Bolstering Branch Support and New Financial Wellness Tools for Younger Consumers Also Cited as “Must Haves,” According to New Research from Verint
MELVILLE, N.Y., August 17, 2022 — Concerns about the security of their funds and protection against identity fraud are replacing “low or no fees” as key factors when choosing a new bank, with “security of personal information,” “fraud protection,” and “fraud alerts” among the top factors consumers consider, according to new research issued today by Verint (The Customer Engagement Company).
Aside from security concerns, the report highlights the need for banks to improve the in-branch experience as well as new and emerging needs to support the financial wellbeing of younger consumers, as the most important ways to improve customer experience and satisfaction.
The Verint Experience Index: Banking Report is a benchmark survey of consumer satisfaction with 20 leading banks and includes Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) and Net Promoter Score (NPS)* rankings and insights from a survey of more than 5,000 consumers across Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X and Baby Boomer demographics.
The VXI looks at banking proficiency across five key drivers that impact customer satisfaction: branches (convenience, location variety, service level); confidence (transaction accuracy, security, protecting PII); products (meet financial requirements, flexibility, clarity of terms); representatives (understanding, responsiveness, resolution); and services (account management, access, simplicity).
Verint’s methodology measures several key drivers of customer satisfaction to calculate how they impact CSAT, to direct banks to succeed in an era where customer journeys are more complex, and expectations are higher than ever.
Banks Come Up Short on In-Person Support
Over the past few years, banks have rationalized their brick-and-mortar operations amidst shutdowns and as digital banking has grown during the pandemic. Despite a shift towards automation and a more digital-first world, many banking consumers still value human interactions, particularly for more complex banking tasks.
The research shows that digital channels are popular for straightforward tasks. To research a product or service (57%), conduct a transaction (53%) or apply for a product or service (49%), a large portion of consumers first interacted with the bank on its website or mobile app or via chat/email to complete those tasks.
When a task is more complex, customers preferred a human interaction. The last time they needed to resolve an issue with their accounts, 54% of consumers first called the bank or visited a branch or drive-through. Baby Boomers were more likely than younger consumers to go inside the bank (27%) – at least 10 percentage points higher than younger consumers. Nearly 40 percent of consumers who visited branches reported they were left waiting longer than expected.
“The banking industry is challenged with a scenario where the Great Resignation is meeting the ‘Great Recalibration,’” says Verint’s Jenni Palocsik, vice president, marketing insights, experience and enablement. “Banks are calling back furloughed staff, reallocating team members who were solely dedicated to digital channels and rethinking how to adequately staff bank branches to meet fluctuating needs for in-person service.”
Given this new challenge, bank operations should consider the addition of digital technology to improve the in-branch experience. Digital channels can be used by customers to make appointments through online forms or automated messaging flows. Customers can receive reminder alerts and information concerning the appointment, while branches can prepare for the volume and timing of appointments and allocate resources accordingly.
Retooling Needed to Support the Needs of Younger Customers
In last year’s VXI for Banking report, Gen Z and Millennial consumers led the way in adopting new additive banking services such as micropayment apps such as Venmo and Zelle. This year’s research shows a continuation of the need to expand banking offerings to incorporate new financial tools and technologies to empower younger consumers with the means to better manage their finances.
This year’s study found Gen Z and Millennial banking consumers need more help cutting costs, tracking subscriptions, creating budgets, and managing expenses.
“With the pressures of global inflation rising, a lack of assistance with financial management is likely to have a bigger impact on younger generations than it might have six or twelve months ago,” says Palocsik. “With many younger consumers willing to switch banking providers, banks must offer products and services to help address the gap in Gen Z and Millennials’ financial knowledge to retain a loyal customer base for the long-term.”
Download the Verint Experience Index: Banking Report for the full rankings and more insights for the 20 banks featured.
The Verint Experience Index (VXI) is a web panel survey report chronicling customer experiences across key industries. The 2022 edition of the VXI for Banking ranks the omnichannel customer experience of the top 20 commercial banks in the U.S. that offer savings or checking accounts as ranked by the Federal Reserve according to total number of assets. Rankings are based on Customer Satisfaction (CSAT), using a scale of 0-100. Net Promoter Score (NPS) is also shown on a scale of -100 to 100. The most recent study was fielded from March 16 to April 10, 2022, with a total of 5,115 survey respondents.