New technologies have greatly changed how customers bank in the past two decades. Instead of going to branches, checks can be deposited with mobile phones, e-signatures allow forms to be signed from around the world and online peer-to-peer lending sites can help almost anyone get a loan. Some tools, like prepaid debit cards and non-bank online resources, mean that customers don't need a financial institution at all.
For banks, this means that holding onto customers is more important than ever, with so many alternatives available. Additionally, with so much access to information, customers are able to find which banks offer the best and most services, forcing banks to stay on their toes.
As Andrew Kahr, a principal at a financial development company writes in an American Banker article, "Technological advances, universal availability of customer financial data, nationwide and virtual banking, and deregulation have loosened the glue. With customers free to switch, we lose our lock-in and have to compete more closely day-by-day on prices, benefits and service."
Of course, banks also have many options to help them keep customers. Credit cards and mortgages can help consumers stick around. But in the same way that increased technology and information can be used to choose a bank, increased technology and information can be used by banks.
In particular, customer management software can be leveraged to determine what actions to take when interacting with a customer based on an holistic view of their relationship with the bank and the specific channel they are interacting through be it branch, online, IVR or mobile. With these tools, banks can keep track of expectations and histories and improve the overall customer experience. Studies continue to show the importance of personal service for banks, one of the many reasons consumers are turning to small, community banks or credit unions. With case management software, even large banks can offer the same type of experience, regardless of their size, and keep customers from needing other options.