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This is how the people who humanise Bankia’s digital channels work

They represent in excess of 80% of Bankia's workforce, and they are the people who provide the necessary support to customers heading towards digitalisation. They are the people behind the app’s chat, at the other end of our personal manager’s telephone line or the online management experts.

Communication Bankia

By  Communication Bankia

Publish on 
11 November 2020 - 09:00

The pandemic has accelerated the digital approach of customers to entities. Telephone, mail, WhatsApp, video call… are part of our everyday. Technological tools that, when it comes to banking, are of no use if there is nobody behind them. People like Silvia and Alejandro, like María José, David, Beatriz and Virginia. “We are always there for the customers when needed, regardless of the channel”.

Conversation“I think it's amazing that Alejandro (80 years old) and María Luisa (78 years old), who were not familiar with computer science at all, have gone in just a few months from not having a smartphone to using Bankia Expert Management Online to invest”.

This observation made by Silvia Manso, financial advisor at branch 7597, in Segovia, may be the one that best defines the new way of banking. Digital channels have long been a fundamental element of the customer-bank relationship, but after the spread of COVID-19 and the lockdown derived from it, they have become indispensable.This observation made by Silvia Manso, financial advisor at branch 7597, in Segovia, may be the one that best defines the new way of banking. Digital channels have long been a fundamental element of the customer-bank relationship, but after the spread of COVID-19 and the lockdown derived from it, they have become indispensable.

“It is essential to accompany the customer throughout their digital awakening. The first time they try to browse our channels, they may feel somewhat uncertain, so we have an obligation to make it easy for them since their first experience is key”, says Alejandro Rodrigálvarez, financial advisor at the 2434 branch in Alcalá de Henares (Madrid).

At first, digital channels may seem colder and less secure than the branch. During the health crisis, 50% of visits to branches were for transactions that are available through remote channels, without travel, saving time and minimising the risk to one’s health. Because when it comes to our savings, having a person close-by seems to make us feel safer.

However, an in-person visit is not required in order to feel accompanied by the manager and the figures supports this. In the first semester of the year, many Bankia customers made the leap and the percentage of digital customers of the bank rose to four million, representing 57.1% of the total, compared to 49.7% a year earlier.

The bank’s number of digital customers rose to four million at the end of the first semester, which represents 57.1% of total customers.

In difficult times like these, digital advice is an advantage. “Customers do not have to expose themselves. In addition, we avoid unnecessary travel and waiting. In short, an improvement in time management. They have to feel that we will be at their side at any time, regardless of the channel”, says Alejandro.

“Coordinating face-to-face agendas is often complicated and, in these moments of uncertainty, trust becomes eroded if contact is not maintained. Digital channels give you the possibility to deal with any issue regarding your current or future investment or financing at any time”, said María José Hernández, financial advisor at the 9616 branch in Valencia.

The key to gaining customer trust is to empathise and personalise the contact. “Each one of my 1,300 customers is different and everyone needs me to explain things as best they understand them”, said Virginia Esteban, a Digital financial advisor at Connect with your Expert service.

To do this, she tries to gain as much knowledge as possible about their sphere, their work, their personal situation and everything they tell her in each of their conversations. “When Pilar, Carlos or Ascensión get in touch with me again, even if months have gone by, I can ask them how they are getting on with the car they bought, how is he enjoying his paternity leave or if she has already finished her studies in London”, she says.

Beatriz Díez, from Digital financial advisor at Connect with your Expert, includes among the factors that help achieve success in management agility when responding and the possibility of offering a global solution. “In the beginning it is difficult to think that you could have a relationship of trust with a remote customer, but it can be achieved. For me, the keys are to speed up their dealings, call them by their name, learn about personal matters that you can ask them about during the following conversation, be empathetic towards them by putting myself in their place and ensure they perceive the telephone smile”, she said.

Digital Bankia

Digital Bankia

All professionals who work in digital channels are aware that face-to-face dealing “has a language of gestures that smooths out relations” and that is why they understand that they have to "make double the effort” to achieve a closer relationship with the customer.

The customer needs closeness, feel they are being heard and understood

This effort translates into adapting the language to the speaker and “explaining complex mechanisms with simple words”. “The customer needs closeness, feel they are being heard, knowing that their investment objectives are clearly understood. The advisor must guide the customer in the direction that can generate their greatest well-being in terms of return/risk balance and must attend to their concern as soon as it arises, just like a kind of customised Google”, explains María José Hernández.

The best example of this is the experience during the first weeks of the state of alarm, when many customers contacted their financial advisers by telephone, email or timeline because they were unable to do so any other way.

“They were frankly scared”, says María José. “The world was falling apart financially, they had sufficient autonomy to dispose of portfolios from home, but they trusted us and thanks to the possibility of being able to make contact through these channels we could reassure them, dilute the panic and prevent them from incurring losses through those sales”, she recalls.

“One must understand that the important thing is not the channel, it is the closeness, the advice, thorough knowledge of the needs of our customers and that, despite not being in front of them, they have identified us as their comprehensive financial advisor. People are important to us, and technology is a means to make our customers’ lives easier”, points out Silvia.

Digital Bankia

Digital Bankia

The experience of digital work also leaves behind great stories to tell, such as that of the customer who maintains special contact with Beatriz and from time to time writes to her with no other reason than to ask how she is or the help provided by David Pérez, from  a Digital financial advisor at Connect with your Expert, to a customer who mistakenly paid the same tax twice on Friday afternoon and was left with no money over the weekend. “The customer sent a thank-you letter for the arrangements, highlighting the peace of mind she was given at all times because she had not felt alone”, says David.

Among these good times we can also mention Mr. Francisco, an 87-year-old customer from Alejandro's office who was encouraged to visit with his son to give him the online banking codes and teach him how to use his account.

“To our surprise, Mr. Francisco took out of his pocket a latest-generation smartphone in which he showed us how he checked his electricity bills, used WhatsApp, had Facebook and even an application to analyse the calories he consumed. More than teaching him, he taught us!”, he recalls.

All this capacity to empathise through digital channels, to make banking simple, to see the person behind the customer and to accompany them from anywhere and at any time is Bankia digital humanism. And Silvia, Alejandro, María José, David, Beatriz and Virginia are some of their ambassadors.


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