Author: Tom Stinton
How surveys can help financial services understand their customers better
As financial services companies redefine themselves as ‘consumer-centric’ they need real insights into their customers’ needs, desires and behaviours. Let’s explore how surveys can help.
You launch a new mobile app. Your upfront research told you what customers might want. You engaged with user interface experts to build a great experience. You’ve tested it with a few customers during a pilot project.
But what do your customers at large actually think of your efforts? Does it meet their needs? Is it easy to use? How could it be improved? Let’s ask them. There’s no time better than when they’re actually using the app…
But STOP! Hold on!
If we want meaningful feedback, we need to approach this with intelligence and sensitivity. Let’s think carefully about exactly who, when, and how we ask customers to take part in our customer surveys.
Who to ask – creating filters
Should we ask everyone who uses the new app, every time they use it? If we did, the feedback would probably be overwhelming but, more importantly, you’d probably find that people stopped using it because they found your questioning annoying.
Start by creating a filter of customers that you really want to hear from – maybe it’s those who have used your app at least five times, or who are using specific elements of it.
Once you have qualified your customers you probably don’t need to ask all of them – we recommend asking no more than 10 percent of those who qualify. In addition, only ask someone who hasn’t recently been asked to complete a survey.
And as well as being sensitive about how often you reach out to a customer, always give the customer an option to opt out. Provide and respect options such as “Don’t ask me again” and “Ask me later”.
When and how to ask your banking customers
If you ask customers if they’re willing to fill in a survey as soon as they open up your app, their answer will almost always be “No”.
Instead, wait until they have successfully completed the task they set out to do. That way you’re not interrupting their thought processes and they’re more likely to take part.
That’s when, but what about how?
The key to getting that right is not interrupting the customer journey. Pop-ups, for instance, disrupt users’ flow. Ensure that your survey integrates well with the wider customer experience, and allow them to dismiss it easily if they don’t want to take part.
Equally importantly, ensure you’re asking the right questions in the right way. Your questions must be clear, so that they can be answered quickly and easily, and you must plan them carefully so that they gather the information you’re looking for and nothing more. Are you looking for feedback about a specific feature, or for general ideas, for instance?
Other things to consider
You may want to give customers the option to share their contact details at the end of the survey.
People often don’t expect companies to take any interest in their opinions, so if a customer does share their contact details it gives you a chance to make a good impression by thanking them for taking part. You could even let them know what you’ve done because of their feedback.
Also, reach out to unhappy customers. Find out more about what’s going wrong and then make it right. It’s a great opportunity to show that you’re listening.
Customers who take the time and effort to fill in surveys can make great ambassadors, so it’s really worthwhile connecting with them. You could even use them to test out future innovations and changes to the app.
Getting it right
As leading financial services companies redefine themselves as ‘consumer-centric’, obtaining real customer insights becomes critical. Companies know they should be reaching out to their customers for feedback, but few of them are. And those that do could often do it better.
How customer-centric are you really? Are you asking your customers for feedback on the digital services that are now key interfaces to your brand?