PRESS RELEASE: Avaya Inc., announced the second in a series of research results aimed at probing the gap between customer expectations and realities of service offered by businesses – this time focused on the Financial Services industry. The findings show that when it comes to service, the gulf between customers’ desire and the current reality of service delivery by financial services organizations is large — but not insurmountable.
The companies that are getting it right report big dividends in terms of customer retention, repeat business and overall profitability.
The Avaya research indicates that there’s significant disparity in the perspective of a customer when it comes to how they expect to be treated versus what businesses are currently offering. On the customer side, they increasingly expect an omni-channel, personalized and proactive customer experience:
- 70% of customers expect financial services companies to link all threads of communication together in real-time across channels.
- 70% expect customer facing staff to have a single view of them in real-time when they contact the company.
- 92% expect to be proactively notified of an issue and offer a solution.
- 69% expect to be treated as unique – contacted the way they want, when they want with products and services tailored to their preferences and shopping habits.
While the research found that the overwhelming majority of business managers (97%) said that Customer Experience Management is an important or extremely important part of their 2014 strategy, the number of companies claiming to have a comprehensive program in place drops by more than a third to 64%. Despite their enthusiasm for Customer Experience Management, few financial services companies can deliver against all of the elements customers expect – less than half can do so, in fact.
The impediments to meeting customer expectation are many, but the top three obstacles that emerge are technology limitations (44%), inflexible business processes (37%) and inadequately trained staff (32%). Interestingly, 68% of IT professionals in financial services among all respondents said technology was the limiting factor. Another interesting factor: 55% of business managers feel lack of customer insight is what’s holding the company back.
On a positive note: There’s a big pay-off on customer service investments. Among financial services organizations that have a comprehensive CEM program, 98% have seen improvements to their business as a direct result. In particular, the improvements have been in the area of customer retention, loyalty and satisfaction which by extension has shown up in repeat purchasing and increase in total customer spend. The conclusion demonstrated by the Avaya research is that a strong correlation exists between CEM efforts and increased profits – 79% of those who have seen significant profit increases had a CEM program in place and almost 80% of this group has also put initiatives in place to reduce customer effort over the past three years.
As the leading provider of contact center solutions, Avaya works with Financial Services organizations around the world to help them bridge the gap between customer expectations and omni-channel service delivery. Today, nine of the top ten banks in the world use Avaya Customer Experience Management solutions deployed on their premises or in hybrid or private cloud models.
“Many financial services organizations understand that customer service is an important strategic differentiator, but may be struggling with a variety of obstacles to deploying a comprehensive, omni-channel customer service program. Through Avaya’s Professional Services, the flexible options for deploying our Customer Experience Management solutions, we can help ensure the benefits gained far outweigh their investment.” –Tom Schollmeyer, vice president and general manager, Contact Center and Cloud, Avaya
“Working with Avaya has enabled Voya Financial to deploy robust, innovative, enterprise voice solutions to our business. Through these solutions, our lines of business can communicate seamlessly and effectively with each other and with our clients. We look forward to our continued success with Avaya as a Voya Financial strategic partner.” –Kevin P. McMahon, Senior Managing Director, Head of Technology and Operations, Voya Investment Management
This report was commissioned by Avaya and executed by Dynamic Markets on the company’s behalf across 13 countries with business managers in large financial services companies and with adult consumers. The countries covered are the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Russia, the US, Canada, Singapore, Japan, India, China, Australia, Mexico and Brazil. For the business element of the research, a sample of 153 interviews was collected with respondents who confirmed prior to interview that, as part of their job, they come into contact with customers and / or prospects, operate at middle manager level and above, and that in total their organization has at least 1,500 employees. For the consumer element of the research, a sample of 8,500 people aged 18+ was gathered across the 13 countries. The split between male and female respondents was 49% to 51%.
Avaya is a global provider of business collaboration and communications solutions, providing unified communications, contact centers, networking and related services to companies of all sizes around the world. For more information please visit www.avaya.com.