Let’s cut right to the chase – the big 4 aren’t in anybody’s good books right now. If you’ve had a smooth run so far with your current bank, you’re one of the lucky ones. Unfortunately, the sad reality for most of us is that we’ve faced multiple hurdles with our banking institution and may have even decided to go through the process of changing to another one. Whatever your story, I think we can all agree that the Royal Commission brought to light some scary information about the banks, particularly the big kids, and as a result they are now are skating on some very thin ice when it comes to customer experience.
We’ve summarised five key reasons why the banks aren’t cutting it with customers right now.
Lack of Transparency
It’s very hard for us to know whether our banks are doing the right or wrong thing, and as a result we’re left to hold our breath until the Royal Commission comes around to find out for sure. This is far from ideal when it comes to securing customer trust, and unfortunately this is a very big issue for the banks. After hearing news about banks misinforming customers about home loans, credit cards and other financial information, it’s no wonder that people are reluctant to jump on the trust bandwagon. Nobody wants to end up with an ill-fitting loan that they will have no hope of repaying.
A Small Business’ Nightmare
The common perception is that it takes a large amount of effort to secure a loan from a bank as a small business owner, and unfortunately this perception has become a reality for many. The Commission highlighted how banks have been making it extremely difficult for small business owners to acquire a loan, with many having to dig deep into their pockets when things have gone wrong.
Small business owners need to know that they have the support of their bank and that they can receive honest advice about the best options specifically for them. Not only do small businesses require support, but also the opportunity to talk to a real person about the products available and the application process. The big banks are very good at briefly talking to the small business owner while directing them to a bunch of online application website links with no further support and no explanation why they receive the decisions they did. Sadly, the amount of effort the loan process takes is turning many off from even trying.
Lack of Care/ Empathy
This point particularly ties in with the challenges seen by small businesses. Many small business owners, and customers in general, seem to be predominantly viewed as numbers rather than people. It can be extremely difficult to establish genuine human connections with staff members, especially when they are hard to reach when an issue has arisen. Customers need to know that they have the support of their bank, and right now this simply isn’t happening enough. As a result, many customers are left to feel like their bank doesn’t give a hoot about whether they stay or go when the banks should really be fighting to do whatever they can to make a customer stay.
Too Much Take, Not Enough Give
Considering the amount of data banks have on us, you’d think we would see a whole lot more personalisation of services going on. Banks aren’t levering their CRM systems to appropriately and effectively personalise their actions and responses to issues and/or queries. Customers need to know that if they’re going to hand over a whole lot of personal information and data, their bank will responsibly use it to give them the best possible options. The reward needs to be clear and straightforward, so customers aren’t left scratching their heads wondering why their bank doesn’t understand their wants, needs or financial aspirations. With their customers permission, the banks need to use the data they have to really get to know their customers.
Lack of Simplicity
Let’s face it, there’s a whole lot of jargon and fine print that the average person just isn’t going get, or at least know to go looking for. It can often feel like you need to run an obstacle course before getting somewhere, which is both frustrating and disheartening. Banks need to put themselves in the mind of the customer to identify when and where customers complain about long, convoluted or just downright confusing processes and/or terms. A bank might think they’re being transparent with customers by including all information in the fine print, but for a customer who doesn’t have the time or awareness to actively search for this important information, it’s not transparent at all. For this reason, many customers are left in a state of frustration and disappointment.
What each of these points has in common is the need for the Big 4 to get to know their customers beyond a surface level. It’s becoming increasingly easier for customers to switch banks, and if the banks aren’t careful it won’t take long before more take the plunge and do it.