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Financial Services Customer Experience Leadership Still Up for Grabs

Customer experience leadership in financial services is still up for grabs, according to new research released today by Lithium Technologies, the leader in Social Customer Experience. Financial services companies can still gain an early mover advantage by focusing on improving customer interactions, the research revealed.

With varying levels of customer experience maturity and a wide spread between experience leaders and laggards, financial services companies have an opportunity to drive business benefits by engaging their customers with a great experience across channels, the Lithium-commissioned study by Forrester Consulting shows.

(The full report -- Financial Services Firms: Claim the CX Advantage -- is available for download at this link.)

Consumers rate their experiences with financial services companies – which includes investment firms, banks and credit card providers – as just “OK” on average, with rankings ranging from “very poor” to “good,” according to Forrester’s Customer Experience Index that benchmarks the quality of customer experience for 154 large U.S. brands across 14 industries.

While the quality of customer experience varies greatly across industries, the study revealed that good experiences provided by leaders in any industry push consumer expectations even higher for financial services.

In fact, two-thirds of consumers said that great experiences with some companies make them expect more from all other companies. This underscores how essential it is for brands to deeply engage customers with an excellent experience. What’s more, as everyday interactions increasingly move to social, it’s vital that every company understands how to engage customers deeply across channels.

Knowing how to engage with customers is vital

To define what customer experience means, Forrester dug deeper to find that consumers are moving past simply wanting to be recognized and heard—they want deeper engagement with companies.

Younger people (aged 18-24), in particular, want businesses to engage with them over social channels, with 41 percent indicating they want companies to provide customer support via social media. In addition, 39 percent reported that they would like companies to listen and respond through social channels.

“Knowing how to engage with customers is vital,” the study stated. “Not only does customer experience correlate highly to future business, it also impacts new business generation through peer recommendations.”

Lithium President and Chief Executive Officer Rob Tarkoff said: “Visionary companies see increasing customer expectations as an opportunity. Savvy financial services providers like Barclaycard use the Lithium platform to engage and enlist their customers in an entirely new way —inviting them to participate in the business as partners, helping to reinvent old business models. Not only are firms like Barclaycard gaining competitive advantage by building the kind of relationships customers expect today, they’re leading an entire industry by delivering a fully differentiated, disruptive customer experience.”

Webcast

View the on-demand webcast during which Lithium Chief Marketing Officer Katy Keim and our guest Kerry Bodine, Forrester Vice President and Principal Analyst Serving Customer Experience Professionals discuss the study findings at this link.

Methodology

This Technology Adoption Profile was commissioned by Lithium Technologies. To create this profile, Forrester leveraged its North American Technographics Customer Experience Online Survey, Q4 2012 and supplemented this data in October 2013 with a custom survey of 1,386 online consumers in the US, Canada, the UK, France and Germany.

About Lithium Technologies

Lithium social software helps companies unlock the passion of their customers. Lithium powers amazing social customer experiences for more than 300 iconic brands including AT&T, BT, Best Buy, Indosat, Sephora, Skype and Telstra. The 100% SaaS-based Lithium Social Customer Experience Platform™ enables brands to build and engage vibrant customer communities to drive sales, reduce service costs, accelerate innovation and grow brand advocacy. For more information, visit lithium.com, or connect with us on TwitterFacebook and our own community–the Lithosphere. Lithium is privately held with corporate headquarters in San Francisco and offices across Europe, Asia and Australia.

The Lithium® logo is a registered Service Mark of Lithium Technologies. All trademarks and product names are the property of their respective owners.

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