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Digital Banking Surges, but Don’t Dismiss the Human Touch Just Yet

US banks differ widely in how customers perceive their performance on disputes and complex episodes.

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Digital Banking Surges, but Don’t Dismiss the Human Touch Just Yet
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During the Covid-19 pandemic, US consumers have relied more on their smartphones and laptops to resolve even complex or emotive banking issues and disputes. Bain & Company’s latest survey of about 26,500 consumers through the NPS Prism® customer experience benchmarking service finds that digital has emerged as the most-used banking channel for dispute or advice episodes, overtaking the branch or call center. In general, consumers liked using digital more than human channels. However, a personal touch still has value: In episodes that involve advice, survey respondents who started digitally but ended by speaking with an employee gave higher loyalty scores than episodes that were exclusively digital. Beneath the averages, there’s a wide variation in the performance of traditional banks, with the Net Promoter Score℠ for complex episodes ranging from 41 to 25. The best banks have designed convenient digital channels that allow consumers to complete episodes quickly; they field responsive, helpful agents; and they resolve problems at the first contact.

Related brief

Many Banks Have Impressed Customers Recently—Can They Extend This Streak?

Migrate banking customers to digital self-service for simple transactions, and reserve the human touch for moments of truth or emotional situations.


Net Promoter®, NPS®, and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc., and Fred Reichheld. Net Promoter Score℠ and Net Promoter System℠ are service marks of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc., and Fred Reichheld.

NPS Prism® is a registered trademark of Bain & Company, Inc.

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