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4 ways finservs can use customer empathy to establish trust

| May 10, 2019
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When it comes to finances, trust is everything. In order for a potential customer to feel comfortable handing over their personal information—and ultimately their money—they need to trust the companies they’re working with. A website or app can make or break that trust in a matter of seconds.

One thing that many financial service organizations tend to forget is how personal finances are for their customers. It’s more than just a simple transaction for your customers, it’s putting what they’ve earned into someone else’s hands. So how can you make them feel like they’re placing their trust in the right hands? Start by building customer empathy into everything you do so the next time a customer uses your product they know they can trust you.

To help build that essential trust with customers, here are four tips that finserv companies of all sizes can implement.

1.  Gather regular human insight

Human insight is the key that unlocks customer empathy and helps bridge the empathy gap. When you’re able to continually stay in communication with your users you’re able to gain a new perspective that allows you to create unparalleled customer experiences. It’s more than just understanding their pain points, it’s about the nuances that can take an experience from good to exceptional especially when it comes to digital experiences.

With trends changing so quickly, customer loyalty can shift at the drop of a hat so it’s paramount that you keep a pulse on the people who matter the most—your users.

In our recent eBook, Deconstructing the rise of fintechs, we found that when it comes to digital experiences, the companies that had better, cleaner, and updated digital experiences were more likely to be perceived as caring about and understanding their customers. Make sure that you’re always gathering human insight from your customers to keep your website relevant, updated, and easy to navigate.

2. Privacy and security is paramount

If you’re already following step #1 then you’re well aware that one of consumers’ top concerns, especially when it comes to their finances, is privacy. New technology means new ways our data and privacy can be compromised and consumers are paying close attention. They need to know that their information and their hard-earned assets are safe, and it’s every finserv’s responsibility to help them feel secure.

But privacy and security isn’t just about having the latest encryption software or requiring secure passwords. To make consumers feel safe, they need reassurance, in language they’ll understand, at every stage of an interaction. If a customer is making a payment, for example, it’s important to reiterate exactly what they’re about to do, when it will happen, and what will happen next. Money matters can be stressful interactions for many consumers, so a little overcommunication can go a long way in reassuring your customers that their transactions will happen as expected.

It’s also important to be upfront and honest is something goes wrong. Conduct interviews with customers that have experienced fraud to better understand that experience. While it’s not something any finserv company wants to happen, being prepared by understanding what consumers will need in those situations will alleviate a lot of frustration and stress, and reassure them that you’ve got their back.

3. Provide the right content—at the right time

When it comes to finances, information is key, but what’s the right balance? You want to make sure that you’re offering something that’s valuable to your audience.

Building a customer journey map is a great place to start. It helps you break down the phases of customer engagement and spot any pain points your customers’ may be experiencing, helping you better understand empathize with them.

When you can see the different stages your customers are at, you’re better able to understand the type of content they might be looking for and the best way to share it with them. Not only will you be providing them with the information they’re looking for, but they’ll know that you’re a trusted resource for them at all different stages of their buying journey.

4. Connect through storytelling

Reminding customers that there are people behind your brand is a great way to establish trust. One way to do that is through storytelling. Whether it’s by sharing other customers testimonials and experiences or giving customers a glimpse of the lives of your employees help put a face to your brand and reassure customers that there are people who care at the other end of the site or app they’re interacting with.

Video is another engaging storytelling medium. Highlight community projects, customer stories—anything that elicits emotions that your customers can relate to.

Customer empathy is a competitive advantage

By understanding who your customers are and how important their finances are to them, the easier it’ll be to meet them where they’re at. With so many companies missing the mark when it comes to everyday empathy, it’s important to keep a constant pulse on what your customers need. The only way to do that is to talk and listen to them. No survey can replace what it’s like to hear first-hand what’s making them happy or upset.

Have empathy be the thing that sets your organization apart and separates you from the competition. It’s all about taking a moment to connect and make sure that you keep them at the center of everything you do. When you’re able to do that you’ll have fans that last a lifetime.

Want to learn more?

If you’d like to learn how UserTesting can help you understand your customers through on-demand human insight, contact us here.