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Localized Services Key to Improving Customer Experience

A survey conducted by BT Global and Avaya found that consumers desire a personalized touch when dealing with their bank.

Bank customers are seeking a local, personalized experience when interacting with their bank, according to a survey released today by business communications service providers BT Global and Avaya.

The study – which surveyed more than 2,000 financial services customers in the U.S., U.K., Germany and Spain -- found that despite the growing use of telephone and internet banking in recent years, 66 percent of the U.S.-based responders view the local branch as the most vital link with their bank – second only to ATM machines.

32 percent of U.S. consumers indicated a preference for using web chat when browsing financial websites, while 24 percent said they would prefer to use click-to-call and 14 percent would prefer video chat. The survey also found that mobile banking is gaining popularity as well, with 27 percent of respondents already trying some form of it and 34 percent of U.S. consumers "eager" to make mobile payments. The call center, however, remains the preferred first stop for resolving a complaint or issue, the survey found.

"Despite this being a tough time for financial services institutions, these results show they can strengthen trust and build stronger relationships with their customers by delivering truly local and personalized services through every channel they have," said Tom Regent, president of global banking & financial markets and sales & marketing at BT Global Services. "Innovations in customer service technology can help them achieve this. Whether it's in the branch or through remote channels such as mobile banking, technologies now exist that can link up customers to the right people and the right information in a cost-effective way."

Overall, the survey found that 55 percent of U.S. consumers have a strong relationship with their bank and seventy-four percent say good service improves loyalty.

[Related Content: Bank Loyalty Programs Need a Boost]

Bryan Yurcan is associate editor for Bank Systems and Technology. He has worked in various editorial capacities for newspapers and magazines for the past 8 years. After beginning his career as a municipal and courts reporter for daily newspapers in upstate New York, Bryan has ... View Full Bio

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