The customer experience challenge
The challenge of meeting and exceeding customer expectations in financial services is a unique one. What can be done relatively easily in other industries is becoming increasingly challenging in ours.
More stringent regulations and other changes to our industry as a result of the Banking Royal Commission mean we have to do 30% more to sign off a personal loan compared to two years ago.
Regardless, we’re still charged with improving and streamlining CX for the customer in a responsible manner. Customers expect that instant approval of loans should be possible. However the simple fact is that it’s not. It won’t be for a long time.
Despite this, at Savvy we’ve been able to achieve and hold a CSAT score of 96 by meeting and exceeding customer expectations in other ways.
Here are the five things we do to make CX everyone’s responsibility and every experience an exceptional one.
1. Focus on innovation
Our core values revolve around customer satisfaction. We do everything we possibly can to make the process of applying for a loan as seamless as possible.
We work harder and smarter for the customer through:
- Quick, easy-to-use options such as online application forms and e-signing of consent documents
- Ensuring all touchpoints come through the one system
- Ensuring the customer always feels comfortable with who they’re dealing with
We’ve come a long way since we were emailing out PDF forms and collecting applications manually 10 years ago. Five years from now we’ll look back disdainfully on the clunky parts of the process that exist right now.
But for now, as long as we continue to focus on innovative ways to speed up the process, and make it as seamless and consistent as possible, customers’ expectations will continue to be met.
2. Earn customer trust
To ensure we’re delivering the best possible experience, we have to look at everything from the customer’s point of view.
And we have to earn their trust.
Customers are fed up with 45-minute meetings with brokers. When they realise Savvy can do the same in 10 minutes, it makes us an obvious choice.
Customers don’t like financial jargon. They want everything to be explained to them in plain English. We do that whenever we can.
Earning the customer’s trust is all about delivering a quality service responsibly. They want to fully understand the product they’re purchasing and they want to be updated every step of the way.
CX has to match expectations as well as regulations. And we make the effort to explain that to the customer. It’s a big market with plenty of competition, so we make CX our edge over everybody else.
3. Use customer data
By putting every customer interaction through Salesforce we not only work faster, smarter and better with each customer, we also gather actionable data. Ultimately, that data is used to make important business decisions around how we can continue to improve.
It shows us where we can do better, informs our approach to sales training and impacts significantly on the positive CX we can deliver.
A recent hire of ours who breaks plenty of sales records has a very strong background in tech. That shows how important that intimate understanding of technology can be for our salespeople.
Data and AI can also help us to recognise and understand what leads to a negative customer experience, something we’re obsessed about preventing. As soon as people have a bad experience they jump online and leave a bad review. And that’s never good for business.
4. The importance of education and training
We educate our agents to do everything in their power to make sure their dealings with the customer are positive and will not end with a bad review. This is an important element of our internal incentives.
Our staff are well trained and they can respond to any questions. We are constantly putting our employees through training sessions. That incentive to learn and get better is always there. How staff training impacts upon customer service should never be underestimated.
5. Align customer success with our own
As a business leader, I have to ensure a high-performance culture, for the sake of my staff and for the sake of the customer.
That means constantly focusing on delivering the best possible service, responsibly.
It’s about making that extra phone call, having a powerful desire for the success of the customer and aligning the customer’s success with your own.
It’s about having the ability to do 30% more because the system we’re working in allows us to do so without the customer even noticing.
That’s what a high performance culture looks like. And that’s what leads to success.
What the future of finance looks like
The future holds even greater promise and control for the customer. The advent of open banking will accelerate further change in financial services, including lending and broking.
We’re going to have more information on customers, so lenders will be able to make better decisions on the right type of profile, and deliver more accurate products based on the customer’s profile.
That can only be a good thing.
Read the new full State of Service report to see what you can do to make customers’ experiences as great as your products.
Bill Tsouvalas is the founder and Managing Director of Savvy.