking customer determined that customers were finding one of its investment options to be confusing, and employees were also unclear about the product offering. The company promptly updated the employee training process and rewrote the product brochures to eliminate confusion and drive product adoption.
This example illustrates the importance of considering metrics beyond NPS and CSAT when identifying opportunities to create a better customer experience. It’s necessary to enrich the data by measuring characteristics such as sentiment, effort and emotion to really understand the entirety of the customer experience.
Insight into customer engagement, emotion, effort and sentiment also serves as a strong predictor of loyalty, which is vital for any bank. For example, research from Gartner shows that solving problems quickly and easily is the most successful way to build customer loyalty. The research also shows that 94% of customers are likely to repurchase after a low effort experience. By enriching the data and examining more nuanced measures of CX, companies can begin looking at the leading indicators of loyalty and satisfaction instead of the lagging ones.
Demonstrate a willingness to act on insights
After identifying accurate insights, banks and financial services organisations must act upon that information. By listening to customers at all touchpoints and integrating the findings, they’ve already taken the first step toward giving the customer a seat in the boardroom; however, it’s imperative that they demonstrate their commitment through action.
By putting a spotlight on initiatives that highlight the insights-to-action process, companies will encourage customers to trust that they are truly listening. This technique will also add an element of authenticity to the brand by sending the message that the company cares. It’s important for the business to incorporate some degree of visibility into the process and communicate its efforts to customers in order to enjoy maximum business and brand benefits while creating a better CX.
It’s always more effective to show customers that a business cares than it is to simply tell them, and customers will show their appreciation with revenue and loyalty.
To truly give customers a seat in the boardroom, banks should look beyond basic metrics, consider data from every channel, integrate findings and act upon the information. If an organisation follows these steps, it will make significant progress toward improving the customer experience.
THE EMOTIONAL AND FINANCIAL COST OF WORKING WITH OUTDATED TECHNOLOGY
Slow Tech Could Waste 24 Hours of Worktime a Year
In this digital age, businesses are hugely reliant on technology to get work done. And this is especially the case for one-man-bands and small home-based businesses who may count on a single computer to keep things running smoothly from their home office space.
This said, if the technology at hand is slow or outdated, it could become more of a hinderance than a help. Investing in upgraded tech may seem like a steep expense, however, delays cost time and time is money. In fact, recent research looking at the impact of tech troubles in the workplace found that delays caused by slow technology could add up to a hefty 24 days’ worth of worktime a year per person.
Here’s why keeping hold of outdated tech when its past its best could cost your business in the long run.
The biggest tech hold-ups
Delving deeper into the research, it’s evident that the most time can be lost on some of the smallest of tasks. Simply waiting for your computer to boot up, for example, can add up to 8.8 days of lost time over the space of a year (17 minutes a day), while 8.5 days can be lost to opening emails (16.5 minutes a day). Slow software has the most to answer for, however, contributing 10.4 days’ worth of wasted worktime (20 minutes a day). When you think about your own day rate or that of an employee’s, this lost time all adds up to some serious money, right? Probably more than it would cost to upgrade your tech.
Productivity can suffer too
Glitchy tech may not only cost your business time and money; productivity can take a serious hit too. According to the study, a third of workers admit losing motivation when they have to wait on tech to respond. And this comes as no surprise. When faced with freezing programmes and buffering browsers every day, frustration can build up. And when someone’s suffering frustration, productivity and motivation can drop. As a result, it may turn out it’s not just the tech that is slowing down tasks, but a reduction in employee efficiency too.
Tech expert and anti-futurist, Theo Priestley, argues that the issues caused by outdated tech at work can even have a negative effect on someone’s work-life balance and wellbeing. He explains, “not being able to complete work or feel productive or have a sense of accomplishment in a task can be a stressful experience. And depending on the nature of the work, more often than not, employees will need to work additional hours to compensate for the wasted time, which has a knock-on impact on personal and family life.”
Outdated tech can put your business at risk
Beyond the costs to your business, outdated tech can also put it at increased risk of cybercrime. The older the technology, the easier it is for hackers to exploit it. What’s more, if you don’t update your security software regularly, it won’t be equipped to address the latest security threats.
Priestley explains “outdated technology and software means easy exploitation from inside and outside the organisation. If you’re not using the latest versions of operating systems, or software that you’ve invested in, then there’s greater chance for someone to exploit known weaknesses in that system and expose or steal data or valuable company information from them.”
What is the solution?
Regularly assess what condition your hardware and software are in and where delays are occurring. If you find yourself waiting on the same problem day in day out, it’s probably time to do something about it. But how often should you be upgrading your IT equipment?
In general, a computer being used for business could do with being upgraded every two to three years for optimal performance. Alternatively, sometimes simply upgrading the memory or hard drive can help applications run more quickly. Any other equipment such as printers, keyboards, etc. only really need to be replaced when they break.
As for software, upgrade it regularly. While it can be a temptation to stick with older versions that you’ve grown accustomed to, the newer versions will offer improved capabilities, efficiency and security.
While computers slowing down over time seems inevitable and something that we’ve accepted will happen, it’s important for businesses to recognise the problem can have a bigger knock-on effect than you may think. By investing in updated, efficient technology, the savings experienced via productivity are likely to vastly outweigh the price of the tech itself. So, next time your computer freezes, perhaps consider whether it’s time for an upgrade.
OFFSHORE COMPANY FORMATION TACTICS FOR SMEs
James Turner, Director at company formation specialists, Turner Little
Starting a business brings with it its own set of challenges, as well as opportunities. But when setting up a business, the where is often as important as the how, and knowing what to expect in terms of company formation regulations and requirements is key, so you can start your entrepreneurial journey on the right foot.
James Turner, Director at company formation specialists, Turner Little, takes us through what we need to consider when it comes to offshore company formation, and the benefits it can offer start-ups and SMEs.
“Despite what the media will have you believe, there are numerous legitimate reasons to use an offshore company. Offshore companies can often provide SMEs with access to better infrastructure and legal frameworks. Regulations in different parts of the world could prove to be restrictive for businesses by preventing foreign entities from launching factories, buying property or investing in local companies. In this instance, setting up an offshore company can help in completing transactions and provide you with the ability to hold any local assets necessary,” says James.
“However, one of the fundamental reasons for setting up an offshore company is often privacy. Moving assets or setting up a business is often done in a country that offers more tightly protected data security, has a robust legal framework and a network of service providers that streamline the setting up process. Switzerland is often the country of choice when it comes to privacy, as it’s synonymous with security and data privacy. Another reason SMEs should consider setting up an offshore company is tax efficiency. Tax advantages are offered by different jurisdictions. For example, Singapore has one of the lowest corporate tax rates, while the Cayman Islands might be more ideal for freelancers who are looking to minimise the effective tax rate on their businesses,” adds James.
“Offshore companies provide SMEs with the ability to mitigate risks that arise from political instability or currency volatility. We have already seen businesses starting to register European entities in order to limit their exposure to the fallout that may result from Brexit. Whatever the reason, spreading your operations across jurisdictions may be the best long-term business strategy SMEs can adopt to secure future growth,” adds James.
Turner Little specialises in creating bespoke solutions for individuals and businesses of all sizes. The knowledge and expertise of their specialists will be able to assist with any enquires, no matter how complex.
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