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The Holiday Season is Here. How Banks Can Ensure Perfect Christmas Customer Service?

December 14, 2023


Customer support and services during Holiday Season

Build a loyal customer base by enhancing your customer services for the Holiday Season. Here’s what banks musk know.

Christmas is not just a festival; it’s an emotion. The Holiday Season is also the time to splurge. Corporates and retail buyers alike put their Christmas hats on to celebrate by giving and sharing. Since the consumer has a lot going on, from vacation and celebration planning to cooking and cleaning during the holiday break, why not give them friction-free purchase experiences for all festive, gifting, and personal needs? This will not just build goodwill for your brand during Christmas but will remain a positive memory among customers for a long time to come.

The increased workload and higher transaction volumes often uncover underlying process or operational bottlenecks if the banking technology infrastructure is not prepared for it. This is where customer services become crucial, to keep the festive cheer intact for both your employees and the consumer. Check out how you can offer exceptional customer experiences this Christmas.

Address Dynamic Customer Expectations

In the words of Laura Ingalls Wilder, “We are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmastime.”

The rapid evolution of technology has made services and products available anytime, anywhere. This has raised customer expectations, which have become extremely dynamic. Consumers want instant, personalized, and friction-free experiences across online and offline channels. Did you know that poor customer service is among the top 3 reasons that lead to a customer switching their financial services provider?

Data Source: Salesforce

As part of her Digital Transformation in Consumer Banking presentation, Sharanya Ravichandran, VP of Design at JPMorgan Chase, highlighted 3 considerations that ensure superior customer experiences.

1. Products need to be not just useful but also usable.

All financial offerings should be efficiently delivered, such that they are accessible, secure, and easy to navigate.

2. Products must be sophisticated yet intuitive.

Financial management is often considered complicated. Simplifying the experience for the most uneducated and unaware customers is key to boosting the adoption of complex products.

3. Connectivity and adaptability elevate product or service experience.

Simplifying transitions in the evolving financial landscape and technologies is essential to prevent consumers from looking for “easier” alternatives.

Assess Your Risk Landscape

69% of consumers think that paradoxical behaviors are both human and acceptable.

Source: Accenture

For any financial institution, evaluating risks and vulnerability of each touchpoint is the first step to mitigating risks and ensuring that customers have superior experiences. Know the exact risk each customer complaint might entail and automate severity-level flagging of incidents. For instance, customers often face card blocking due to changes in their spending patterns around the holidays. Bolstering the intelligence of behavioral analytics and adding a proactive confirmation approach to verify anomalies can reduce the number of complaints.

Pro Tip:

Initiate interactions with customers in advance to ask them what they require and if there are any persistent problems they need resolved.

Integrate the Omnichannel Experience

Remember what Rosie Thomas said in Iris & Ruby? “Christmas works like glue, it keeps us all sticking together.”

Banks and credit unions have adopted digital channels to boost reachability to customers, but the experiences need to be streamlined across channels. Customers expect a seamless experience across all channels that is fast, consistent, and reliable. Therefore, along with making ample channels available to access the services of the financial institution, consistent and personalized experiences across all of them is indispensable. Leverage technology to offer integrated and unified experiences for unique customer journeys.

Pro Tip:

Adjust greetings to match the holiday spirit and elevate customer mood via manual and AI-based customer agents. Keep them aligned but not repetitive and boring.

Create Autonomous Customer Journeys

Ornaments, tinsel, or a whole lot of jingles – Let your customers decide what decorations they wish to put up!

Leveraging AI-powered automation is one of the most effective ways to elevate customer experiences. It helps encourage self-service while reducing instances of manual error. Deploy an LLM-powered self-learning conversational chatbot as early as possible to deliver personalized experiences. Flowbots are trained to offer how-to questions and chatbots, using natural language processing (NLP) capabilities, to help clients pinpoint what problems they are facing.

But technology cannot completely eliminate the need for human interactions. In fact, a McKinsey report reveals that 20% of consumers prefer human interactions over digital ones. It gives them a sense of being heard and valued. Personal dialogue with a customer care expert can lead to high-ROI deals that create significant value for the financial institution.

Do it like a pro:

Create quick response and feedback loops that ensure that customer grievances are addressed promptly, without overburdening the customer service team.

Be Your Customer’s Santa Claus

“Santa Claus is anyone who loves another and seeks to make them happy; who gives himself by thought or word or deed in every gift that he bestows.” – Edwin Osgood Grover

We hope and plan that the holiday season passes without incident. However, a single event, especially one during the Christmas season, can significantly impact a brand’s reputation. Therefore, preparing customer services teams to mitigate any such instances and ensure smooth operations and processes is essential.

88% of customer executives believe that customer expectations are changing faster than their businesses can keep up.

Source: Accenture

Modern banking customers do not just come up with “how can you do that” questions. They want more insightful and relevant guidance. “We do not offer that” is the shortest way to lose customers. Businesses have to be able to offer alternatives or ways to address customer needs in real time to stay relevant in the long run. Elevating customer service is not just a technology initiative, but a strategic one. Consult an industry expert like Opus Technologies to shower your customers with Christmas cheer. With 27+ years of deep experience in payment enablement and tech adoption services for the finance sector, the team propels the digital modernization for financial institutions.

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