About the study

The Swiss financial services market is facing many challenges. Besides regulatory obstacles and a negative interest environment, new market entrants are appearing in the form of FinTech start-ups and trying to disrupt the businesses of incumbents.

Customer behavior and expectations have changed drastically in our digitalized world and customers’ trust in the financial services market is on an all-time low.

How can financial services companies survive in this hostile environment and gain back customer trust?

Find the answer in our report.

EY - HSG - Study Design - Infographic

In a nutshell

The challenge to convey trustworthiness digitally

Setting up digital channels has become the norm in the financial services industry both for start-up companies and incumbent companies. Most companies pursue a strategy that combines digital interaction elements with personal interaction to varying degrees. Due to the decrease of personal face-to-face interactions, the challenge for companies is now to convey their trustworthiness digitally.

The human element still matters

Our quantitative experiment confirms that personal face-to-face interaction, for instance with an advisor in a local branch, builds the strongest trust. As start-ups usually do not provide personal advice, this provides incumbents with an opportunity to realize a competitive advantage. Furthermore, reducing options for face-to-face interactions leads to a decrease in trust.

Although customers expect seamless digital interactions with a company, they still appreciate personal face-to-face contact in the customer process. Incumbents which are thinking about replacing personal with digital interactions should carefully consider in which phase of the customer process (pre-sales phase or utilization phase) this makes sense in order to minimize the negative impact this has on overall trust levels.

Moreover, incumbents need to keep up with start-ups, when it comes to customer experience, convenience and speed of the interaction.

For more insights please read our report.

Results

The experiment shows that personal face-to-face interaction, for instance with an advisor in a local branch, builds the strongest trust. As start-ups usually do not provide personal advice, this provides incumbents with an opportunity to realize a competitive advantage.

Furthermore, reducing options for face-to-face interactions leads to a decrease in trust. Although customers expect seamless digital interactions with a company, they still appreciate personal face-to-face contact in the customer process.

Trust can be created digitally —but not as much as through personal interaction

Although trust built through personal face-to-face interaction builds the strongest trust, there are ways to create trust through digital interaction. By designing customer interaction in a trustworthy manner, trust can be transferred through digital interaction. This can be achieved through “trust-inducing” features and “trust enablers”.

EY - HSG - Build & Maintain Trust - Infographic

Actions

Solving the trust equation — what companies should do

After having discussed the results of our qualitative specialist interviews and our quantitative experiment in detail, it is important to understand what companies could do based on those unique results. Although it always depends on the individual company situation, the following case study serves as a guideline to analyze the different options companies have to build and maintain trust throughout the customer process.

EY - HSG - Customer Decision - Infographic

Contacts – arrange a meeting

EY - Bernhard Schneider

Bernhard Schneider
Senior Manager
Insurance
Strategy & Customer Switzerland
Phone: +41 58 286 42 20
Mail: Bernhard Schneider

EY - Stefan Iff

Stefan Iff
Senior Consultant
Strategy & Customer Switzerland

Phone: +41 58 286 39 42
Mail: Stefan Iff