Lack of Big Data May Cost Financial Services Firms, as Bad Customer Service have Customers Considering Swapping Banks

May 22, 2013

New [24]7.ai research highlights need for financial services to make better use of customer history to know what customers want

LONDON, UK — 22 May 2013 — More than a quarter (26 per cent) of UK consumers have considered swapping banks after bad customer service according to new research released today by [24]7.ai, the intuitive customer experience company. With an estimated 54 million active UK bank accounts, the potential loss to financial services (FS) providers is huge.

The most annoying element of FS customer service amongst 18 to 55 year olds was having to start afresh at each point of contact, with FS firms forgetting previous conversations and customer history. 45 per cent of consumers said they expect FS providers to know what they want based on previous contact.

Around half of respondents admitted to getting frustrated when financial service providers do not know who they are or what their issue is, despite having interacted via another channel previously. Other issues highlighted were uninformed customer service agents unable to tell customers the required information, with 11% of consumers saying that was most annoying, and long call waiting times, according to the survey of 2,002 consumers conducted by Leadership Factor on behalf of [24]7.ai.

“Consumers now expect FS firms to use data from previous interactions to deliver an easy and intuitive experience,” said Mike Hughes, European MD at [24]7.ai. “The fact that so many consumers have considered swapping banks or insurers shows that customer service is an issue FS providers can’t afford to ignore. Consumer expectations are changing and they expect a swift resolution to issues, based on an understanding of who they are and previous contact they have had.”

Consumers are increasingly using a variety of channels to communicate with FS providers, with 93 per cent of people regularly using more than one channel to interact with an FS provider. The most popular ways of interacting with banks and other FS institutions remain in-person and via landline; however  16 per cent of consumers regularly use their mobile with that figure rising to more than a third amongst 18-24 year olds, suggesting that smart phones are becoming a significant customer service channel.

Social media’s role in FS customer service was minimal, with just 3.1 per cent using Facebook and 1.2 per cent using Twitter. The research also revealed that only 2 per cent of people use bespoke FS mobile apps for customer service, despite a number of FS providers offering this as an option. 12 per cent of respondents said that their FS providers do not allow them to interact with them using enough different channels. Further, 12 per cent admitted they would consider switching FS provider to one that offered omnichannel customer service.

“Consumers want to contact their FS provider via the channel of their choosing and this will almost always include a broad variety of different channels,” continued Mike Hughes, European MD at [24]7.ai. “The service they receive should not differ whichever channel that happens to be and it is clear that consumers do not want to waste time repeating details each time they interact. The public have shown they will take action so FS firms will ignore that at their peril.”

About [24]7.ai

[24]7.ai makes customer service and sales simple. Our platform and applications use big data and predictive analytics to understand customers and drive better service and sales results for large enterprises. We do this over 2.5 B times a year for the world’s leading companies. [24]7.ai’s platform enables an omnichannel interaction experience. We connect customer interactions across an enterprise’s web, mobile, chat, social, and phone channels. It’s all in real-time and in the cloud. Our solutions drive immediate business results. We increase revenues, reduce service and sales costs, and create more satisfied customers. [24]7.ai serves the Global 100 market leaders in the Financial Services, Retail, Telecommunications, Technology, and Travel Industries. [24]7.ai is noted by Forbes as one of America’s Most Promising Companies. [24]7.ai is a trademark of 24/7 Customer, Inc.  [24]7.ai is based in Campbell, California. For more information, visit: www.247-inc.com

[24]7.ai is a trademark of 24/7 Customer, Inc. All other brands, products or service names are or may be trademarks or service marks of their respective owners.

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Media Contact:
Paul Allen
Napier Partnership
+44 (0) 7515 199 487
paul@napier.co.uk