Again, though, the value to customers of physical proximity can vary widely from institution to institution and from country to country, pointing to a need for financial institutions to understand their customers at a more granular level.
Despite the impact of word of mouth in shaping perceptions, our survey revealed that few customers recommend a financial-services provider on the strength of their existing relationship with it. An existing relationship alone does not turn a customer into an advocate. Institutions that do more to please their existing customers and help them tell their story to their peers might be able to mobilize a new group of influential advocates for their products and services.
5. It pays to customize
While the four hallmarks for outstanding customer experiences tend to be universal, experience designers should focus on a range of customer preferences based on country, product, and age group. For example, we observed that the ease of navigating through the account-opening process had a larger impact on satisfaction in Italy than in France. Conversely, the assessment of broader customer needs is more important in France than Italy.
When looking across products, we also found detailed differences, such as the satisfaction factors for current accounts and mortgages. When working with current accounts, customers derive the greatest satisfaction from transparency on prices and fees; when they’re applying for a mortgage, by contrast, they most value the ease of filling in the application form.
Finally, there are also differences among customer groups. The ease of communicating with the bank is more important to customers 55 years and older than to 18-to-24-year-olds. Conversely, the ability to identify the right products is more important to 18-to-24-year-olds than to those 55 and older. This suggests that processes and value offerings need to be modular with their emphasis varying with what matters most to each customer segment.
Knowing what to do is the right place to start. But a company’s success in building out great customer journeys requires agile capabilities that excel at rapid iteration and testing and learning. Reacting to live feedback from real customers is often the difference between a good and a great customer experience. (Joao Dias, Oana Ionutiu, Xavier Lhuer, and Jasper van Ouwerkerk)
About the author(s)Joao Dias is a partner in the Cologne office, Oana Ionutiu is a specialist in the Bucharest office, Xavier Lhuer is an associate partner in the London office, and Jasper van Ouwerkerk is a senior partner in the Amsterdam office.