The Customer Confidential Podcast
Helping banking customers improve their financial situations means providing them with the tools and support to understand and change their financial behaviors. The key is catching consumers at their moment of frustration so you can identify and solve their problems together. When companies deliver personalized advice with empathy and without judgment, customers become more open to guidance for achieving their financial goals.
Evan Siegel, vice president of financial services and business development at eGain, believes a successful consumer-focused approach empowers banking customers. When Evan worked at Wells Fargo on both customer experience and sales strategy, he learned through contact center calls that many consumers felt particularly powerless because of overdraft fees.
“I would hear calls where people had lots of overdraft fees because they didn’t have enough money in their accounts. They were screaming for advice, without saying it,” Evan says. “They needed guidance on how to have a cushion in their accounts. Bankers weren’t armed on how to do that.”
Evan saw that when financial health coaches showed consumers how to adopt basic finance principles, those struggling with overdraft fees could successfully build their credit, reduce spending, and save money.
To enable consumers to improve their lives, Evan believes businesses must strategically recommend products. Authenticity is key. “Only give product recommendations when the customer’s ready and it’s in the context of advice that earns customers’ trust over time,” he says.
In one example, Evan describes a customer who defeats the odds to buy a home.
“One particular customer was declined for a secured card—the most basic card to get. She got referred to our team, who worked with her for over nine months. It turned out she had a credit report error,” Evan says. “But by fixing it—helping her identify it and teaching her how to dispute it—she got a big jump on her FICO score. Fast-forward nine months and she not only got an unsecured card but also got a mortgage.”
As Evan notes, businesses do well when customers do well. When businesses go from rejecting a customer, to connecting them with products, to leveraging those products to help them realize a dream, consumer engagement sticks.
In this episode, Evan and I discuss how to help consumers embrace financial wellness and why empowering consumers promotes loyalty.
In the following excerpt, we focus on how knowledge management can boost Net Promoter Scores.
Rob: Knowledge management is something people hear about but don’t always understand. Can you explain what your company does?
Evan: Knowledge management is about the know-how, policy, and procedures of your company and the struggles most companies—particularly enterprises and large organizations—have. Here, there are silos of knowledge in many places. Policies and procedures are out there. And those things are difficult to search for.
When frontline team members or customers via digital channels are trying to do something, that’s when you need to tap into that knowledge. The technology has come a long way, where now we can understand if it’s, say, in the digital channel and how if the customer’s working with a chatbot, that’s a good manifestation of knowledge management.
We can understand their intent when they type something in and what they’re asking about. Then we can serve guidance in step-by-step, bite-size chunks so that whatever the customer’s trying to do, they can. We can also authenticate them and tap into a CRM system. So, we know who someone is and what accounts and balances they have. This makes for a better contextual customer service experience.
And finally, for agents, whether through a chat agent or a call center agent, we can walk them through a framework of “do this, say this,” in bite-size chunks.
As a result, we see Net Promoter Score improvements of 17 to 30 points over time.