Engageware, a provider of customer engagement solutions, released its ‘Customer Engagement in Banking Report: The Path Forward for 2022.’ The report highlights key findings from industry analysts, as well as proprietary survey research examining banking professionals’ priorities, challenges and investments for this year. Engageware surveyed banking professionals in a variety of roles at credit unions (67.4%) and community banks (31.5%) with asset sizes ranging from $500 million to $20 billion.
Bill Clark, President and Chief Executive Officer of Engageware, said, "It’s one of the most challenging times in recent history for financial institutions. They are grappling with unprecedented numbers of questions and concerns about how to best leverage digital and employee-assisted channels to drive growth, improve operational efficiencies and expand customer engagement in 2022. This report not only sheds light on mid-tier financial institutions’ primary concerns, but also provides specific strategies banks and credit unions can implement to more effectively engage with customers based on best practices from Engageware’s hundreds of financial services customers."
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According to Engageware’s report, financial institutions must address the following broader macro social and economic issues head-on in 2022:
- Consumers will remain skeptical. Following the pandemic and highly charged political events and social movements of recent years, consumer perceptions have changed. Recent studies found that a greater percentage of consumers are increasingly pessimistic of business and life outcomes due to the pandemic. A separate study on misinformation found that consumers are also more skeptical of company claims and offers. Consumer trust levels have decreased, and skepticism will likely continue to grow this year. To gain consumer confidence, institutions must demonstrate their credibility and expertise by relaying information accurately and consistently across all channels. Supporting employees with easily accessible information and centralized resources is paramount to providing a positive, consistent customer experience both in-person and online. To improve customer confidence, remove friction and ambiguity from digital channels by ensuring information is easy to find and make choices differentiated and clear.
- Consumer expectations and digital capabilities will continue to diverge. Institutions must address rapidly transforming consumer expectations, including the demand for a more personalized and customized digital user experience. Institutions must focus on convenience, ease of use and uniqueness. The most successful solutions will combine differentiating features and personalization with better access to support.
- Staffing, and subsequently, customer service challenges will persist. Financial institutions remain concerned about employee turnover, lack of training, low morale and onboarding employees with the right skill sets. Understaffing and training issues are not going unnoticed by customers, leading to frustrations with service levels. Additionally, technology objectives focused on generating operational efficiencies may be compounding the issue. Solutions implemented to reduce workload for contact center employees can increase workload if omnichannel customer engagement requirements are not thoughtfully considered.
Clark added, "Taking a closer look at some of the key data, we found digital continues to be the top priority for 2022. However, nearly 40% of banking professionals consider digital and employee-assisted channels to be equally important in driving their customer engagement strategy. Banks and credit unions should remain mindful that more technology does not always equate to a better customer experience, nor does it guarantee streamlined operations."
According to the report, a well-balanced customer engagement strategy will involve both digital and employee-assisted channels. Survey respondents indicated their priorities for 2022 include: providing more resources and support for digital channels, increasing focus on employee enablement including training and development, as well as improving security measures to prevent fraud.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
Engageware provides technology and expert know-how to help organizations better engage their customers.
Published: Monday, March 21, 2022
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