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4 Things Your Bank Customers Want and How You Can Deliver

  • by Kedran Whitten
  • Oct 28, 2015

Understanding what products, services and experiences consumers want is the key to helping your business succeed. That’s why CSI recently partnered with Harris Poll to conduct an independent survey on the drivers for choosing and retaining a financial institution. 

We asked more than 2,000 randomly selected consumers, ages 18 and above, from across the U.S., six questions about their relationships with their financial institutions. What we learned can help your bank deliver what today’s consumers really want—security, innovation, customer service and accessible interest rates. 

Financial Data Security

From baby boomers to millennials, security proved to be a hot topic among respondents. In fact,  80 percent of respondents say keeping financial information safe is their greatest concern.

Consumers are increasingly aware of and focused on protecting their financial data. And banks should be, too. Data breaches not only compromise consumer information, but studies show that they often lead to high customer turnover. 

To help defend your customers’ personal information and your reputation, follow these two steps:

  1. Protect your institution from changing security threats

    Remember—compliant doesn’t equal secure. Even though you have compliance certification, you could still have areas of vulnerability. Your best defense is a proactive approach:

    • Engage a reputable, third-party managed services provider to perform frequent, thorough analyses of your security practices to identify vulnerabilities
    • Stay informed by conducting a self-assessment using security tools like enterprise risk management software to identity what controls you have in place, and what you’re lacking
  2. Develop a plan for prevention and response
  3. In the event of a security breach, the faster you respond, the better opportunity you have to retain customer confidence. Having a strong incident response plan in place, including action items, communications channels and responsible parties, helps you to respond with authority and speed. 

Digital Banking Innovation

With a little help from mobile payments and banking apps, community banks are now able to compete with big-box institutions when it comes to technology offerings. But consumer demand for innovative digital banking solutions is still growing.

Through the poll, more than 50 percent said technology was a key factor in selecting where they bank; 65 percent when segmenting male respondents under the age of 35.

Here are some of the key ways your financial institution can invest in technology tools that integrate with your institution’s existing core, mobile and Internet banking framework: 

  • Branch optimization technologies: Think tablets with access to the core, touch-screen kiosks and the modernization of ATMs
  • Mobile check capture: Provide another layer of anytime, anywhere convenience to customers
  • Peer-to-peer payments (P2P): Give customers a digital way to exchange money on their phones
  • EMV-compatible chip-and-pin cards: Empower consumers to use their mobile phones as secure payment credentials 

Exceptional Customer Service

Though many of your customers have shifted to online banking, they still want a personal experience, tailored to their needs. Among all respondents, 79 percent cited customer service as the most important aspect of their relationship with their banks.

Transform your customer data into actionable business intelligence you can use to strengthen customer relationships. Business intelligence (BI) tools leverage data analytics to enable institutions to:

  • Segment customer profiles to help determine what products which account holders are most likely to need and how they might respond to specific offers
  • Recognize a customer trail when the relationship crosses channels, and develop an integrated marketing and service strategy
  • Create detailed reports on everything you need, from spending patterns on debit cards, to loan prepayment speeds and deposit decay rates

By harnessing this data and pushing it out across channels—such as teller lines and customer care centers—you deliver the exceptional experiences your customers desire.

Easy-to-Find Interest Rates

Believe it or not, 55 percent of respondents said they first check loan rates with their primary institution before shopping around. That’s a very important stat for your institution.

This finding tells us your financial institution has the opportunity to capture your customers’ loan business by providing easy access to interest rate information. But—they’re not going to spend a lot of time searching for the information they need:

  • Make sure your website is easy to navigate and has the up-to-date rate information available to your customers
  • Offer FAQs and tools to calculate payments to answer their questions and keep them engaged with your website

Grow to Respond to Evolving Consumer Demands 

Your customers are interacting with your financial institution like never before. Help your bank respond to consumer wants by embracing security, innovation, and a more personalized, accessible omni-channel service experience.

Perhaps the magic formula for finding success among evolving consumer demands is challenging your financial institution to also grow. Learn more about What Consumers Really Want From Your Bank by downloading our full CSI-sponsored Harris Poll survey.


Kedran Whitten is CSI’s chief marketing officer, a role in which she leads brand development, marketing strategy and public relations initiatives. Kedran has more than 20 years of marketing leadership experience, and she also possesses significant experience in developing key marketing measurements, including revenue growth, customer satisfaction, brand awareness, product pricing and positioning.