3 customer-experience risks challenging financial services — and what to do about them

Lisa Villano

May 24, 20226 min read

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A recent EY survey found that only 33% of consumers list a bank as their most trusted financial services partner, while a mere 12% list a wealth-management firm. Both numbers fall behind fintech in the trust category, and that discrepancy is even greater for younger generations of potential customers.

Technology is part of the story; the rise of mobile banking has changed customer behaviors around everyday transactions and long-term financial planning. But while many financial institutions have made smart investments in digital to keep pace, the industry still faces degrading levels of trust.

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The customer disconnect creates major problems for FinServ

Clearly, there is a gap between the experiences financial service brands provide and the expectations of consumers. The possible reasons for this gap are innumerable; there are thousands of factors that might create a negative brand experience or perception. Some may be obvious, but many others are difficult to recognize and rectify. Even the customers themselves may not be able to clearly articulate every reason for a negative feeling.

This is a big problem. When financial service brands fail to understand the holistic experiences of their customers, they expose themselves to major downstream risks, including:

1. Vulnerability to disruption

Shifting consumer behaviors and expectations have created enormous opportunities for disruption in financial services.

Challenger banks provide essential banking services digitally, and it’s estimated that the market for such banks could surpass $349 billion by 2026. Non-banking entities, especially large tech firms, also have the resources to expand into the industry — just as Amazon expanded into media, grocery retail, and healthcare.

These disruptors are often digitally native companies with the agility to pivot quickly to changing demand. To compete, traditional financial services must win on relationships, trust, and expertise. Without a rich understanding of what their customers truly value, financial services could fall behind.

2. Missing out on emerging markets

As of 2019, the World Bank placed the number of unbanked individuals globally at 1.7 billion. There is an enormous opportunity to provide important services to this population.

It’s about much more than market share. Most of these individuals live in economically developing regions under challenging circumstances. The financial services industry can play a role in bringing responsible, sustainable banking practices to these parts of the world, but there is no “one size fits all” approach. Banks must be able to understand the unique and evolving needs of diverse populations in order to be an effective steward.

3. Inability to protect against scams

The proliferation of social, messaging, and digital channels has left customers more exposed than ever to scams, fraud, and identity theft. It’s a monumental challenge to keep pace with a threat landscape that is constantly mutating.

Bad actors engage consumers across dozens of channels in fraudulent conversations and targeted attacks. Customers also share their experiences with each other, providing a warning about possible scams. Without the ability to tap into those conversations and uncover unseen threats, financial services are left playing catch up — and consumers pay the price.

Tackle big problems with hidden customer-experience insights

These are huge risks with complex, nuanced causes. Greater insight into the full range of customer experiences and expectations can help financial institutions better understand root causes of these issues and take action to mitigate the risk. Getting there requires an equally nuanced approach that includes:

Building a strong foundation for insight

Social listening solutions are a good start for tapping into the stated desires, experiences, and frustrations customers share across modern channels. This will give you a view of obvious issues and opportunities, and also help you tailor messages, campaigns, and promotions to the right customers on the channels they prefer.

Discovering unmet needs

Customer conversations provide critical insight into preferences and pain points — even when they aren’t talking directly about your brand or a competitor. Keyword-based social listening alone can’t uncover these insights, because brands aren’t aware of them and thus can’t track them.

Conversation-level data uncovers these blind spots by going beyond keywords to cluster macro themes, allowing you to analyze (and visualize) relationships, uncover hidden connections, and better understand the broader range of topics that are impacting your customers and your brand.

Understanding trends in time to take action

Major global trends can have an enormous influence on financial behaviors. In order to tap into these trends, brands need to understand how they develop in real time. Choose a solution that automates conversation analysis, so you can drill down into sub-topics related to trends and get a clear view of the emotions, occasions, or activities that inform them.

This is especially important when it comes to identifying and stopping financial fraud or other scams. Cybercriminals target certain trends in online behavior that leave consumers more vulnerable. Financial services need a way to better understand these behaviors and the circumstances that trigger them in order to prevent them.

Tracking trend evolution

Trends also interact with and influence other trends in complex ways. The ability to view the relationships among thousands of conversations gives you a sense of their combined impact on your brand. By looking at the way these relationships change over time, you can also gain insight into trend formation and evolution, so you can anticipate rather than react.

This is extremely useful for understanding the myriad factors influencing economic development or the specific needs of the unbanked.

Financial services brands grow trust and reduce risk with Conversation Insights

Customer experiences can help financial institutions understand the reasons consumers may bank with a disruptor; keep strategists apprised of the varied conditions facing developing markets; and discover new cyber threats as they emerge — if you know where to look.

Conversation Insights, part of Sprinklr Insights, gives brands the power to illuminate these customer blind spots with the full spectrum of conversational data influencing behaviors, feelings, and actions. With Conversation Insights, brands can:

  • Build on keyword-based listening with unsupervised AI that generates visually compelling conversation clusters

  • Eliminate arduous manual data collection and analysis with powerful automation to generate insights in hours, not weeks

  • Drill down into sub-themes to understand the elements that drive trends, including Sentiment Analysis to parse the feelings and emotions that matter

  • View the evolution and relationships among trends with time-lapse capability

To take the next step as a financial services brand, register for access to our Conversation Insights demo and start taking action today.

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