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Customers Expect Service That Wows — Can Banks Deliver?

How can banks use tech to drive ROI and delight customers? Data, artificial intelligence, and a cloud-based CRM.

From labour and skills shortages to increased competition from digital-only institutions, traditional banks today are facing unprecedented challenges.

At the same time, customers continue to demand excellent, timely, and highly personalised service. Yet, according to The Future of Financial Services report, only 11% of customers stated their banks anticipated their financial needs.

So what can banks do to win and retain customer trust while being more efficient and keeping costs low? How do they wow their customers?

Evaluate how and which technology can deliver business value

Banks need the right data and infrastructure in place to understand and anticipate consumer needs. In other words, they need to undergo significant digital transformation. Yet, one report found that less than one third of APAC banks’ digital transformation strategies are ‘advanced’.

More than half the banks surveyed were at risk of missing their transformation targets altogether. This is despite the fact that the surveyed leaders were aware of the need to embrace digital transformation, or risk losing market share (67%), or even ceasing to exist within a decade (58%).

To embrace the opportunities ahead, banks need to first have firm digital transformation objectives. Next, they must identify gaps in their current technological portfolio so they can amend or add tools to help them get to their goal. But such changes are often costly, so any technology investment must deliver value in the long term to make it worthwhile.

The future of finance is digital

Download the Future of Financial Services report.

Move from custom solutions to out-of-the-box technology

It may be tempting to build highly customised solutions that cater to every stringent protocol a bank needs to adhere to. However, this can be costly, and may limit future return on investment (ROI). Any changes to a custom build would likely require significant coding, which leads to loss of time and money. It also puts undue pressure on IT teams to troubleshoot problems and provide always-on support.

Instead, banking institutions should consider out-of-the box cloud solutions. By nature, they are designed with usability and accessibility in mind. Such services take the “clicks not code” approach, which means they do not require any coding knowledge and can be leveraged by employees across the organisation.

However, as The Reset report points out, it is also important to understand that while many tech features can be deployed out the box, organisations shouldn’t simply take a blanket approach. Instead, they should remain selective and focus on using out-of-the-box features in areas with low strategic value, where the outcome is highly commoditised.

For instance, when used for customer service, the teams involved can adopt ready-made technology quickly, without having to rely heavily on IT teams. And without a steep learning curve, their productivity improves rapidly, leading to higher efficiencies, cost savings, and happier customers. A Forrester study found that the implementation of Salesforce Service Cloud improved call centre average handling time by 25%, and improved agent time to competency by 66%.

Break down silos to deliver personalisation

Another way to elevate customer engagement is by delivering personalised experiences. With 71% of APAC consumers responding positively to tailored products, bespoke service can be a great business differentiator for banks.

However, businesses often use technology that is siloed for particular functions or teams. This means information doesn’t flow through between teams and nobody gets a clear picture of what the customer is after.

To break down these siloes, banks can consolidate their technology solutions for a 360-degree view of customer data across various channels.

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A leading bank in the Philippines uses Sales Cloud, Service Cloud and Marketing Cloud to better understand and wow its customers:

  • When a customer calls, the contact centre agent can see all the customer information in Service Cloud. Not only does this allow them to provide a more personalised service, employees also see a ‘next best offer’ on their interface to cross-sell products to meet customer needs better.
  • The same offer can also be seen by reps in Sales Cloud, along with any known customer concerns. This empowers them to own the customer relationship and offer the right solutions for individual customer problems.
  • And marketing teams can create highly personalised messages in Marketing Cloud. The result: 34% increase in engaged leads for the bank.

Take advantage of service automation

Like many other organisations, banks can simultaneously scale service and improve the customer experience by providing access to self-service portals. By intercepting simple customer enquiries and diverting them away from high-touch channels like the contact centre, automated or self-service portals free up agents to handle more complex customer requests.

There are various channels you can start building today — chatbots, self-service knowledge banks, or automated telephone systems.

In just one month in early 2020, the same leading bank in the Philippines handled more than 80,000 customer messages via chat, saving their contact centre agents hundreds of hours.

Empower your teams to deliver innovation

Automated processes allow companies to free up valuable employee time by cutting out mundane administrative tasks. This allows employees to dedicate more time to strategic thinking.

In fact, with “drag and drop” technology solutions, staff members are encouraged to experiment with the tool and can often come up with new use cases for the technology. This can help the bank achieve true digital transformation — delivering greater business value through cost savings and opportunities for long-term growth.

To thrive in the digital age, traditional banks must transform ways of working. It’s time to look for new and innovative strategies to scale operations without increasing costs, and seek out technology that can help them do all this while keeping customers satisfied. And to make sure that innovation can continue, it’s important to consider solutions that not only address your immediate challenges, but that also scale with you as you evolve.

Uncover more insights on digital transformation that delivers greater business value.

Watch Driving Service Innovation in Financial Services.


Salesforce is the #1 CRM, bringing companies and customers together in the digital age. Founded in 1999, Salesforce enables companies of every size and industry to take advantage of powerful technologies—cloud, mobile, social, blockchain, voice, and artificial intelligence—to connect to their customers in a whole new way. They are coming to us as their trusted advisor, and together we are transforming their businesses around the customer.

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