Can saving 5 minutes really be the difference between choosing one bank over another? How much can a seamless customer experience really affect customer preference? Let me share my experience purchasing my first home to show you just how pivotal those 5 minutes can be for your banking customers.

Buying a house is one of the biggest financial decisions you’ll ever make. As a first-time homebuyer, I was more concerned with the color of the walls than the financial details around my mortgage. But when the reality of investing all my life savings and taking on a loan for the rest of my working career became very real, I realized I had to make more informed decisions. So I started with basic research around banking terms like ARMs and FRMs, points, and LTVs. Once I felt confident that I could navigate the financial process, I needed to pick the bank that would best meet my financial needs.

After more research, I narrowed it down to two banks. One was a big name national bank that offered online mortgage payments, investment options, and the ability to move excess funds from my investment account towards my mortgage payment. This bank clearly listened to changing customer demands and innovated better, more seamless experiences to meet those demands. The second, was my current bank — a smaller, local bank that offered very attractive terms and conditions. On the downside, it didn’t have the ability to integrate my existing investment account with my new mortgage account. However, like the big name bank, the smaller bank also offered online services, so in many ways the two banks were similar.

I was curious as to why the smaller bank was unable to integrate my two accounts, so I stopped over at my local branch to have a quick chat with the manager (who happened to be my friend). He said, “We’ve had our banking systems for over 40 years now. It’s old and archaic, and it doesn’t easily talk with our newer systems. We considered trying to integrate our old systems with our new systems, but figured it’d cost us hundreds of thousands of dollars to hire a consultant and also take up months of valuable time. It would’ve been a lot of effort for a few minutes of our customers time. In the end, the decision to keep everything as is was pretty easy for us to make!”

On the surface, those 5 minutes saved with one bank seemed like a small difference between the two. Except it wasn't. The bigger bank was able to deliver a seamless online experience that integrated all facets of my customer experience with them.

In the end, I decided that the better experience offered by the bigger bank was more important to me — especially for a long-term commitment like a mortgage. The fact that they also saved me time was the cherry on top. Am I the exception? I don't think so.

Technology shouldn’t hold you back. In fact, it should give you more time to focus on your business. That’s why Salesforce created Accelerators — fast, focused work sessions with Salesforce experts that help you achieve your business goals through Salesforce without major time commitments. With Accelerators, you don’t need SOWs and long resource gathering phases. Within 1 to 4 weeks, you can start working on things that are most important to your financial services organization (like integrating those systems so you can deliver the experiences your customers demand.)

Recently, one of our larger banking customers engaged an Accelerator to help solve the challenge of getting the right information from Salesforce into the hands of their agents. They wanted their agents to have informed, meaningful conversations with their customers, but their outdated, siloed system forced their team to spend valuable time asking customers for account details the firm already had access to. By engaging with certified Accelerator specialists, this bank was able to create a customized Salesforce console for their agents, giving them instant access to basic account information, historical information, and even potential red alerts. These new consoles armed their agents with the most relevant and up to date information every single time. The results were better, more seamless customer experiences that saved their customers valuable time.

Customers are demanding better experiences from every industry and banking is especially ready for disruption. Five minutes may not seem like a worthwhile investment, but to your customers, that time saved represents a seamless, fluid experience.

If this story seems familiar, check out this infographic to learn how Accelerators can help your Financial Services organization get on the fast track to delivering an amazing customer experience.