Using technology in the Age of Emotion
How can the use of technology in the banking sector motivate and drive employees (and lead to improved business performance)? Dennis Fois, CEO of Rant & Rave, explores.
Over the last few years we have seen challenger banks like Atom, Tandem and Starling embark on their venture to steal market share and customers from established brands. There is no doubt that finance is a challenging market to enter: unfortunately most customers see savings, loans and investment products as laborious. However, these new entrants are taking a new approach using technology to empower customers on how to use money.
We are still at the beginning of this journey and this is reflected in the latest report from the Institute of Customer Service that reveals just how key customer service and the level of service in banking is inconsistent and falling behind other industries. In fact, the UK Customer Satisfaction Index found banking to be the only sector of the economy that hasn’t improved its rating for customer satisfaction since July 2015.
Developing employee engagement with technology
The report not only revealed the continued underwhelming performance of many banks and building societies in tackling poor experience, but pointed to an underlying issue of employee engagement, or a lack of it. 29% of respondents cited staff competence as the main reason for complaints and 21% to staff attitude.
Employees need to be engaged, and to be engaged they need two things – direct customer feedback on their performance and empowerment to act.
Technology is vital in analysing the customer experience, and while the concept of gamification is not a new one in the world of business it is yet to be fully utilised in the world of the customer. Gamification can be introduced in many different ways with varying levels of complexity. Something as easy a leader board system, or as complex as an interactive, real-time dashboard can produce considerable employee engagement and increased customer satisfaction. Gamification may not seem like a serious idea, but it can produce serious business benefits.
The benefits of technology to motivate staff are unquestionable, for employers and employees alike. In large teams it can be tricky for managers to monitor individual performances, meaning that training is often very generic and therefore unproductive. The use of technology such as leader boards allows each staff member to pay attention to their weaknesses, builds their capabilities and drives exceptional customer experience as a result.
We notice that employee engagement is an increasing focus for the banks we work with, and over time the banks that focus on the frontline employee engagement agenda will succeed in improving their customer satisfaction rating and drive down complaints.
The importance of sentiment analysis
One way of tracking customer feedback is through measuring sentiment – essentially using technology to track how the customer feels in real-time through their language.
Monitoring and acting on this feedback in real time means that the business can take swift action on any problems that arise, and this can be elevated through the business if required. Gauging the sentiment of customer interaction also means that a bank’s customers can be directed to more appropriate agents dependent on their history with a brand, and agents can provide a truly personalised experience.
The Age of Emotion is a golden opportunity for those in the banking sector that are willing to take up the challenge of “closing the loop” with consumers by really listening to their feedback and acting on it. Undoubtedly the review from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is set to make switching easier. Employee engagement is the first line of defence in retaining customers.