4 Customer Experience Strategies You Can Learn From ‘Challenger Banks’

By Kelly Wilson - Oct 17, 2018

The rise of ‘Challenger banks’ is becoming more of a concern to other organizations as they have become a serious competitor in the financial services industry.  Challenger banks are smaller retail banks that have been established with the intention of competing for business with large, long-established financial services organizations.  In recent years, Challenger banks like Beacon Community Bank or Infinity Bank have been successfully displacing traditional banks by using digital solutions to create a technology-driven customer experience.

Kony DBX recently released a digital banking report that highlighted how the digital transformation of the FinServ industry enables organizations to enhance their operational processes, and improve on their customer experience. And it uncovered that 72% of FinServ organizations prioritized enhancing the digital experience for customers as their first strategic objective for 2018.  The benefits that come with a digital transformation bring opportunities for revenue and reputational gains for financial services organizations who are willing to hustle. However, for those who are lagging in innovating their customer experience, challenger banks are becoming more and more of a fearsome competitor.

According to Forrester, “In a market where one-third of all customers say, ‘all banks are basically the same,’ it would make sense for executives and their teams to obsess over how to differentiate”.  As the competition across the financial services industry increases, customer experience has become a key differentiator between organizations and it’s now imperative that you provide customers with a personalized service that sets you apart from your competitors.

Next, we’ll go over 4 essential challenger bank characteristics–cited in the Kony DBX report–that have contributed to their success, and we’ll explore what you can learn from them and how you can start your own digital transformation.

Start by solving customer experience issues in your industry

Challenger banks aim to meet existing needs in the financial services industry by using technology to zero-in on and solve specific customer experience problems. This has allowed them to distinguish themselves from their competitors by offering straightforward and efficient customer-facing channels.

Messy appointment booking processes are a prominent issue in the financial services industry. As the majority of financial services organizations are appointment-driven businesses, it is crucial that the booking process is streamlined in order to keep up with increasing customer service trends.

Integrated appointment scheduling is a tool that can be implemented in your financial organization in order to streamline the appointment booking process.  This implementation will be the solution for a customer experience problem that is very prevalent in the financial services industry. And, is a great way to start digitally transforming your customer experience because as the first touchpoint that new customers will have with you, it sets the tone for the rest of the experience.

Increase brand loyalty by offering a personalized

80% of consumers say they are more likely to do business with an organization that offers personalized service, and challenger banks have done an excellent job at providing customers with the experience they desire. Customers can contact these banks whenever and however they want–through a number of different channels–and offering an accessible, personalized experience has helped developed brand loyalty. Brand loyalty is extremely valuable for businesses that rely on customer retention to ensure the success of their business.

When your organization has the goal of enhancing the customer experience and increasing brand loyalty, integrated appointment scheduling can help get you there.  Your organization can offer customers multiple channels in which they can schedule appointments through, such as your call center, as well as online portals, providing customers with the luxury of choosing the channel that best suits them.  Digitally enhancing your call center appointment booking process saves time and avoids aggravation for your call center representatives and your customers. The benefits of providing customers with online appointment scheduling are that they will have 24/7 access to your organization, making your business more accessible

Redefine the meaning of a ‘good customer experience’

Challenger banks have focused on re-defining the meaning of a ‘good customer experience’ and are constantly investing in innovative technology that enhances their organizations’ processes in order to keep up with customer service trends.

Banks with clunky customer experiences and organizations with outdated in-house technology are driving customers into the hands of competitors who are offering the experience they desire.  According to a globalEY customer experience report, 6% of consumers have already moved their primary relationship to new companies offering services and technology that are more straight-forward to use than traditional banks.

To deliver a premium experience to their customers, many Challenger banks have decided to partner with third-party FinTech providers–rather than build their own in-house solution–to take advantage of their established expertise and support.

One way that your organization can deliver an experience that will re-define the meaning of ‘good customer experience’ is through integrated appointment scheduling.  Partnering with a third-party vendor will allow your organization to be supported by FinTech specialists, who are dedicated to, and experienced in helping FinServ organizations provide a premium experience to their customers.

Be an innovator in your industry

By innovating in customer experience, Challenger banks offer customers a premium service.  Implementing new tools and processes challenger banks are viewed as innovators in their industry and are differentiating themselves above their competitors.

How can you position your organization as an innovator? Integrated appointment scheduling will help you provide new customer-facing channels and transform your customer experience in new ways.  Other financial service organizations may even look to you as an example.

Implementing online scheduling can help you start to e differentiate yourself with some of the strategies that are giving challenger banks their competitive edge.  Enhancing the customer experience will set your organization apart from competitors, and prevent customers from referring to your organization when they say “All banks are basically the same.”  In this digital transformation, it is crucial that you look at what is making your competitors successful and then look for innovative and efficient solutions that allow you to be seen as a niche distributor, digital enhancer, value redefiner and transformer of the financial services industry.

For more information on how integrated appointment scheduling can enable your business to keep up with customer service trends and challenge the challenger banks, schedule a consultation!