Are Inconsistencies in Phone-Based Financial Services Support Driving Customers Away?

March 6, 2024
minutes read

The telephone has stood as a constant in customer services, connecting financial institutions with their clients, acting as the main communication channel for onboarding new customers, undertaking KYC refresh programmes, addressing inquiries, and cultivating relationships. 

However, behind its familiar facade lies a landscape of challenges that stem from its many limitations. As we navigate the ever-shifting dynamics of customer expectations, it becomes essential to delve into the nuances of how these constraints impact the reliability and effectiveness of financial services delivered over the phone.

The Human Element: Agent Skills and Communication Styles

Phone interactions in financial services are inherently influenced by the human element. The skills, expertise, and communication styles of individual agents play a pivotal role in shaping the customer experience. However, this very human touch introduces a level of variability that can result in stark differences in service quality.

Varied Levels of Competence

Not all customer service agents possess the same level of competence. Variances in product knowledge, problem-solving abilities, and familiarity with protocols can lead to inconsistencies in the information provided to customers. This lack of uniformity poses a risk, especially in scenarios where accuracy and clarity are non-negotiable.

Communication Styles and Customer Perception

Every agent brings a unique communication style to the table. While some may excel in empathy and rapport-building, others might focus on brevity and efficiency. These disparate styles can influence how customers perceive the service they receive. A mismatch in communication styles can lead to misunderstandings, customer frustration, and, ultimately, a less-than-optimal experience.

Verbal Communication Limitations

The reliance on verbal communication via phone introduces limitations not present in digital interactions. Nuances, tone, and context can sometimes be lost, leading to misunderstandings or misinterpretations. This verbal medium, while effective in certain scenarios, may struggle to convey complex information accurately, contributing to inconsistencies in service quality.

Impact on Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty

The repercussions of inconsistencies in service quality extend beyond the immediate interaction, casting a shadow on customer satisfaction and loyalty within financial services. The outcome of each customer-agent engagement becomes a pivotal factor, influencing the balance between contented patrons and those considering alternative avenues.

A positive encounter with a skilled and empathetic agent acts as a catalyst for loyalty, forging a connection that transcends the transactional. In contrast, a subpar experience becomes a potential catalyst for change, prompting customers to explore alternative service channels or, in more drastic cases, contemplate switching financial providers altogether.

In a time where customer loyalty is a coveted asset, the phone's inconsistencies emerge as a tangible risk for financial institutions. The fragility of this loyalty underscores the importance of addressing service disparities, emphasising the urgent need for financial entities to realign their strategies, ensuring a seamless and consistent customer journey that not only meets but exceeds expectations.

Modernising Service Channels

As financial institutions contend with the fallout of inconsistent service quality, a transformative shift is underway – an exploration and investment in modernised service channels. Recognising the need for change, institutions are leveraging technology to create a more standardised and streamlined customer experience.

The dawn of automated systems, the rise of chatbots, and the ubiquity of online platforms represent a paradigm shift in how financial services engage with their clientele. These modern digital banking channels channels, bolstered by the seamless integration of artificial intelligence and analytics, promise a departure from the unpredictable terrain of traditional phone-based interactions.

Nivo Verified Identity Messaging – Elevating the Human Touch in Financial Services Processes 

Verified Identity Messaging (VIM) by Nivo has been designed for the intricate needs of financial services. VIM is a secure, feature-rich instant messaging platform that leans on the familiarity of messaging apps such as Facebook and WhatsApp yet comes with bank-standard security to ensure that sensitive information remains secure and safe.

The platform enables seamless communication between a firm and its customer, facilitating the exchange of documents and information. With VIM, customers can effortlessly submit documentation, provide requested information, and return forms as easy as if they were sending a text or WhatsApp message.  

Due to the delicate nature of financial services, there will always be a need for the human element but with Nivo’s Verified Identity Messaging, this element can be enriched, with the platform providing a consistent service quality to customers when requesting and retrieving documents and information. 


The inconsistencies inherent in phone-based financial services customer support, stemming from variations in agent skills and communication styles, pose a risk to customer satisfaction and loyalty. To address these challenges, financial institutions are embracing modernised digital banking channels like Nivo's Verified Identity Messaging. This secure and feature-rich instant messaging platform offers a consistent alternative to traditional phone interactions, ensuring a more reliable and seamless customer experience.

To learn more about the challenges that phone is presenting to financial services firms, download our guide 10 Reasons Why Phone Communication is Destroying the Customer Experience and Staff Productivity in Financial Services.

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