Five things to inspire customer trust

Alpa Somaiya|12 September 2019
Five things to inspire customer trust

In banks we trust … or do we? This question matters a great deal. According to a PWC survey, 87% of consumers will take their business to a competitor if they don’t trust their bank to handle their data responsibly. With it becoming increasingly easy for a consumer to switch banks, and hence their loyalty (it’s such a fickle thing), the balance of power between institution and consumer has shifted to the latter.

As banking is disrupted, it is no longer only about what you offer; how you make your offering is just as, if not more, important. In an industry where everyone is simply doing more of the same – protecting consumers’ money – it’s the personal relationships that are going to make the difference. According to Chris Skinner, banks need to think beyond money and product, and focus on the needs and requirements of their customers. Any bank wanting to expand relationships and benefit from referrals will find putting customer relationships and trust at the forefront of their strategy – especially in this digital age – a crucial motivator.

Building trust with your consumers takes hard work and time, but with their trust, you’ll have customers for life.

1. It starts with great service

If I have a question about my money, I don’t want to wait until my bank opens its doors to get an answer – I want an answer now. Consumers have become used to on-demand digital experiences; it’s all about instant access, instant comments, and sharing views and evaluation, and so they also expect this level of “instant” from their bank.

Provide a quality customer service and you will start to earn a customer’s trust. A recent survey conducted by Concerto Marketing Group found that when customers trust a brand, 83% will recommend it to others, and 82% will continue to use it. Get closer to your customers, whether it’s via an in-branch face-to-face interaction, or contact through a home computer, tablet or smartphone. Provide a personalized, interactive service, and avoid mistargeted communication at all costs.

If you want to exceed your customers’ expectations, you first need to know what they expect. Google Analytics, Survey Monkey, MicroPoll, and others, are there to help you do your research. What products do your customers already use? What features are missing from their daily lives? Open up lines of communication and find out.

2. Have a great product and deliver it consistently

A great product is now more than ever synonymous with personalization. Consistency goes hand-in-hand with this, strengthening the brand further. Former Rhode Island Senator Lincoln Chafee once said that “Trust is built with consistency.” Being timely and responsive, and showing concern and willingness to help your customers will go a very long way to develop this trust. Always delivering on your promises will give your customers peace of mind; they know they can trust your products and your services.

3. Bring value

A bank should have its customers’ best interests at heart, and their customers need to know that. You want to be seen by your customers as their trusted advisor. And how do you do this? By being committed to improving the financial well-being of those who have honored you with their trust.

A survey by EY shows that less than one-quarter of global consumers trust their bank to recommend a product that best suits their needs if it means less money for the bank. Products should play a meaningful role in customers’ lives, helping them achieve their goals and meet their changing needs. Imagine having customers who believe that you are willing to “do the right thing” for them. That type of commendation is priceless.

4. Be secure

Digital self-service comes with a plethora of new security risks such as identity theft, data hacking, and good old-fashioned account robbery. With the recent surge of data breaches in the media, it is vital that financial institutions communicate how seriously they take security and compliance, and how they mitigate risk.

Consumers take it for granted that any bank worth its salt has the necessary security infrastructure in place to keep their assets safe. To go above and beyond this expectation will help prove to your customers that you truly care about their financial well-being, data security, and privacy. For example, some US banks send, without being prompted, replacement debit or credit cards to customers when they detect suspicious account activity.

5. Honesty is the best policy

Made a mistake? Don’t cover it up. You’ll earn respect if you address the issue directly, explain what you’re doing to fix it and show that you’re taking steps to ensure it doesn’t happen again. This sounds like a reasonable request, doesn’t it? Why then do so many banks (and other organizations) find it so difficult to admit to a mistake, and instead play games or, even worse, avoid the issue completely?

Resist the temptation to intentionally obfuscate the fundamental reality of the institution’s fee structure. In other words, simply and honestly explain your fees, charges, and products. No one likes paying bank charges, and even fewer enjoy being misled about them. Confusion and doubt are not the best ways to start a long-term relationship. Be upfront at the outset, and you’re on your way to building a strong foundation of trust.

It’s worth remembering that there is no right or wrong answer in how you build trusted relationships with your consumers. It’s up to each individual bank to determine what trust means to its consumers, and how to earn and keep that trust. It will take multiple actions, including upgrading technology, improving data access, cultural change, and increasing transparency. The end goal is, of course, to build trusted relationships while distinguishing yourself from your competitors.

At Entersekt, we believe in the power of trust. Security is at the heart of our customer-first approach to digital banking experiences. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you make the most of the relationship you already have with your customers.

About the author

Alpa Somaiya

Alpa Somaiya

Senior copywriter/Editor

From science to health research to fintech, Alpa is a self-confessed jack-of-a-few trades. When not despairing about the use of the Oxford comma, she enthusiastically collates, translates and disseminates information for your reading pleasure, and with the hope that we all learn a little something along the way.

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