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What Your Financial Services Business Can Do To Inspire Customer Trust

What Your Financial Services Business Can Do To Inspire Customer Trust

Building customer trust is vital for financial services to compete in an increasingly crowded market. But how can they do it?

The last few years have seen a rapid change in customer expectations. Amid all the uncertainty in life and business, trust is now a valued commodity for customers. According to the State of the Connected Customer report, 88% of customers believe trust becomes more important in times of change. 

Financial services customers in particular place great value on trust – they need to know their investments are secure and expect a transparent experience from their service providers. According to recent Salesforce research, 83% of customers reported a concern over their long-term financial security. This makes it critical for financial services institutions (FSIs) to show their customers that they understand their concerns and can address their needs in a transparent manner. 

So how can your financial services business think and act like your customers? What can you do to win trust and turn your customers into loyal advocates for your business?

1. Build a connected customer experience

“The quality of customer experience is directly proportional to customers’ perception of transparency and trust ,” says Prakash Thomas, Regional Vice President; Financial Services & Health, Salesforce Industries; ASEAN. “If a customer’s interaction with a business across their channels is fragmented, it is difficult to meet customer expectations. Having the right data at the right point of the customer journey helps understand their real needs and enables meeting client needs and expectations in a consistent manner.”

To gain a deep understanding of customer needs, a business needs to have a single shared view of its customers across channels and teams. As customer journeys are increasingly shifting to multiple channels, it is critical to have this shared view across digital and in-person touchpoints. Cloud-based platforms like Customer 360 and Financial Services Cloud can provide a comprehensive customer view for business teams to access from anywhere and at any time. This helps to build a business understanding your customer needs with improved process efficiency to deliver a seamless and connected customer experience.

2. Invest in technology to deliver a personal touch

Globally, 73% of customers expect companies to understand their unique needs and expectations. But customers are also clearly indicating that FSIs are falling short in this regard. Only 11% of banking customers, 11% of insurance customers, and 18% of wealth management customers say their service providers anticipate their needs. 

To deliver an experience that meets growing customer expectations, FSIs can invest in automation to personalise the experience based on each customer’s unique journey. Customers are increasingly shifting to a digital-first user journey, with Asia’s share of active digital banking users increasing to 88% compared to 65% four years ago. This is driving businesses to invest in a strong tech foundation to gain 360-degree visibility of customer journeys. Banks like RCBC in the Philippines are using Marketing Cloud to leverage customer transaction history and demographics information to build more personalised and automated journeys.

3. Communicate honestly and transparently

74% of customers say communicating honestly and transparently is more important

now than before the pandemic. To win customer trust, a business needs to interact with a customer in clear, transparent, and meaningful ways. According to Prakash, customer trust in financial services can be varied. 

“Traditionally, customers have not been high on trust with insurance companies. This is due to the perception that there isn’t a high level of transparency in insurance products when compared to say retail banking due to complexity in their product offering,” explains Prakash. “But I think insurers have improved drastically in the last few years in regards to simplifying communication around product offerings , and regulators have also had a big role to play in improving transparency.”

Using a single source of truth can help business teams create cohesive experiences for customers and improve transparency in product communication. With a full view of purchase history, you can make tailored recommendations that genuinely address customer needs. Your service teams can also have the right information to solve customer problems faster and build trust.

4. Take data security and regulatory compliance seriously

“If I’m a customer, the security of my data is my biggest concern. As a financial services business, you’re basically only as good as your last security breach,” says Prakash. 

To maintain customer trust, FSIs need to invest in the right data security solutions. According to Prakash, there are three essential steps a business can take to ensure security.

“First, ensure you have sufficient security measures in place to address regulatory compliance issues. The second is technology upgrades — you have to ensure you are operating on the latest version of your systems. Every upgrade comes with newer protection against emerging security threats. And lastly, you need to keep raising security awareness amongst your teams and customers so they are aware of on-going threats in the marketplace and practise a culture of security in their day to day operations. It is important that even a simple advice of not clicking on malicious links needs to be reinforced regularly to clients and internal staff. 

A secure platform like Financial Services Cloud can help keep customer profiles and data secure, while helping drive regulatory compliance. With the right tools and knowledge at your disposal, your teams can fully focus on meeting customer needs in a secure manner.

5. Be clear about your values, and stick to them

For many customers today, it’s not enough for companies to deliver a great product or service. They prefer businesses which demonstrate values like commitment to environmental practices, sustainability, diversity and inclusion. 66% of customers have stopped buying from a company whose values didn’t align with theirs — up from 62% in 2020.

“Customers want to interact with businesses that are committed to doing the right thing. That means acting not just from your own corporate values but aligning with shareholder, community and philanthropic values,” says Prakash. “And when your personal values are aligned to your corporate values, it blends into an organisational culture of doing right by your customers and the community at large.”

Building customer trust requires keeping your customers at the centre of all your business actions and service delivery. Financial services have a big opportunity to align their systems, people, and processes to be fully customer centric and win trust. 

To find out more on how ASEAN financial services brands can increase efficiency with automation and win a share of the mind, time and trust of customers, download our e-book Winning Customer Minds, Time and Trust

Download Winning Customer Minds, Time and Trust ebook


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