Post pandemic customer support in the banking industry

Apr 2021 | Article

post pandemic customer support in the banking industry

Summary:Small and Medium-sized banks are struggling with Customer Support in the post-COVID-19 era. National Statistical Office's data reveals the Indian Economy is attempting a V-shaped recovery. The GDP growth has contracted only about 7.5% in the July-September quarter compared to a contraction of 23.9% in the previous quarter. However, a Standard and Poor's (S&P) report highlighted that India's banking sector would take till 2023 to recover from the pandemic blues.

While most larger banks are adopting to the pandemic by reinstituting business continuity processes, shifting to an asset lite model, and optimizing costs, the smaller banks are struggling to improve their outdated and fragile customer support model. The customers are no more comfortable with in-person banking and are increasingly adopting digital modes of payment. Hence, the small to medium banks are suffering the most.

While most larger banks are adopting to the pandemic by reinstituting business continuity processes, shifting to an asset lite model, and optimizing costs, the smaller banks are struggling to improve their outdated and fragile customer support model. The customers are no more comfortable with in-person banking and are increasingly adopting digital modes of payment. Hence, the small to medium banks are suffering the most.

Issues The Banking Sector Is Facing In The Covid-19 Affected World.

Customer behavior has drastically changed globally post the lockdowns, and Indian customers are no different. They prefer contactless-banking and demand innovative solutions that enable remote business operations. Thus, the entire banking sector is facing extreme challenges in maintaining customer relations.

Customer behavior has drastically changed globally post the lockdowns, and Indian customers are no different. They prefer contactless-banking and demand innovative solutions that enable remote business operations. Thus, the entire banking sector is facing extreme challenges in maintaining customer relations.

This Crisis Has Presented The Indian Banking System With Several Opportunities.

Banks are rightly placed to help customers recover from the pandemic's economic impact. They can simultaneously improve customer support by driving and sustaining the adoption of digital banking and encouraging digital literacy. An EY study suggests that to truly connect with and gain the trust of their customers, banks must understand their customers' context and needs. They must create a personalized and intuitive relationship across channels.

There will, however, continue to be a need for a human element in all customer interactions. Empathy and understanding of customer needs must be the driving force behind every exchange.

With SMBs prioritizing digital methods of providing customer support through internet banking, app-based customer support, they can override the post-COVID-19 fears and re-establishing customer relations with the same amount of safety and trust.

Medium and small-sized banks can capitalize on this opportunity using the latest technological advancements in the banking sector. Banks must develop an understanding of when to deploy an intuitive digital capability via phone, video conferencing, and chatbots, and when to use specialist staff for specific customer queries.

Inclusivity of digital channels will be a priority when dealing with vulnerable customers and those without digital access or literacy.

How Can SMBs Overcome The Customer Support Hurdles Amid COVID-19 Impact?

Banks must deploy contactless banking solutions to overcome the challenges posed by social distancing and remote working. Here are some steps that SMBs can take to improve customer experience:

  • Digital on-boarding enabled by video KYC: By adopting Aadhar and video customer on-boarding, banks can drive customer acquisition and at the same time reduce cost and improve turn-around time. Leveraging AI and facial recognition technology will enhance data veracity.
  • Contactless Authentication and Payments: Customers will prefer to use contactless authentication and payment processes to keep physical interactions at a minimum. Using voice or facial recognition to drive this solution will help maintain social distancing and improve customer experience vastly.
  • Virtual Customer Support: Enabling the use of chatbots/voicebots for basic customer interactions and cloud-based contact centers for complex requests will help banks stay prepared for future disruptions.
  • Immersive Banking Experience: By virtually recreating immersive experiences, banks can differentiate their offerings and can improve customer engagement and, in turn, customer experience.
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