traditional banking values of customer service and client relationships are often lost in today's competitive environment
Simply put, customer service is whatever enhances customer satisfaction. Satisfaction, or lack of it, is the difference between how a customer expects to be treated and how they perceive being treated.
If you give customers better service than they expect, they are sure to notice it, and they will recommend your company to others. There is no more effective advertising than word of mouth.
We all know the story - it costs five times as much to bring in a new customer than to keep an existing one. When people become your customer, they want to be loyal.
So, why do they leave? Most of the time, they leave because of small oversights and lack of attention to plain, old customer service. It is also important to continually measure these levels of service. One of the most important pieces of advice I have ever been given is, 'you can't manage what you don't measure'. When customers call on the phone, we are provided with a tremendous opportunity to reinforce and grow the relationship. It makes good (economic) sense to take the extra time and effort to make these calls as meaningful and service-oriented as possible.
Attention to the customer will go a long way in helping you to satisfy your customers and make them feel as if they are truly special. And yet, so often the customer is made to feel like they are not important. Use of call centres has increased and this, in turn, has meant that customers can no longer communicate with the same person on a regular basis; someone they can form a relationship with; and someone who genuinely understands their wants and needs. Without this in-depth customer knowledge it is impossible to meet these needs by selling them the most appropriate product.
Selling is a service, if you get it right at the beginning then you are more likely to have a successful relationship as you have matched their needs and fulfilled their expectations.
Before you sell anything you need to have listened to the customer and worked out exactly what it is they require and not what is the 'product of the moment' or the product with the highest rate. Habitually, too much emphasis is placed upon the interest rate when features such as service and accessibility are of greater importance.
Banking is a competitive business and too often focus is placed on meeting targets and selling in bulk without taking into account the needs of the client.
This is where the smaller private banks have an advantage; they have retained their traditional values and centre their clients with a core of time-honoured service, client managers, direct phone lines and relationships. This, however, has been achieved without losing the ability of keeping abreast with technology. Services such as internet banking are still available should their customers require it. It is the traditional banking values that keep their customers content - service, service and service.
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