Are you being served?
Are banking customers happier using self-service than being served? Well, according to a study of nearly 27,000 customers of a U.S. retail bank, the answer to that is...an anticlimax. Apparently, users of self-service channels are neither no more nor no less satisfied with service than their branch banking brethren. That being said, self-service customers are less likely to change banks, if the move comes at a high switching cost. That's a double-edged sword, if there ever was one!
So, self-service channels aren't quite the driver of satisfaction they're made out to be; au contraire, evidence says that they are hygiene. Check out these facts:
- In a survey of U.S. customers by NCR Corp., 2 out of 3 said they wanted the self-service option while shopping.
- A survey of 1,200 customers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland identified the use of direct and self-service channels as the behavioral change with the greatest impact on the immediate future of banking.
- Research shows that great service on self-service channels doesn't necessarily bring customers back, but poor service definitely drives them away.
What does this imply for the banking industry?
In my view, banks have no option but to go with the flow, or shall I say, tidal wave of self-service. This means upgrading existing self-service channels with the latest that technology has to offer - ATMs with more options; touch screen devices in kiosks and branches; remote video tellers; full service Internet banking; and mobile apps to accomplish most banking and financial tasks, from account opening to check deposit to digital wallet or tap and go payments. At the same time, they should not ignore the importance of assisted banking, which is still the go to option for customers looking to make an important decision, and one of the biggest drivers of customer satisfaction.