Debunking the Retail Banking Customer Experience

Debunking the Retail Banking Customer Experience

Loyalty depends upon how banks treat customers when they interact with the organization. Free checking and low interest rates no longer dictate competitive advantage. But, when it comes to launching the seamless experiences customers now expect, financial institutions must face the music—they’re failing miserably.

However, many banks are in denial, as they continue to believe in so-called truths that are far from fact. Here are six lies banking leaders think are true and how they compare to today’s reality:

Lie 1: It’s Different — We’re a Bank

Customers don’t think in terms of industries or markets. Instead, these individuals focus on relationships and trust. Therefore, when customers compare their current banking experience to the competition, they often base these judgments on other leading brands, such as Apple, Google, Amazon, and Uber. Though this may not seem fair, it’s not up to banks to decide. The aforementioned companies offer consumers an innovative way of doing business in today’s “Experience Economy” and it’s here to stay, which means all companies across all industries must step up their game by reinventing business models to satisfy evolving consumer expectations.

Lie 2: Mobile Is Just an Extension of Our Website

While this statement might’ve been true upon the introduction of the smartphone, the app economy upended this way of thinking. Customers now expect mobile applications to provide more personalized information beyond the standard mobile-friendly version of the bank’s traditional website. Biometric authentication, voice authentication, and geo-location services, for instance, offer customers more secure, customized experiences that websites were never meant to accomplish. Of course, banking customer service leads will have to alter operations, bringing in the expertise of an external mobile agency to develop an effective customer experience strategy, but when done right, these apps can serve as powerful relationship-building tools.

Lie 3: Customers Leave Because of Better Fees and Rates

Ernst & Young’s Global Banking Survey expressly highlights that banking experience—treatment in the contact center, branch, or the mobile experience—stands as the number one reason customers leave their current bank. Each of these individuals wants to be treated as a valued customer, whether they’re interacting with the bank in real time or accessing its mobile app. The clear surge in community banks and local credit unions further supports this desire that customers want the white-glove treatment. They want associates to know who they are and treat them like individuals, not numbers. Integrating new technologies, such as live associate chat and video chat, also empowers customers to choose how they engage, thereby demonstrating their overall value to the bank and providing them with differentiated experiences without sacrificing the quality of service.

Lie 4: This Data Only Applies to Millennials

Banks often assume that new technologies apply primarily to Millennials. Nonetheless, people over 55 years of age are some of the fastest growing adopters of smartphone technology today. Plus, Boomers are new to the scene, so they’re not jaded by previously poor Web or mobile banking experiences. Banks have an ideal opportunity to prove themselves to this growing, highly desirable, high net income age group. Yet banks shouldn’t disregard Millennials. After all, Viacom’s Millennial Disruption Index indicates that 71 percent of this younger demographic would rather go to the dentist than listen to what banks are saying. Make sure subsequent CX efforts apply to all age groups.

Lie 5: That’s Not My Department

As the lines between who “owns” the banking customer experience begin to blur, financial institutions must ask themselves one question: Who wakes up in the morning thinking this is their job? Traditionally, online experiences have been connected to the branch, which has to be connected to the mobile app, which must be in sync with the contact center and financial advisors. Thus, banks must also ask themselves where their resources are focused and if their future investments have shifted to satisfy new customer expectations. Ultimately, customers are now five times more likely to visit their bank’s online site, mobile app, or ATM. Has your bank shifted at least five times its customer service, customer experience, and marketing resources to accommodate these new preferred channels?

Lie 6: This Is for the Next Person to Solve

The “wait and see” mentality cannot persist. Which bank will be the first to step up its game? Which institution will become the next Simple, Ally Bank, or Lending Tree? Patience seems to be wearing thin, especially among younger generations, as nearly half of these customers have given up on expecting innovation to come from inside a bank. Instead, customers are counting on some new tech start-up to come along and overhaul the way banks work. But, with the truth now in hand, financial institutions have the power and insight to prove these naysayers wrong.

Consumer expectations are changing, and the business models, capabilities, and practices of the financial services industry must change with them. Forward-thinking banking organizations are realizing clear business gains that can be derived from maximizing customer satisfaction.

As we go into 2016, financial institutions must craft thoughtful omnichannel communication strategies that reach customers across their banking journeys, provide personalized experiences, and ensure their data is secure. Only then will retail banks begin to realize the financial gains of customer satisfaction and loyalty.

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Mike Betzer

Chief Executive Officer

Mike Betzer knows customers and he knows what they want. For his entire career, he has been focused on helping brands communicate with customers the way customers want to communicate with brands.

For 14 years, Mike played a key role in building the sales and service capabilities at MCI including the Friends and Family campaign for 20,000 plus associates. After leaving MCI in 1999 Mike became a serial entrepreneur. He has started multiple companies, as founder and CEO, and has sold a company to Siebel/Oracle and a company Lithium Technologies.

Everything he has done has been around customer experience and customer engagement. And now, as the demands on interactions are changing due to new channels of communications and new competitive demands Mike is leading Humanify to provide technology that will empower brands to deliver engaging relationships with customers on their terms.

Mike lives in Austin, Texas with his wife of 30 years. Their two boys are now grown and chasing their own adventures. Mike holds BA and MBA degrees from The University of Northern Iowa and St. Edwards University respectively.


TeleTech Consulting is a leading global customer experience consultancy specializing in providing tailored solutions for brands wanting to create better, more personal, seamless connections with their customers in order to drive growth. By combining our expertise in: customer insights, digital, sales transformation, service excellence, mindset and change, and content and collaboration, our clients can experience exponential growth, more organizational agility and increased customer loyalty. Operating globally from hubs in London, New York, Hong Kong and Sydney, our clients include blue-chip global players from a range of sectors including financial and professional services, telecommunications and manufacturing, amongst others.


Ed Margulies

Chief Operating Officer

Ed Margulies finds joy in industry disruption. For more than 35 years, Ed played pivotal leadership roles at Oracle, Telephony@Work, Dialogic, and CMP Media where he not only witnessed but architected transformative contact center technologies that paved the way for today’s cloud-based technologies.

Two of Ed’s last ventures resulted in successful acquisitions. Oracle acquired Telephony@Work while Ed served as COO and Five9 acquired SoCoCare – an early leader in social customer service technologies.

As a prolific technical writer, Ed has published 18 books encompassing cloud-based technologies, speech recognition, human factor engineering, usability, and computer telephony integration (CTI). He penned the “CT Periscope” column for Computer Telephony Magazine and has written columns for Speech Technology Magazine.

Ed’s passion for technology is equally matched as a founder of a non-profit animal rescue organization in central Texas where he lives with his wife of 20 years plus a literal barnyard of animals including a llama, chickens, donkeys, sheep, goats and a brave barn cat.


Jeff Gossman

Vice President of Global Sales

Jeff Gossman has spent his career focused on innovation around leadership development, process improvement and technologies that improve customer and employee experiences.

As Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Humanify he is responsible for overseeing direct and partner sales for Humanify solutions.

Prior to joining Humanify in July of 2014, Jeff was Vice President of Marketing for ClickFox Inc., an innovative Big Data Customer Experience Analytics solution. At ClickFox, Jeff worked with Fortune 500 companies in harnessing the power of big data to better understand and transform customer journeys. Before joining ClickFox, Jeff led global pre-sales support for Convergys Interaction Solutions. Jeff has also owned and operated a contact center consulting, project management business as well as managed large customer service organizations at Dish Network, StarTek Inc. and MCI Communications. 

Jeff lives in Westminster, CO and enjoys spending time outdoors and traveling with his family. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the University of Iowa.


Dave Johnson

Chief Technology Officer

David is a pioneer in the ‘Software as a Service’ and ‘On Demand’ computing industry. He has over 14 years of product development and operations experience building and managing hosted multi-channel customer communications and customer support applications. At Humanify, David is responsible for leading the cloud operations, architecture and engineering teams with a mission to be a world-class ‘Software as a Service’ provider.

Prior to joining Humanify, David was a Senior Director at Oracle where he managed several product development and operation teams within the Service Cloud product area including Oracle’s ‘Contact On Demand’ and Call Center ‘Anywhere’ product. His 12 year tenure with Oracle includes employment with the acquired Oracle companies of Siebel Systems and Ineto Services, where he was co-founder with Mike Betzer. David’s early career includes various product development, engineering and operations management positions at MCI, Bernstein & Associates and AK Steel.

David lives in Colorado Springs with his wife and son. He is an avid mountain biker, amateur photographer and loyal Pittsburgh sports fan. He holds a BS degree in Computer Science from Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania. 


Sreeni Alakkapan

Vice President, Customer Success

Sreeni Alakkapan is a software industry veteran with over 16 years of experience building products and software that use technology in innovate ways to solve challenging problems. As VP of Engineering, Sreeni leads Humanify’s onshore and offshore Engineering teams and is responsible for software product development and delivery of the hosted solutions.

Prior to Humanify, Sreeni served as Executive Director of Engineering at Teletech and oversaw all aspects of the Product function including development, quality assurance, support, and training for the InterApp Communication Engine division. Before that Sreeni worked at Empirix as Senior Manager of Software Engineering and managed the development and delivery of their Enterprise Testing and Monitoring platforms including Analytics. He has also worked at many world class organizations like ING, West Corporation where he had successfully led diversified and dispersed software development teams. 

Sreeni lives in Westford, MA, a suburb of Boston where he enjoys spending time with his wife and two kids. Sreeni holds a BS in Computer Science from Madurai Kamaraj University, India and MS in Computer Science from University of Houston.


Bruce Sharpe

Vice President of Architecture

Bruce Sharpe, a seasoned technologist with over 30 years focusing on innovative solutions to solve customer needs. As Vice President Architecture, Bruce leads the creation of innovative capabilities for Humanify and works closely with Product Management, Cloud Operations and Engineering to drive Humanify’s Expertconnect SaaS solution suite and services.

Prior to Humanify, Bruce held an Executive Director Architecture & Development position reporting directly to the CTO for TeleTech Holdings, one of the world’s largest customer relationship management companies. There Bruce helped pioneer their centralized technology centers through technologies such as; Avaya and Cisco ACD’s, Aspect Workforce, Jive social platform, At Home expert connectivity, speech analytics, social CRM, VOIP communications, to name a few. These pioneering technology centers have elevated TeleTech to remain as one of the biggest companies in the industry.

Bruce started his career as an electrical engineer working for companies like StorageTek and MCI Worldcom, later transitioning into architecture and development for customer relationship management for Red Lion Double Tree Hotels, TicketMaster and TeleTech. 

Bruce lives in Aurora, CO and spends his free time with his wife and children hiking, exploring and in search for the world’s best hamburger. Bruce hold a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, holds 13 awarded and 16 pending patents focused on product, services and support of customers.


Don Roedner

Vice President of Marketing

Marketing ultimately boils down to effective storytelling, and Don Roedner is all about crafting stories that bring together buyers and sellers in mutually satisfying ways.

During his 20-year B2B tech marketing career Don has gotten inside the heads of audiences in IT, marketing, sales and customer care, and passionately communicated the value of solutions as diverse as developer tools and middleware, web publishing and customer community.

Six years at Pluck gave Don a front row seat to the greatest show on earth. He was privileged to watch – and help to shape – the responses of some of the world’s leading brands to the Web’s profound transfer of power from brand to consumer. That show is still in its first act, and Don is thrilled to tell the Humanify story to farseeing market leaders.

A Boston native, Don has lived in Austin for 10 years with his wife and 10-year old daughter, both native Texans. He’s grateful that his older daughter, Boston-born, shares his love of the Sox and Patriots. Don has degrees from Michigan State University and Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. 

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As a recognized leader in technology-enabled revenue generation solutions, Revana helps top brands navigate and profit from change. Through every channel we touch – online, social, mobile – and with every program we deliver, we combine experience and innovation to amplify results. Built on an integrated, data-driven, scalable framework, Revana enables dramatic and sustainable growth. We combine data analytics with technology in an end-to-end sales and marketing solution that adapts to customers’ changing needs and breaks through the clutter.


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Mutual Mobile is an emerging tech agency that builds breakthrough products for a more connected world. By finding the sweet spot between technologies, people, and brands, Mutual Mobile unleashes previously impossible value.


Photon is the world’s largest and fastest growing provider of omnichannel and digital experiences. Photon works with over 34% of the Fortune 100 as their digital innovation partner of choice and has the largest digital consumer footprint with over 150mn daily consumer touchpoints. Photon has the largest pool of omnichannel engineers with over 3,600 engineers across offices in the US, India, Indonesia and the Netherlands.


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Herve Danzelaud

Vice President, Business Development and Alliances

Herve Danzelaud has spent the last 15 years building technology and distribution partner ecosystems in CRM, Cloud, Mobile and API markets.

As Vice President of Business Development and Alliances he is responsible for building out and managing a network of technology and service providers that leverage Humanify’s Customer Journey Orchestration (CJO) platform to deliver next-generation customer engagement solutions.

Prior to joining Humanify Herve was Director of Alliances at Twilio, the leading provider of Communication Infrastructure APIs, with more than a million developers. Herve drove Twilio’s OEM strategy in the customer care vertical, working with market-leading software providers like Zendesk, LiveOps, NewVoiceMedia, ServiceNow and Talkdesk to re-invent customer care. Before joining Twilio, Herve was Vice President of Alliances at Good Technology. There he designed and scaled the Good Dynamics Developer Program, a mobile containerization SDK leveraged by, Microsoft, DocuSign, Box, MicroStrategy and 45 other partners to deliver secure mobile applications on Android and iOS.

Herve started his technology career at Siebel Systems and led the creation of’s Service Cloud AppExchange and recruitment of its first partners.

Herve lives in Portland, OR and enjoys spending time travelling with his family, antique shopping and discovering the Portland food scene. He holds a MBA from University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.

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