Digital banking chosen over human interaction


Friday, 11 August, 2017


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Digital interaction is the preferred method for Australians dealing with banks, according to a new survey commissioned by Avaya.

The YouGov Customer Experience in Banking 2017 report, which surveyed more than 5000 banking customers, shows that one-third of Australians regularly use mobile banking apps, while 28% would prefer only to deal with a person if it is absolutely essential.

More than half of Australians regularly use online banking, and only 36% visit their branch.

Younger generations of Australians are more likely to use mobile services, with 58% of 18- to 24-year-olds and 53% of 25- to 34-year-olds regularly using mobile apps, compared to just 13% in the 55+ category.

However, the YouGov study found that traditional interactions continue to hold a place in the financial services industry. In fact, 22% of Australians prefer to visit branches, a figure led by older respondents, with a third of over-55s selecting that option.

“The financial services industry (FSI) has typically led technology adoption and digital services — in part due to available capital, but primarily because a highly competitive market creates constant pressure to exceed the expectations of demanding consumers,” said Peter Chidiac, managing director Australia and New Zealand at Avaya.

“Customers see value in more than just rates, meaning banks and other financial organisations must provide an experience that aligns to the daily lives of their consumers. To meet those expectations, they have to optimise traditional transactions while enabling interactions across the latest platforms and introducing innovations such as artificial intelligence (AI).”

Regardless of how they choose to contact their bank, the most important issue flagged by Australian customers is that they get the same level of experience and service, and that their problem is resolved on the first point of contact. The most common customer complaint is being kept waiting for a long time on the phone, cited by 21%.

“Consumers are looking for fast resolutions and, within reason, hope for an answer within the first point of contact,” said Chidiac.

“The problem is that some contact centre agents in financial institutions aren’t prepared to deal with a wide range of enquiries, especially in omni-channel environments. Contact centre agents need to be equipped to deal with enquiries no matter which platform the consumer is using to make contact, and importantly, the interaction must be able to shift across platforms without forcing the consumer to explain their issue repeatedly.”

Image credit: ©iStockphoto.com/Vlad Kochelaevskiy

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