Many people around the world see Bitcoin as the most disruptive financial innovations in years, which is destined to overthrow traditional financial institutions as we know it. But in some parts of the world, it seems as if Bitcoin is trying to solve a problem that is not even there. In fact, in the United Kingdom, most people are happier with their banks now than they have been in years.
Britain’s Banks Improve Customer Service
Even though most people feel secure and “protected” by their bank in terms of financial loss, there is one key area that drastically needs to be improved. Customer service is rather lackluster when it comes to banks on a global scale, which is cause for great concern. After all, banks control people’s money, so who else can they turn to in case of a problem?
UK banks have identified this critical issue, and focused a lot of time, energy and efforts into improving their customer service. And it looks like those efforts are paying off, according to a recent study conducted by the Institute of Customer Service [ICS]. In fact, it is the first time ever that a UK bank has been on top of the rankings.
Over the past year, companies like John Lewis and Amazon have been the frontrunners in terms of customer service. But something has changed over the past 18 months, leading to HSBC’s online bank First Direct taking the crown. The biggest drivers behind this change are new technology and increased competition in the sector, according to the ICS.
Additionally, other banks have been making headway on the ICS rankings as well. Yorkshire Bank, for example, went from the #40 spot all the way up to #20. And the biggest gains were made by TSB – a high street bank spun off from Lloyds – who climbed from #119 to #37 over the course of 12 months.
“Customer expectations in the UK have increased for a number of reasons. Consumers have more choice than ever and customer service is a key differentiator where products are broadly similar. In banking for example, where traditionally it was difficult to change providers, new account switching rules mean that people can vote with their feet if they don’t like the level of service they receive,” – ICS’s Chief Executive Jo Causon told the media.
New Technology Is A Driving Factor
The financial sector has undergone little to no innovation in the past handful of decades. Ever since Bitcoin came around and displayed its technological innovation, traditional financial institutions had to play catch up. By the looks of it, the disruption brought upon the financial sector by Bitcoin is paying dividends in terms of increased customer support.
“The increased use of technology, with personalisation and social media means that customers now expect to be able to communicate directly with organisations and there is a demand for immediacy and efficiency when they do so. Overall we are seeing the move away from a transactional economy to a relationship economy, where customers expect dialogue, not monologue. The organisations that adjust to this new environment quickest are the ones we see providing the best levels of customer service achieving business success” – ICS’s Chief Executive Jo Causon concluded.
Now that quite a few traditional financial institutions are eying blockchain technology, the situation can only improve for the everyday consumer. Bitcoin was never intended to replace the financial ecosystem as we know it, but rather offer technological advancements so both systems could complement each other, and coexist peacefully.
Source: Telegraph UK
Images courtesy of Institute of Customer Service, Shutterstock, First Direct