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Carlos Monserrate: "Ensuring that the digital channel has the personal and human touch will be key in the coming years"

Interview with the Director of of retail business development at Bankia.

Bankia Comunicación

By  Bankia Comunicación

Publish on 
04 August 2020 - 08:00

Carlos Monserrate is director of retail business development at Bankia. During this interview, he talks about the importance of customer experience for companies, particularly those in the financial sector, and the challenges facing digital banking and situation created by the spread of COVID-19.

What do you mean by “customer experience” and how important is it in banking?

The customer experience is the set of experiences, emotions and sensations that customers have when interacting with a brand.

Working on the customer experience entails understanding the customer, what they feel, think, need and care about, and guaranteeing that they are satisfied in all points of contact with them.

It also means focusing on delivering the experience they expect and need, and ensuring that the value promise made by the brand comes true at each of the points of contact with the customer.

Of course, the balance sheet of a financial institution is built by selling services, but positioning is a very important part of a company, which is achieved through the experiences that its customers have in each interaction.

Can you tell us about the Bankia approach and what makes it different from its competitors?

The Bankia customer experience approach is special and different for several reasons:

  • First of all, it is based on our values and on what we want to be, our identity. We see customer satisfaction as more than a goal to achieve, rather as an aspiration and a commitment.
  • This commitment is enshrined in our certification model, which is unique to Bankia More than 150 managers have already obtained this certification. The training also serves as an innovation laboratory for new projects related to the customer and employee experience, some of which have been launched.
  • We are the only ones to integrate satisfaction and retail business indicators into the model, which is why it works.
  • It is not managed from central services. Retail managers of territorial directorates act as “Partners” of the model, analysing, reporting and supporting the approach.

Most important of all, the Bankia Customer Experience model is backed by customer ratings. We have acquired more “fan” customers in the last two years than any other bank and are the top ranking large bank in pseudo-shopping surveys.

How does the customer experience influence the bank's image? How do you steer Bankia to becoming society's bank of choice?

Experience builds perception. An experience is a memory of a situation that pleased you, surprised you, and which you did or did not like. In the end, you remember what you feel, because it makes an impression on you .

Providing services coherently, but above all responding, generating positive emotions, easy relationships, moments of empathy with customers, are the keys to being the bank of choice, and this is an area where our network partners excel.

Bankia hard work on the customer experience is paying off. In December 2019, our private customer satisfaction score rose to 90.3%, compared to 86.9% a year earlier, which is a record level. The company's customer satisfaction index also stood at a magnificent 94.7%.

Bankia also cemented its position as a leader among the large banks in terms of service quality, with a score of 8.28, compared to an industry average of 7.36.

How do you think the customer experience will evolve in the coming years, given that bank-customer relationships are increasingly digital?

That’s an interesting point. We have both face-to-face and digital relationships with our customers and we choose the most appropriate one on each occasion. There’s no need to sacrifice anything.

This is an opportunity for Bankia. Our digital banking services are up there with the best, but we also provide customers with the human touch, , without depriving them of a personal, remote or physical relationship, because the bank does not see technology without people.

Ensuring that the digital channel has the personal and human touch will be key in the coming years.

How does the availability of a real human being improve the customer experience, even if you are a very digital customer?

Most digital customers appreciate receiving personal support and being able to go to a branch, which is why we are simultaneously digital and analogue.

Having a contact person to provide advice, help and sort out any issues is critical, particularly at times like this when people are worried. That's why, as customers, we appreciate closeness and the possibility of having personal support, either face-to-face or remotely.

When we do this well, it improves customer loyalty (+12%), closeness (+11%) and bonds with the customer (+ 32%).

What impact can a good customer experience have on the business and reputation of a financial institution, especially in these uncertain times.

At a time like this, we cannot let our customers down. We have to help our customers and their businesses get back to normal, and we can do this by making things easy, listening and understanding what they need, providing assistance.

Now it is important to advance pensions, advance unemployment benefits, manage financial aid skilfully, grant loans to companies, make debt payments more flexible, take care of everyone's health by boosting digital channels ...

All this, of course, creates bonds and is beneficial, but, above all, it is in line with our goal of making banking easy and keeping its human face.

What does it mean for Bankia to have received the ‘DEC Award for Best Customer Experience Strategy’?

This is something that all Bankia employees, particularly those in retail branches, should be tremendously proud of.

The ' DEC Award for Best Customer Experience Strategy ' is the equivalent of a best film Academy Award. We won the employee commitment award in 2017 and now this. No one has ever won both awards before, but we’ve done it.

It is an acknowledgement from highly qualified experts that we have done a magnificent job during a particularly troublesome period. That makes Bankia the benchmark for large companies in general, and the financial sector in particular, that it is today.

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