The financial services and insurance sector is a crowded one. For firms to stand out against their competition, they need to ensure excellent customer service by having the ability to not only keep up with the demands of today’s customers but also anticipate their needs. Therefore, it’s key for these businesses to listen to customer feedback. Yet almost half of financial and insurance firm customers believe their feedback never reaches someone who can make a difference, according to new research by experience management company, Qualtrics.

A recent study conducted by Qualtrics, with 1700 respondents including respondents across Australia and New Zealand showed that customers have high expectations for how quickly financial and insurance firms should respond to questions and complaints. 44 percent expect a response to their social media posts the same day, and 77 per cent expect feedback within a few days. Organisations have to realise that this is merely the baseline level. To stay competitive, firms must exceed these expectations.

Challenges that financial and insurance firms face include the exploding number of digital channels, offering dozens of new touchpoints and opportunities for customers to interact like never before.

Clients today will contact their financial or insurance provider via internet, phone, email, social media, and in-person. Keeping track of customer feedback across these channels can be challenging and therefore they need a sophisticated experience management platform that not only gives them visibility on the feedback across all channels, but also allows them to respond in a timely manner. If financial and insurance firms fall behind in responding, clients will rapidly change providers if they believe they can get a better deal or service.

For clients to feel they have been heard and their feedback has been considered, a business needs to act fast. To make meaningful improvements to services, leaders must have access to real-time, actionable information that their teams can gather insights from. Then, these learnings must become embedded to improve their future dealings with customers. The focus for financial and insurance firms must shift from collecting as much raw data as possible to acting on data collected in real time, across multiple platforms, through the use of sophisticated experience management platforms.

Qualtrics has identified two key ways financial and insurance firms can improve their client experience:

1. Leverage an experience management platform that can automate interactions

Financial and insurance customers want an efficient and simple way to get their most common banking tasks completed and when something goes wrong, the last thing they want is to have to manually call a banking representative. They want to drive the interaction by themselves, quickly and easily.

Gartner estimates that by 2020, 85% of customer interactions will be automated. Banking and insurance firms must make investments into self-service customer experience management tools that allow for automated interactions, ensuring banks and insurance firms to be on the right side of the trend.

Experience Management platforms such as Qualtrics, allow firms to have a stable, repeatable process for capturing, analysing and acting on feedback across a vast range of channels in real time. With greater real-time visibility on feedback and the added functionality of triggered alerts, firms can not only increase their response times but also equip their employees greater insights to make more informed decisions.

2. Data management and consolidation

Behind the scenes of banks and insurance firms, there is a multitude of touchpoints, systems and departments working together. Firms need to be able to communicate to customers in an omnichannel format. They need a platform that can connect all the bits of available customer data together to create a single view of each customer, including their interactions with not only the firm’s products, branches, website and employees. Without this, it’s impossible to engage customers in a truly meaningful and impactful way.

To retain customers and increase wallet share, Financial and Insurance companies must ensure they deliver the best possible experience to their customers. To assist in doing this firms needs to be able to collect feedback from a broad range of channels, analyse the feedback to garner insights, and then ensure they act on those insights. Actions could be to remediate identified issues quickly or make systemic changes to take advantage of new opportunities. Most organisations use independent solutions across different departments, creating channel, product and information silos. Firms should leverage the power of sophisticated experience management platforms such as Qualtrics in order to have a full view of customer’s interactions and feedback, allowing them to optimise the customer experience at every touch-point.