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Breaking down silos to deliver customer experience in financial services

5 min read
One of the biggest hurdles for financial services organisations when it comes to delivering on - and indeed exceeding - customer expectations is to break down internal silos. Find out how to move towards a more holistic program to start reaping the rewards.

Customer experience is mission critical in the financial services sector – one recent study found banks could expect to see a 27.5% growth rate simply by improving their customer experience scores by 10%.

It comes from a combination of reduced churn and increased revenue from existing, happier customers that drives the value back to the bottom line.

But the problem holding many organisations back is the siloed nature of their customer experience programs.

eBook: Experience leadership in financial services


Multiple channels, one seamless experience

Banking and financial services is a complicated sector – with so many different arms from retail banking to insurance and long-term investments, and plenty of product differentiation with each one.

Add to that the rise in digital-only solutions, often spun off as separate companies that are run away from the main organisation as a so-called ‘digital garages’ and it’s easy to see how there is often little consistency when it comes to managing the customer experience.

A customer may get one experience when dealing with the insurance arm and then a totally different one when dealing with their insurance products held with the very same bank. Their experience of each impacts their perceptions of the organisation as a whole.

When you consider one of the key drivers of customer loyalty in the sector is product stickiness – when a customer holds more than one product with the same bank they’re far less likely to churn – it’s surprising that organisations have allowed these silos to persist.

To really improve the customer experience and drive value back to the bottom line, it’s essential that financial services organisations are able to break down silos and operate as a single entity – this allows you to manage and optimise the experience across products and departments.

Think about journeys, not transactions

Most Customer Experience programs today focus on transactional measures to monitor the customer experience, using customer satisfaction surveys after a specific interaction to baseline and then improve the experience.

This is likely to reinforce, rather than break down, those silos as it sees every interaction as independent from the next.

Looking instead at the customer journey as a whole and understanding the effect of all the different interactions, across different departments, channels and products and their effect on the customer experience is a far more effective way to manage the customer experience.

Find out how to get started with customer journey mapping

With the customer experience mapped out, you can start to gather feedback at the moments that matter and then tie your results back to customer-centric operational KPIs like churn rates and Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) that will help you understand the value of the experience as a whole.

Here are 3 key steps to take to help you develop a more holistic CX program that will help you deliver on those KPIs:

  1. Agree on a single CX strategy and set of metrics – bring together cross-functional teams to align on a vision for the customer experience and the metrics for your programme. These teams should all be involved in your journey mapping too, ensuring that every key stakeholder buys into the programme from the outset.
  2. Assign a single, exec-level owner – having a single owner of CX is essential if you’re going to bring the leadership team with you and drive investments based on your results. The owner of the programme should ideally have c-suite visibility in order to report to the leadership and demonstrate the impact on your operational KPIs.
  3. Get your teams behind the vision – everyone from the leadership team investing in the CX program to the customer-facing staff who shape the experience need to be on-board with the strategy and direction. Make sure you train customer facing teams and enable them to deliver on the vision by seamlessly embedding new workflows and practices into their day-to-day work. It’s essential here to make sure your employee experience program aligns to your CX program and that everything from your closed-loop follow up process to your feedback mechanisms are embedded in the systems your teams are already using whether that’s your CRM, call centre management software or HR systems.

See how to get your teams behind your CX vision

eBook: Experience leadership in financial services