One for all approach to customer engagement not acceptable

Nearly half of British consumers would consider switching their bank as a result of receiving poor customer service.

Research commissioned by Engage Hub, the data-driven customer engagement solutions company, reveals that poor customer experience is the main reason UK consumers would be encouraged to switch bank, with nearly half (48 per cent) of consumers citing this as their biggest gripe.

UK consumers would also be highly likely (44 per cent) to walk away from a bank if they didn’t feel they were being adequately protected from fraud.

Other factors that could drive customers away, include banks sending irrelevant communications to consumers (23 per cent), having a clunky, hard-to-use app (17 per cent), or not offering the digital communication channels that consumers would prefer to communicate through (14 per cent).

Interestingly, the figures for these three factors go up significantly when looking at those aged 18-24.

What factors would most encourage you to reconsider who you bank with? (Aged 18-24 years):

  • My bank delivering poor customer service – 41 per cent (down vs the 48 per cent average)
  • My bank not protecting me from fraud – 44 per cent (level with the average)
  • My bank is constantly sending me irrelevant messages – 31 per cent (up vs the 23 per cent average)
  • My bank has a clunky, hard-to-use app – 24 per cent (up vs the 17 per cent average)
  • My bank doesn’t offer me the digital channels I want to use – 20 per cent (up vs the 14 per cent average).

Mark Grainger, vice president of sales Europe at Engage Hub comments, ‘Customer engagement is no longer defined by the interpersonal skills of your employees. Younger generations that have grown up with the internet and connectivity everywhere want to use technology to squeeze routine tasks into their busy lives.

‘Their expectation to check balances, make payments and even set up a bank account at any time, in any location and on any device, is forcing traditional banks to reconsider their offerings to attract new customers, and retain existing ones.’

Grainger adds, ‘There is a level of personalisation required when communicating with consumers, who will no longer accept an onslaught of irrelevant messages and advertising. Banks need to tap into the wealth of knowledge locked within the customer data they hold to glean a unique insight into what their customers want.

‘Contextually relevant and personalised content, distributed via the preferred channel of the customer, could dramatically improve customer satisfaction.’

Bankers to improve customer engagement

Email (44 per cent) was identified by the research as the most popular method of communication identified by consumers, followed by banking apps with push notifications (29 per cent) and text/SMS messages (26 per cent).

When looking at different age demographics, there were clear distinctions between younger and older consumers in terms of preferred channels of communication, and looking at the 18-24 vs the 65+ age groups, highlights the differences most significantly.

With such a range of channels available to them, it’s perhaps unsurprising that only 40 per cent of customers are being communicated with via their preferred channel of communication, while 17 per cent are never being communicated with via their preferred channel. One in ten consumers (10 per cent) believe their bank doesn’t know what communication channels they prefer.

While 24 per cent of respondents believe the communications their bank sends are always relevant to them, 34 per cent feel they could be more relevant. Worse still, 17 per cent believe communications are always irrelevant, and one in four (25 per cent) say their bank never communicated with them.

Grainger concludes, ‘It is well documented there has been a clear shift towards online banking in recent years, but what’s really upped the ante is the mobile centric behaviours of younger generations.

‘The demand for anytime, anywhere access to banking has been propagated by the capabilities of modern smartphones, and streamlined, integrate systems, with a single customer view point, are the key to optimising customer engagement experience. Those banks that utilise cross-channel communication technologies to deliver this will remain ahead of the curve.’

Further reading on customer engagement

Do small businesses still need banks?

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

Related Topics

Customer Service