2018 Housing Summit
Putting the Customer First
Customer service is a key factor in whether a company is successful or not today. Learn why it’s more important than ever for businesses to have a frictionless customer experience in today’s fast-paced and competitive environment.
Technology is disrupting nearly every industry, setting off massive changes in the business environment. It’s never been more important for a business to think about the customer experience. Maribeth Robinson, Head of Human Resources for Chase Home Lending, talks with Gordon Smith, CEO of Consumer and Community Banking and Co-President and COO, JPMorgan Chase, about putting customers first in today’s hypercompetitive environment.
Q: How should business owners today be thinking about customers?
A: The rate of technological change today is unparalleled in all the time I’ve been in business—and it’s almost all focused on the customer. If you’re not constantly innovating, investing and removing friction points for the customer, you’re going to see a negative outcome pretty quickly. Look what’s happened over the last few years in certain industries. Forget the fact that a company like Blockbuster disappeared because Netflix overwhelmed it. Now Netflix has struck fear in companies like Disney and Comcast. There have already been casualties from this extreme pace of change, and I think there will be many more.
Q: Do you consider customer service to be one of the driving factors in determining if a company is successful today?
A: Absolutely, I think it’s almost all we have at this point. Obviously, in all of our industries, setting the right price is important. But if you don’t have a customer experience that’s as close to frictionless as possible, you’re going to lose.
Q: Consumers have so many choices today and often right at their fingertips. How does customer experience play into purchasing decisions?
A: If you go back to when we all first started carrying mobile devices, people used to have many pages of apps on their phones. Now, it’s down to almost two pages. At JPMorgan Chase, we want to be on those first two pages of apps on our customers’ mobile devices. So we’ve asked, how can we build functionality for customers so they’re not simply checking a bank statement once a month but are interacting with us every day?
There are a few things we’re focused on apart from all of the basics you can do in your banking app. One example is Zelle®, which is basically person-to-person payments. It’s free for the customer, but more importantly, it continuously drives the customer back to our app.
Q: From a customer experience perspective, who are some of the companies that JPMorgan Chase compares itself to?
A: When it comes to customer experience, we used to be able to compare ourselves to other financial institutions, like Wells Fargo or Bank of America. But today these comparisons are irrelevant. Now, customers are asking, is my banking app as easy to use as ordering food delivery or an Uber? We need to be equal to or greater than the best in any industry that the customer interacts with—not just financial services.
Q: Do you have any insight to share on what the home lending consumer is looking for?
A: This is a massive opportunity. Is there a more exasperating process than applying for a mortgage? It’s the largest transaction that most people will ever embark on. With the technology available today, we can greatly eliminate friction points for customers. Regulators have not made this process easy, but there’s a great opportunity to simplify the whole process.
Q: How do you think customer expectations will evolve over the coming years? What will the customer experience look like?
A: We’re going to start to see dramatic changes from technology, especially machine learning and artificial intelligence. Entry-level jobs are vital in our system, but they’re disappearing from the economy at a rapid rate. Consumer demand will eradicate industries that we thought would be here forever. In many ways, it’s exciting—but for businesses, only the fittest will survive. In our world today, you’re either winning or you’re losing. There’s nowhere in the middle where you can just park and maintain the status quo.
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