3 Tactics to Keep Customers Calm During Economic Volatility

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As more headlines about the financial industry continue to hit your inboxes, it has become necessary to find ways to keep our customers calm. Between bank closures, impending recession fears, and break-ins, today’s banking customers can feel insecure, anxious and worried about the financial climate.

In this article, learn more about ways that experts in the industry advise bank and branch managers to help ease these kinds of anxieties. When we interact with our customers in a transparent, available and helpful manner, our customers not only feel reassured that they have support, they likewise understand that their bank or branch is ready to help.

Before we delve into these important tips, it is important to understand the state of customer service today.

Can Customer Confidence Yield Better Results?

According to Indeed, soft skills such as empathy, being caring, patient, positive, and attentiveness are highly prized by banking customers, and likewise, hiring managers at banks. It makes sense, since providing excellent customer service is essential in the banking industry. The best way to keep your branch thriving, is to ensure you provide value and retain customers.

At the Center of Customer Confidence is Trust

In today’s volatile economic environment, customer service is paramount. Here are three tactics for keeping customers calm in these trying times.

While not newsworthy, it is worth remembering that at the center of success in the financial industry is trust. Moreover, trust is not something that all financial institutions enjoy right now, in this current era of economic uncertainty and volatility. In fact, for many banks, trust is on the decline.

In fact, according to PWC, there is an erosion of consumer trust across the board. In their 2023 Trust Survey, in fact, PWC highlights how no sector can claim immunity from erosion. But the two sectors experiencing the sharpest declines from a year ago are financial services and tech, media and telecommunications.

These attitudes should come as no surprise, according to the Conference Board’s June 2023 Consumer Confidence Survey Report, “Consumer expectations remain at a level that’s consistent with recession.” In fact, while an annual Gallup survey reports that the confidence score for big business is at an all-time low, these insights hint at how to earning back trust and thereby rebuild customer confidence: customer service.

Customer Service

Consumers in the Gallup survey shared that the most important trust-earning actions are quickly responding to and resolving their concerns (74%) and delivering a consistent and reliable customer experience (74%). So understanding the kinds of next-level customer service skills that can help improve customer satisfaction, build loyalty and actually help retain customers, but also, help to strengthen a team. It may be a reflection, too, of the training, care and focus each institution brings to each of its core team, that likewise, in times like these, can make all the difference.

3 Tactics to Keep Your Customers Calm

In a feature from “The Financial Brand,” the author offers 3 tactics for countering today’s economic volatility. Her insight into understanding how customers respond to soft skills over anything else is not only striking, but reflect the successful efforts made by some of the largest institutions in the world, in keeping customers calm and thereby re-building customer confidence and trust:

Tactic 1 – Humanize Your Brand

In today’s volatile economic environment, customer service is paramount. Here are three tactics for keeping customers calm in these trying times.

One of the ripple effects from the well-publicized bank failures was the impact on other large regional banks. Though bank stocks in general fell in the days after the failures, large regional institutions plummeted.

A new emergency liquidity program created for banks and credit unions had many takers, as the threat of destabilizing bank runs continued to loom large. It wasn’t just a matter of perception either. Across the industry, bank withdrawals were on the rise. Consumers moved their deposits to perceived safety — with the megabanks among the biggest beneficiaries. In response to these dynamics, some banks stepped up their social media presence to prevent a self-fulfilling prophecy fueled by consumer concerns. By implementing a bootstrap approach and publicly addressing questions, many banks and fintechs provided active customer support during a time of immense pressure.

Tactic 2 – Share Lots of Information

Some large banks stepped up their engagement efforts, for example, by hosting a webinar to offer information, or by reaching out with informational emails for its customers. Some began to send regular updates and continue to do so on a regular, more frequent basis. Others began sharing resources across the board – via newsletter, social and email. These proactive customer support efforts helped to not only buoy customer trust, but likewise to set a new tone in customer care.

Tactic 3 – Extend Hours / Access

In today’s volatile economic environment, customer service is paramount. Here are three tactics for keeping customers calm in these trying times.

Two large banks stand out for the way they have taken proactive steps to provide additional support to new and existing customers because they brought their engagement efforts to specific locations. One of the large regional banks in Providence, R.I., announced that it would be temporarily extending branch hours across its footprint due to “higher than normal interest from prospective new customers over the past few days” and to “support potential new customers as they navigate ongoing uncertainty.”

Communication is key for all banking providers right now. Open and honest communication with customers about the bank failures, the fallout and ongoing concerns can help create a sense of trust, as long as the messaging is authentic, transparent and empathetic. Offering resources and expressing a willingness to help answer questions and be a resource can go a long way toward helping ease stress and anxiety for consumers and position your branch, bank or financial institution as a trusted adviser at a time when so many need one.

At Wittenbach, Customers Always Come First

At Wittenbach, we believe that it is always imperative to do what is best for our customers. This is actually #7 of our Wittenbach Fundamentals. For nearly fifty years, Wittenbach has put its customers at the center of everything we do. It’s this longevity, expertise and commitment that has allowed us to strengthen trust within each relationship with industry leaders and our strategic partners.

In Summary

Wittenbach’s approach to building strategic partnerships and its commitment to do what’s right for our growing community of customers, are the key drivers for how we have provided world class solutions for nearly fifty years. We believe that in today’s volatile economic environment, it is more important than ever to stand with our customers.  Contact us today to learn more about how Wittenbach can support your branch or business.