4 Steps to Become Tomorrow’s Empathetic Bank

by | Nov 3, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic impacted and changed our belief systems and life as we know it.

Among the many affected areas of our day to day lifestyle, one which was affected more than predicted was our consumer’s trust in financial and banking institutions.

While it is easy to assume that the recovery from the pandemic will give way to business as before, recent data acquired from PwC’s Consumer Digital Banking Survey indicates otherwise.

According to reports, only 53% of GenZ consumers and 72% of baby boomers trust their financial institutions with safeguarding their money.

This and several other consumer trust indicators give way to the rising need of empathetic banking, and thus in today’s blog post, I will share with you 4 steps you can leverage to become tomorrow’s empathetic bank.

Without further ado, let’s get started.

Table of Contents

  1. Zero Moment of Trust
  2. Empathetic Digital Toolkit
  3. Contact Centres to Customer Care Hubs
  4. Branches to Experience Centres
  5. The Future of Empathetic Banking

1. Zero Moment of Trust

As a future empathetic banking institution, one of the first and most important steps you should embark upon is to anticipate the customer’s needs and wants early in the process. Right when the customer is researching their options, you should have the ability to pool in information from multiple datasets, analyze it and adapt your tone of voice and approach to ensure that you earn their trust.

Commonly known as the zero moment of trust, leveraging data to understand customer behaviour and wants to adapt yourself to meet their expectations is critical in acquiring their trust and set the stage for rapid growth.

2. Empathetic Digital Toolkit

In a post-pandemic world, one to one physical interactions with the customer, especially during the initial onboarding stage, is constantly on the decline, and thus it is crucial that you develop and deploy an empathetic digital toolkit.

In lieu of the earlier point, you should have the ability to simultaneously access multiple datasets and customer interaction channels, ranging from voice recognition to speech analytics and natural language processing, to understand and accurately actualize customer emotions.

Source : Freepik

Leveraging these tools will help you understand customers a step ahead of their economic profile and thus equip you with accurate information on how to create a truly empathetic digital toolkit.

Combining digital onboarding tools with empathy, powered by state of the art data analytics, will help you, onboard customers faster and serve their exact needs better.

3. Contact Centres to Customer Care Hubs

In a recent survey conducted by Bain & Company, it was found that more than 60% of millennials and close to 42% of baby boomers call their bank contact centres at least once in three months. Given the fact that financial institutions across the globe have been trying to automate their customer experience for the past many decades, this statistic is eye-opening in more ways than one.

For instance, it goes one step further to highlight the huge importance bank contact centres hold in the heart of today’s consumers, incentivizing the need to transform them into empathetic customer care hubs.

In a recent survey by Accenture, 46% of customers reported that they would like to speak to banking advisor once branches reopened, highlighting how banks need to focus more on scaling empathy during customer interactions rather than automation.

Source : Freepik

Instead of relying on chatbots or pre-programmed responses for the whole conversation, hiring human executives with the ability to comprehend the emotions, well being, and exact needs of the customer will not only equip you to understand their emotional profile but also their future goals and aspirations.

In the same survey by Accenture, more than 35% of respondents requested a face to face meeting once branches reopened, and this goes on to show the importance of converting your contact centres to empathetic customer care hubs.

4. Branches to Experience Centres

Last but not least, as the world reopens and customers start walking into your branches, consider shifting their design to experience centres rather than a strict office setting meant for financial transactions.

A recent survey by Accenture among banking institutions revealed that 97% of financial institutions agree that they need to change existing infrastructure to meet future consumer demands, and more than 88% agree that their existing infrastructure does not meet client needs.

In my opinion and several other observers, our future banking branches needs to be designed around human interactions and experiences while focusing on the central theme of sparking spontaneous conversations and connections.

Equipping your organization with branches designed to meet the emotional and well-being needs of your consumers, over and above existing financial needs, will benefit you in more ways than one in the days to come.

The Future of Empathetic Banking

In his theory of “Theory of Moral Sentiments”, Scottish economist and philosopher Adam Smith emphasized empathy more than anything else, and as consumers start leading their life in a post-pandemic world, designing the future of empathetic banking with intent and recognition of customer needs and wants, beyond financial sentiments will determine your success, in ways beyond our immediate comprehension.

Thank you for reading, and I will see you in the next one.

The Reference Shelf

  1. Why Empathetic Banking Will Define Success In The Post-COVID World [Link]
  2. Four steps to scale empathetic banking in moments that matter [Link]
  3. Consumer Digital Banking Survey: The ever-changing consumer [Link]
  4. Why Do Customers Keep Calling Their Bank Call Center [Link]
  5. How my own experience validated our research on empathetic banking [Link]