September 20, 2010
Strategies For Trust In The Financial Sector
For the latest issue of their journal, Argent, The Financial Services Forum asked us to share our thoughts on the challenges surrounding the financial services struggle to regain customer trust. Project Manager Catherine, comes from a strong background in the financial services so she jumped at the chance to talk to this shop.
She identified 3 key issues (and although one ran in the issue, the others have made for some LinkedIn discussions in the FS Forum group):
Customer service. Although the market has settled somewhat since the financial crisis, customers remain critical of the main financial providers. It isn’t just about how safe your money is – it takes all in areas of customer service that have continued to put off previously loyal customers; excessive bank charges, foreign call centres, closing of local branches. Providers now have to fight to win back their customers – even those who never actually left, but who have lost trust in their brand.
The emergence in the market of foreign and private banks. Some are as a result of direct takeovers, such as Santander, but others are less well know providers who, over the last two years, have entered the savings markets with top rates – enticing disgruntled customers of the UK banks. Whilst customers may have previously looked on a foreign bank as a risk, that risk perception became less so as UK banks started to struggle – and awareness of the deposit guarantee increased. In 2010, further providers will continue to enter the market, with good products and a promise to right the wrongs of established providers. This will add significantly to the pressure of UK marketing teams.
‘The internet has changed everything we do’. For many customers, and in particular gen y, the internet is a highly effective and low cost way of marketing financial products. In particular, the use of social media as a tool for good customer service is widely underused in this industry, but is an important growth area. Providers must not forget though, there are a significant amount of people for whom online security remains a worry when dealing with financial products – meaning traditional methods must also be incorporated. Banks should be looking at how they can educate their customers on the merits of online, as an added value service.
It’s a matter of working on the relationship with the customer to bring back the trust; build a relationship with the customer that gives them value which, ideally, they could only get from that relationship.
What do you think – how does a brand build trust?
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