Our clients see increasing competition for business banking services from not only competitors they know, but ones they don’t know. The ones they know are market competitors from national banks to the smallest financial institution. The ones they don’t know are fintechs, with no local presence and app-based products.
Competing against your known competitors is relatively easy (well, straightforward), but a fintech? How can you do that? Improving your treasury management customer service experience will be a great start.
Let’s start with a new view of treasury management services: They are all technology services requiring modern and proven methodologies to deploy and support. Let’s explore five ways to improve your business customer’s experience with your institution.
Train your Staff
Nothing is more frustrating for a business customer trying to get help with a technology product than getting bounced around from banker to banker in search of a solution. Every time you roll out a new treasury management service, training the staff on that service should be a priority. You’ll need training for the sales team on how to sell it, training for the marketing team on how to generate demand for the service, training for the operations staff on how to deploy and run it, along with training the customer service staff on how to troubleshoot and fix issues.
We see two tracks for training on treasury management services. The first track is on the sales side. Not only does the sales team need to know the service features, but they also need to know how to ask your business customers the right questions to uncover needs. The second track is on the operations side, documenting the service features as a set of results so that everyone on the team knows exactly the goal for each service and the problems the service resolves for the customers.
Create a Business Call Center
Back to our earlier statement that treasury management services are technology services, why not support them as such? Creating a call center sounds like a massive project, but you can start small. Designate a single person (or workgroup) as the business support team. Create a single phone number customers can use to contact that team by setting up a hunt group or a call queue in your phone system. Create a single email address your customers can use to contact the team. Publish this information on your business page on your website. In a nutshell, make it easy for your business customers to quickly contact the trained team dedicated to resolving their treasury management business technology issue.
Use Ticketing Software
Now that you have some of your call center up and running, how are you going to track the service requests without tripping over each other? A modern service ticketing system will do this for you, tracking every service request. Your IT department may already use a ticketing system for IT requests. Maybe you can create a separate service board for treasury management issues and use that system. Maybe you need a new one. Either way, you need a ticketing system – it’s just part of providing excellent customer service.
Whatever ticketing system you decide to deploy, there is one critical feature necessary for excellent customer service: Closed Loop. Closed loop, in ticketing software terms, is where a customer can send in an email, a ticket is auto generated, then an email is sent back to the customer acknowledging the service request. As the issue is assigned to someone, resolved, and closed, each stage of this resolution process generates an email back to your customer (and your staff assigned to the service ticket), keeping them informed of their issue status. This loop of communication, from start to end, is called closed loop, and you need it.
Ask for Feedback
One of the most difficult things to do is ask the customer “How did we do?” or “How are we doing?”. However, if you don’t regularly do that, you’ll be providing support to customers not really knowing if they understand your solution or if the problem was solved. As you deploy your ticketing solution above, be sure to integrate a post-service request close automated survey and regularly review the results. Incentivize your team to constantly improve service ratings. Develop metrics to track this information and regularly review it in team meetings – all with the goal of providing excellent customer support to your business customers.
Constant improvement in the way your treasury management services are marketed, sold, customers onboarded and supported are critical to the long-term success and profitability of those services. Improvement comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes, but constant communications is the start of all improvement. Start by collecting customer feedback (good and bad), immediately addressing the bad and eventually incorporating the good. Develop internal service cross functional management teams consisting of treasury management product managers, treasury management sales, operations, marketing, and customer support folks. The goal of each team is to guide the service, continually develop it and improve features, re-word sales and marketing materials, re-work support and troubleshooting procedures and generally make that service the best it can be.
Your Call to Action
Start looking at treasury management services as technology services and build your support team to properly support technology services.
With a solid business customer support system, you are on a level playing field in terms of treasury management customer service and on your way to protecting your market share and making business customers happy.
What treasury management projects are you working on? As always, we’re here to help.