Training & monitoring programs boost customer service efforts

by: Gabe Krajicek, CEO, BancVue

Community banks and credit unions often pride themselves on their superior customer service — and they should. According to the recent Consumer Banking Insights Study,1 68% of customers at community financial institutions say their customer service is an advantage when compared to other institutions. Only 38% of megabank customers say the same.

Yet, great customer service doesn’t happen on its own. It’s the result of clearly established expectations, ongoing training, consistent employee monitoring, and rewards for positive behavior. As community financial institutions grapple with growing regulatory burdens, increased competition, and other challenges, it’s becoming harder for many institutions to sustain exceptional, difference-making customer service programs.

Additionally, megabanks have caught on to the fact that consumers want great customer service. The Consumer Banking Insights Study found that 97% of Americans say personal customer service is important to them when it comes to choosing where to bank. Many megabanks have begun upping their training budgets, monitoring the quality of customer service phone calls, and marketing the friendliness of their banks. According to J.D. Power’s 2014 U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Survey, customer satisfaction with big banks improved by 40 points this year compared to 2013, nearly closing the gap between big banks and their smaller competitors, who used to hold a significant lead.

How can community financial institutions hold on to their reputation for stellar customer service, even with comparatively limited resources and time? The answer lies in finding more effective methods for training and monitoring.

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