Young adults would rather instant message their bank than visit in-branch, but digital services aren’t yet meeting the mark, Puzzel research reveals
London, UK, 11th November, 2021: Puzzel, the leading European Contact Centre as a Service (CCaaS) provider, has today announced the results of its financial services study exploring consumer attitudes to the customer service channels offered across banking and insurance.
The research, based on a survey of 1,000 consumers in the UK, finds that while in-branch interactions are still crucial for building customer relationships and trust in financial services, there is growing demand among younger consumers for digital customer services. Young adults aged between 18 and 24, for example, say they would rather speak to their bank or insurance provider via email or web chat than travel in-branch. However, these digital services are not yet meeting the mark, with almost one-third rating their bank’s web and mobile experiences as ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’. This reveals a clear need for financial firms to improve their digital experience.
Alexander Lunde, Director of Web Experience at Puzzel, comments:
“Chatbots are often seen as a ‘silver bullet’ that can help financial services firms to modernise their customer services and reduce costs. But in the industry’s mad rush to automate, the fundamentals of good customer service have been forgotten. People still like to interact with people, or at the very least, to be treated as an individual and not just a number.”
“The core problem is chatbots and self-service channels are being offered by banks and insurance providers as catch-all solutions for all types of queries and tasks without considering each individual customer’s journey and value. Instead, firms need to be able to customise and personalise journeys for each customer based on their specific needs. For example, one customer could be offered a chatbot to help solve a simple query, while another with a higher value request could be transferred to a live agent. This is all possible with modern technology and will increase customer satisfaction and revenue.”
Younger customers favour tech-led engagement
Puzzel’s research finds 36% of consumers aged between 18 and 24 would rather speak to their bank or insurance provider via email than travel in-branch. This was closely followed by conversing over the phone (24%) and via instant messaging (24%).
This desire for digital convenience may explain why over a quarter (28%) of 18-24 year-olds have completely switched to a neobank (e.g. Monzo, Starling, Revolut, etc.). A further 24% said they banked with both a neobank and traditional bank, but used their neobank account more.
In the last 12 months, 18-24 year-olds were also over four times more likely to have used a chatbot than 55-64 year-olds (34% and 7% respectively). However, 30% of 18-24 year-olds rated their bank’s web and mobile experiences as ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’.
Human interaction key to building relationships and trust
Across all age groups, 63% of respondents rated their bank’s web and mobile customer services as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’.
A core concern when dealing with financial services institutions online was not being able to speak to a real person to solve issues (37%). Respondents were also concerned about being passed through various channels before getting a resolution (31%), not being able to properly explain a query (31%) and the security and privacy of their personal information (31%).
Puzzel commissioned OnePoll research among 1,000 consumers over the ages of 18 in the UK, in October 2021.