Nearly 80% of Financial Institution Customers Consider Digital Experience a Critical Factor

Companies that can leverage their data to deliver relevant digital experiences will be the most successful in customer loyalty.

The digital experience has become a key factor in preventing customers from switching banks or financial services providers. According to a Salesforce study called Connected Financial Services, 79% of customers say that financial services providers did not adequately prepare them for the economic downturn, which has affected their trust in them. In this context of financial uncertainty, personalisation of services and a satisfactory digital experience are key to retaining customers.

Over the last year, a significant percentage of customers have opted to switch banks (25%), insurance providers (35%), and wealth managers (34%), demonstrating that digital trust is faltering and customers are paying more attention to their financial service providers. At times like these, customers value personalisation, empathy, and digital experience.

Lack of adequate preparation

The survey reveals that customers perceive less financial security compared to the previous year and feel that financial institutions have not adequately prepared them for difficult situations. Only 28% of respondents feel more secure than last year, while 42% feel less secure. In addition, 79% say that their financial service provider did not fully prepare them for an economic downturn and more than a third (37%) say that their institution did not provide them with any help.

This decline in customer confidence has led to the experience offered by financial institutions being a decisive factor in retaining customers. According to the study, 39% of customers find poorly functioning chatbots frustrating, followed by difficulty finding information online (29%), confusing customer service (28%), and impersonal service (24%).

More relevant, accessible, immediate, and personalised services

To address these challenges, Eran Agrios, senior vice president and general manager of Financial Services at Salesforce, stresses the importance of offering more relevant, accessible, immediate, and personalised services. A proactive approach and more personalised service are needed to meet customer expectations.

In this context, artificial intelligence (AI) will play a key role. Companies that can leverage their data to deliver relevant digital experiences will be the most successful in building customer loyalty, and generative AI will play a key role in this. While 76% of employees in the financial sector believe that AI will help them provide better service to customers, customers still have some reservations. According to the study, only 21% fully trust generative AI-based chatbots, while 56% are unsure and 23% do not trust them.

Salesforce suggests that unfamiliarity with AI may partly explain these misgivings. While many customers are optimistic about its time-saving potential (46%), they have yet to form a clear opinion about it (40%).