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Banks battling for the best customer experience

Banks battling for the best customer experience

Banks have consistently improved their customer experience over the last decade. Is this enough to battle the new digitally native entrants?

Leonie Vervelde


KPMG Nederland


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The fourth revolution has dramatically changed customer expectations of banking services. Banks have responded by moving from building user friendly banking portals and apps to value added services like Tikkie, Tellow or Yolt. However, Gartner predicts that by 2020 89% of all organisations will compete on customer experience alone, and also that most banks will be made irrelevant by 2030. PSD2 has just opened the market for new entrants.

So, what does this mean for the customer experience of banks?

In the Netherlands, many banks have made significant progress on the customer experience (source: KPMG NL Customer Experience Excellence analysis 2018). However, compared to (online) retailers, that set the base for the customer experience expectation, banks are still lagging behind. Customers find the processes cumbersome, and don't feel well understood by their bank.

Infographic Financial Services

Imagine the future when Amazon would introduce their "one click payment" principle to banking services, or Google would use their data set in understanding what banking services the client needs at that exact moment – how can incumbent banks differentiate themselves in the market and deliver real value to customers?

What are the three key areas that banks should focus on to differentiate in this market:

1. Have a clear purpose, act on it and communicate about it
Dutch customers place a relatively high value on integrity. In fact, this is the biggest driver of advocacy. In our research we clearly see a difference between the Dutch banks that have taken a clear position on their sustainability and social responsibility values, like ASN Bank or Triodos, and banks that take a less clear position. Combining purpose and customer experience will win (the loyalty of) customers.
Do you have a clear purpose? Do you communicate it to your customers? And do you act upon that with integrity?
2. Solve a real customer problem
Bank's 'reflex' is to offer more products to solve an issue. However, customers are not looking for more products, but a solution to their challenges. ABN AMRO has shown this with Tikkie, that was quickly embraced, also by non-customers, to split their bill. Challengers like Revolut and Bunq have focused on the exchange rate issue for frequent travelers.
Do you understand your customers and their challenges? Do you align your initiatives to help solve these? And going forward, are you able to anticipate customer needs before challenges occur?
3. Personalisation is key to winning loyalty
Dutch consumers demonstrate a strong affinity towards organisations that are able to deliver highly personalised experiences while demonstrating strong levels of integrity. Go beyond the personalised offer (which is just the modern version of 'old-fashioned' product thinking) to the personalised journey. Think of offering 'moving house' instead of 'selling a mortgage'.
What are the areas you want to differentiate? And what are the integrated services that you are offering to treat your customer as a unique person, bundled, priced and tailored to that person?

Delivering real value: striking the right balance between delighting customers and the cost of serving them is key'

The Economist research shows that 80% of companies are seeing a change in how their customers want to access and pay for goods and services. Customers are willing to pay for the value they experience. However, for banking, our research shows that customers are rating the value banks deliver low. So despite the year over year improvements in customer experience, there is a disconnect between the customer experience investments and the value experienced. We believe that the customer experience leaders of the future will be those companies that combine the experience and economics of the customer journey rather than having an absolute desire to amaze. KPMGs Connected Enterprise framework helps clients prioritizing to get that balancing act right.

Infographic Create Profitable Customer Experiences

KPMG is recognized by VanGuard as leader in customer service consulting. Would you like to know more about how your bank is experienced by your customers, and learn more about how KPMG can help you improve this, contact us.

Infographic Bank Experience

KPMG Up Close and Personal research in The Netherlands has covered 10 sectors, 209 brands over 5004 respondents over 6 pillars of customer experience.


For more information please contact Leonie Vervelde.

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