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Gen Y turns to new technology for banking


Technology the key to capturing the ’mobile generation’ in the banking sector

Australian financial services institutions have untapped opportunities to secure their share of the Gen Y market by offering them enhanced services on mobile devices and through social media, according to a Telstra white paper launched today.

With the Gen Y market now making up 21 per cent of the population and approximately one quarter of the financial service sector’s customer base banks could be growing this lucrative part of the market by adopting technologies such as instant messaging, mobile services and collaboration tools such as video conferencing to meet Gen Y’s desire for choice, convenience and control.

Telstra Enterprise & Government Group Managing Director, Ms Nerida Caesar, said using the right technology to improve customer service in the Gen Y market is critical for Australia’s financial institutions.

“Utilising new technologies to better communicate with customers is going to be a key differentiator for the financial services sector,” Ms Caesar said. “The challenge for the industry is having the right framework to deliver customer service through a range of increasingly complex and numerous channels.”

Telstra collaborated with social researcher Hugh Mackay, Roy Morgan Research and the Customer Service Institute of Australia to produce the white paper titled ICT as a Driver to Improve Service to Generation Y for Financial Services that explores issues relating to attracting and retaining Generation Y as customers and as employees.

“Gen Y is the most highly educated, over-stimulated and media saturated generation in our history. Members of this generation will account for an increasing share of our customer and employee base, so financial institutions will need to understand them intimately and engage with them sensitively,” Mr Mackay said.

This generation lists fast problem resolution and friendly, courteous and knowledgeable staff as indicators of good customer service. By addressing these criteria, financial institutions can directly influence satisfaction. For example, integrated multi-channel contact facilitates interactive and immediate communications such as click-to-chat, click-to-call and click-to-conference. It offers a customer using online banking with the opportunity to instigate a conversation with customer service staff, usually by following a link, pressing a button in their browser or as an option from a mobile application.

In addition to improving the customer service of Generation Y, technology can also assist this generation in providing a positive customer service experience to all banking customers as they become frontline staff in this sector.

The white paper reveals that for Generation Y, the role of technology in the workplace is vitally important:

* They expect technology tools to enhance customer service
* Employer’s desirability is influenced by the technology provided
* They prefer to leverage their technology investment (e.g. mobile devices, laptops); and
* Gen Y’s prize work/life flexibility enabled through mobile devices and applications.

According to Telstra, financial institutions should respond to the implications presented by Generation Y by developing a comprehensive integrated multi-channel strategy. Key technologies that will help improve customer service provided by Gen Y include:

* Presence (or real-time status) and Location: By using technologies like instant messaging which can provide real-time awareness of the state and availability of an individual means, customer service personnel can find and appropriately engage other employees they need to involve in a customer interaction to get an instant response.
* Mobility: By equipping customer service employees with the right mobile devices on high-speed wireless networks, financial organisations can efficiently action a customer’s enquiry. Furthermore, enterprise mobility also helps enable work/life flexibility prized by the next generation of customer service employees.
* Collaboration: The ability for customer service employees to efficiently collaborate with others in the enterprise, using real-time collaboration tools directly from their desktop or mobile devices, means transactions can be completed faster and more efficiently. Customer-facing personnel can collaborate using video, voice, document sharing, chat and other channels at the click of a few buttons.

Hugh Mackay continued: "Generation Y is accustomed to things moving at the speed of an electronic impulse - whether it is ordering fast food, Internet banking or withdrawing cash from an ATM.

“The age group views technology - particularly mobile phones and the Internet - as an extension of themselves. With social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube now being used on a daily basis by this group, they expect that the flexibility and availability of these applications will also transfer to their banking transactions. If financial institutions are serious about reaching and servicing this rising generation of consumers, they will need to provide them with the right mix of flexible and convenient technologies.”

A full copy of the white paper can be found online at


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