Human experiences remain crucial for building trust in financial services, despite growing confidence in digital customer services, new 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, finds that while digital banking services are growing in popularity, in-branch interactions are still a vital point of engagement for building customer relationships and trust. This presents challenges for high street banks and firms amid rising branch closures, accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Alberta Bosco, Product Marketing Director at Puzzel, comments: “High street branches are closing down at pace across the UK. The latest figures from Which? show around 50 have closed every month since January 2015. And yet, our research shows consumers still want and value human-led customer services and support.”
She adds: “It’s clear the future of banking and insurance will need to be powered by smart experiences that span both the physical and digital worlds. Whether it’s offering video consultations with customers or providing personalised services through deep customer knowledge, firms that find ways to innovate without losing the human touch will be the ones that come out on top.”
Branches still lead the way, but confidence in technology is growing
Puzzel’s research finds that despite the pandemic and enforced lockdowns, two fifths (40%) of consumers say they have interacted with their bank or insurance company in-branch in the past 12 months. In fact, 14% say they now visit their bank more often than they did pre-pandemic. One in three (36%) said going in-branch would continue to be their preferred method for accessing customer services and support going forward.
Voice and digital channels remain important to consumers, however, with 30% preferring email and 28% preferring phone interactions over in-branch service. When it comes to younger customers, 18-24 year-olds were over four times more likely to have used a chatbot than 55-64 year-olds (34% and 7% respectively) in the last year.
Human interaction is key to maintaining trust
Almost three-quarters (72%) of respondents rated the customer service provided in-branch by their bank or insurance company as good or excellent. But this dropped to 63% for web or mobile-based customer service.
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%). Based on current offerings, more than half (52%) said they trusted in-branch/in person customer services more than those provided anywhere else.
Puzzel commissioned OnePoll research among 1,000 consumers over the ages of 18 in the UK, in October 2021.
Puzzel is the leading European provider of cloud contact centre solutions. Every day, more than 1,100 organisations across 40 countries use our software to deliver smart customer experiences, blending the powers of people and technology to serve customers efficiently, effectively and with empathy. The Puzzel Platform enables organisations to create rich journeys for their customers, with a mix of live and self-service experiences that give people the freedom to choose when, where and how they get help. Artificial intelligence is harnessed at every touchpoint to automate tasks, provide insight, and personalise service and support. Puzzel also includes a suite productivity and planning tools to empower managers and agents to reach their goals and continuously improve performance. With 20+ years of experience in the industry, Puzzel is the CCaaS provider organisations trust when every moment matters.
For more information, visit www.puzzel.com/puzzel-contact-centre-for-financial-services/