CX A Key Differentiator For Financial Services Consumers, According To Appnovation Research

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As many digital features have become table stakes, consumers seek out values-based, human-centred customer experience.

According to Appnovation’s latest consumer research, Digital Innovation for the Experience Economy: Financial Services, half of all Financial Services (FS) consumers agree that digital solutions have made their daily transactions easier, but only 1 in 4 rate the current FS experiences offered to them as ‘Excellent’. This suggests that the majority of people believe there is further room for improvement.

Appnovation’s research measured U.S. and Canadian consumers’ values and expectations as they relate to CX and their interactions with FS providers.

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Other findings include:

  • Overall, more than half of all consumers interact online with a Financial Service provider at least once a week. Sixty per cent of American consumers report they interact online with an FS provider at least once a week, compared to 52% of Canadians. Millennials are the generation that interact online with FS providers the most at 62%, followed by Gen Z at 54% and Gen X at 51%.
  • However, what parts of the experience are most valued vary amongst generations and geography. Nearly half of all consumers agree that digital solutions have made their daily transactions with FS providers easier, whether it’s depositing a cheque or making an insurance claim.
    – More Canadians value the ability to have contactless interactions (41%) with their FS provider than those in the U.S. (24%).
    – More than any other generation, Millennials say they value online services that either automate FS tasks or make them virtual.
  • Critical deal breakers have to do with customer service, communication and convenience. Customers indicated that a lack of access to customer service is a critical deal breaker for them (40%), followed by a lack of timely communication (32%), an inability to save personal information (22%) and an inability to transact across devices in a seamless way (20%).
  • Memorable digital experiences come down to design and CX. When it comes to a memorable online experience with an FS provider, consumers cited ease of use (14%), up-to-date information (14%), easy navigation (11%) and a user-friendly design as the most important factors.

“As customers increasingly demonstrate digital-first behaviors, FS providers have to evolve their offerings and how they engage with those customers. Customers ultimately value a seamless omnichannel experience that combines in-person, high-touch interactions with secure, easy and convenient digital interactions,” said Allison Humphries, VP Strategy at Appnovation. “To deliver this, the importance of data has never been greater. Bringing various sources together to create a shared view of the customer, to form actionable insight, to enable personalization, and to facilitate experimentation is an imperative foundation for any customer-centric FS experience.”

Table Stakes versus True Differentiator

When asked to rank the importance of online features, security was the most important consideration to consumers across all age groups (26%). Coming in second was the consumer’s connection to the brand (17%), taking into account how the brand makes them feel and alignment to their personal values. This was followed by price (16%), quality of the product (11%) and ease of the online experience (10%).

Consumers expect FS providers will offer a minimum level of security, competitive pricing, customer support – these features are table stakes. What comes through as a differentiator is how the provider makes its customers feel through the experience it’s able to offer. What matters is the connection people have with the brand.

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