EY - Focus on the consumer

Focus on the consumer

Financial Services Briefing - Issue 1, 2014

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Winning through customer experience

Our third Global Consumer Banking Survey looks at banking through the lens of the customer. How do customers perceive their banks? What services do they expect their banks to provide? How well do their banks deliver on promises?

These questions are at the core of this year’s survey, which includes responses from more than 32,000 retail banking customers across 43 countries including over 9,000 from nine countries across the Asia-Pacific.  The survey found that confidence in the banking industry is on the rise, trust in individual banks is high and most customers around the globe are satisfied enough to recommend their main banking provider. 

It also revealed that customer experience is the key to winning, growing and retaining customers in an increasingly competitive banking environment.  Banks are doing the basics of providing traditional banking services well.  Where they are falling short is on important aspects of customer experience and they are increasingly vulnerable to competition from new providers.  Now, more than ever, providing value added services to help customers achieve their financial goals, improve how they conduct their business and provide access to financial experts are key to driving increased share of wallet. 

Know your key customer segments

Our research provides a unique view of today’s customer, regardless of location, and reveals opportunities for banks to more effectively invest resources and craft strategies to strengthen their customer relationships.

We grouped survey respondents into eight global segments. Each segment is defined by its members’ common behaviors and characteristics, including similar preferences in what they want from their primary financial service provider. The segments vary by size, assets and willingness to pay more for key benefits.

In the Asia-Pacific, two customer segments are significant – upwardly mobiles and new world adopters. These segments comprise of wealthy, young consumers who believe that new banks are better positioned than traditional banks to deliver benefits that help them reach their financial goals.  Each customer segment has different priorities so developing strategies that consider overall customer experience along with channel preferences, priorities and behaviors will help traditional banks differentiate from their competitors.

EY - Upwardly Mobiles

EY - New World Adopters

Three focus areas for banks in Asia-Pacific

Although segmentation is an effective way to differentiate between different types of customers, it is important for banks to identify what all customers want from their banks.

The survey revealed three focus areas for banks in the Asia-Pacific:

Customer experience is critical to satisfaction

Customer experience is critical to satisfaction and is a key driver for customers opening and closing accounts. Similarly rates and fees, access to branches and branch office location are very important to customers in doing business with their bank and can also be motivators for account movement. With many customers across Asia-Pacific being multi-banked, banks must be focused on how they meet customers' every day banking needs.

Exceeding customer expectations in delivering value added services is key to driving share of wallet.

Delivering basic banking services such as having an extensive ATM and branch network, offering an excellent online banking feature and making it easy to transact are fundamental to keeping customers satisfied. Banks that don't meet these basic needs will experience more attrition than those that do. Banks that pro-actively help customers to reach their financial goals stand to drive greater share of wallet than those who don't, or do it poorly.

Key customer segments highlight the threat of new entrants.

Wealthy, young consumers in the Asia-Pacific believe that new banks are better positioned than traditional banks to help them to achieve their financial goals. Banks have the opportunity to address this by providing personalized, value added services that differentiate them competitors and appeal to these lucrative customer groups.