Get prepared to answer more customer questions

Many financial institutions are rolling out new services, incentives and features to increase customer loyalty, attract new customers and remain competitive in their sector. Given the industry-wide changes banks and lenders are experiencing, coupled with new mobile and technological features many are launching, customers have a wide variety of institutions to choose from when shopping for a bank. And as a result, many are being more selective and narrowing down their options by looking for specific terms, features and conveniences.

A recent article highlighted some of the key factors many customers may be seeking out and relying upon to make their banking decisions.

1. Interest earnings
Whether it be the interest attached to a savings account, certificate of deposit or money market fund, many consumers are concerned about how much they will earn for banking with certain institutions. This is especially true as many households attempt to get their finances back on track and prioritize savings over spending.

2. Rewards
The ability to earn rewards through debit and credit card programs has been an attraction for many customers for years and is not likely to subside in the near future. As a result, bank customers are likely to comparison shop for rewards programs that offer incentives on spending in a variety of categories and impose minimal annual fees, which may cut into their rewards earnings.

3. Mobile features
Mobile technology is becoming more popular among Americans of different demographics, so customers may be eager to choose a bank that offers a comprehensive list of features and applications, according to Mobile applications are making it more convenient and expedient for customers to conduct simple banking transactions, ranging from transferring funds and inquiring into their balance to more advanced actions, such as making check deposits. Although security concerns may still dissuade some would-be mobile bank customers from enrolling in the service, financial institutions that are more communicative about protection and encryption safeguards may gain more customers.

4. Social media
In addition to mobile services, the ability to send feedback, learn about new products and build a relationship with banks through social media mediums such as Facebook and Twitter are becoming more important to customers. Financial institutions that stay current on their social media pages may be in a better position to retain customers and reach new demographics.

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