Know your Customers – Building Loyalty and Trust in the Financial Services Sector

The credit crunch has led to a loss of confidence and trust with financial providers.

There is a clear need to change communication long term to address new consumer needs. In times of anxiety consumers’ needs are heightened around service delivery as they seek signs of reassurance and trust from financial providers.

In many financial sectors there is a strong link between churn and (low) Net Promoter score. Those less content with their provider are less likely to recommend them. Recommendation is important in financial services decision making.  Looking at how you make your customers feel about your brand is just as important as the product you deliver.

Excellent service and reassuring brand messages can communicate increased trust overtime. Consumers’ definition of excellent service will vary by the type of organisation. ‘I trust them to carry out the job efficiently’ would apply to most organisations. ‘I trust you to act in my best interest when you invest my money’ may not be perceived to be delivered by all currently, but if communicated and substantiated it will raise perceptions of trust from current levels.

Whether an organisation regards the customer as the IFA or the end client, over the next two to three years financial service providers need to move away from product led propositions to more service led propositions to ensure customers can engage with the brand, experience excellent service, feel positive and affirmative about the product they are buying and above all trust them.

(This article was first published in The Financial Services Forum magazine – Argent in August 2010)