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5 examples of excellent customer service in banking and financial services

Customer messaging with a bank on mobile phone
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Customer experience is everything, especially in the hyper-competitive banking industry where it plays a central role in attracting and retaining customers. 

But how can you create experiences that are relevant, valuable, and secure enough to win new banking customers? Our research has shown that 53% of customers say they’re frustrated when they can’t reply to a mobile message – meaning they’re ready for two-way, real-time interactions that solve their problems instantly, no matter where they are. 

Imagine, for example, instead of sending your customers static one-way text notifications, you could initiate a conversation with them. Your customers are ready to take that plunge and embrace new digital experiences and tools – and are even willing to share more financial information with you so they can make informed decisions. It’s up to you to support them.   

In this blog, we’ll explore a few examples of excellent customer service in banking and financial services, highlighting their key attributes, and discuss what makes a great experience for today’s digitally savvy financial services customers.

What is excellent customer service in banking?

Excellent customer service in banking is the art of delivering personalized financial solutions and support that not only meet but exceed customer expectations. It's the cornerstone of building trust and staying competitive in an increasingly dynamic marketplace. 

According to a 2023 Bain & Company study, a bank’s ability to personalize directly influences its customer loyalty score. This means that the more you know your customers and provide services that are directly tailored to their individual needs, the more loyal they will be to your bank.  

In practice, great customer experience in banking is all about: 

  • Autonomy: Where customers have insights into and control over their experiences to help them make better decisions and act on urgent information that affects their finances.   

  • Proactive engagement: The ability to solve problems before they even pop up through real-time conversations. 

  • Trust: Customers will be willing to embrace new digital experiences when they believe that their best interests are protected and that their data is secure. 

  • Security: This includes using digital verification tools like two-factor authentication, identity badges, and video calling.   

  • Seamless interactions: Getting instant, automated answers to common questions while having an easy way to switch to a human conversation. 

Let's take a look at some real-life examples of these approaches that you can learn from right now. 

5 examples of good customer service in banking

Are you ready to take your customer service experience from good to great, but you’re not sure how? These five examples of good customer service in banking and financial services will show you what works, and why it works. Get inspired!


1. Nationwide shows its customers it cares with rich messaging

Nationwide Building Society is one of the largest banks in the UK, with over 15 million members. During the pandemic, Nationwide wanted to show it cared about its customers and was there to support them during these hard times.

How they achieved it:

Nationwide Building Society demonstrated its commitment to exceptional customer service by proactively supporting customers with rich messaging during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. They extended payment holidays to customers facing economic hardships, allowing them to temporarily pause loan and mortgage payments. 

As the pandemic evolved, Nationwide used Rich SMS to deliver personalized information to each customer about what would happen next.

“We couldn’t trust solely printed communications during the lockdown,” said Simon Dixon, Demand Manager in communication delivery and logistics at Nationwide. “We needed the pace of SMS, but the detail of email. And what better way to give a full-but-instant message than with Rich SMS?”

Why it works:   

Your customers want to do business with brands that have their best interests at heart. To convince them that you really want to help, you need to prove that you understand their struggles.

Nationwide truly understood their customers' pain points in these difficult times and offered them a valuable solution in an interactive, convenient format.

The outcome? Quadrupled engagement and click-through rates compared to industry average.

Quote of how Nationwide improved customer service with rich messaging

Nationwide improved customer service with rich messaging.


2. Belfius simplifies the process of filing insurance claims with a chatbot

Belfius, one of the largest banks in Belgium, wanted to support its members with personal, relevant, and reliable digital services, 24 hours a day.

How they achieved it:  

Belfius streamlined the cumbersome process of filing insurance claims. They integrated a smart chatbot with conversational artificial intelligence (AI) into their mobile banking app, making claim submissions an automated, effortless process for each customer.

Why it works: 

Customers expect a convenient, efficient customer service experience from their financial partners. This is what Belfius’ chatbot is all about: Making everyday tasks easier, on channels and devices their customers already use.

Example of a customer service messaging chat powered by conversational AI

Belfius’ chatbot provides a personalized experience to customers within their mobile app.


3. FirstBank keeps customers up to date with personalized SMS notifications

Colorado-based FirstBank has been around since 1963. More and more they’re focusing their engagement strategy to be digital, using mobile messaging to keep customers up-to-date and engaged.

How they achieved it:

FirstBank utilizes the reach and immediacy of mobile messaging to enhance user experience and inform customers about everything they need to know. Using personalized SMS messages, the financial institution sends notifications and alerts about daily balance updates, deposits, withdrawals, purchases, suspicious activity, and more.

Why it works:

Banking customers like the convenience of messaging-based services to manage their finances. The results of this approach speak for themselves: More than 60% of FirstBank’s online banking customers are signed up to receive personalized messaging alerts.

“Technology enables a superior customer experience. Mobile messaging is integral in the mix…vital in delivering not just messages, but on our promise of meeting customers where they want to be met.” — Kelly Kaminskas, Digital and Retail President, FirstBank

Case study result: 60% of FirstBank's customers are signed up to receive messaging alerts

FirstBank excels in banking customer service, with more than 60% of customers enrolled in monthly alerts.


4. Nets helps prevent fraud without harming CX with two-way SMS

Nets, a leading payment processor in Europe, needed to enable quick and reliable communication with cardholders regarding suspicious transactions.

How they achieved it:  

Nets opted for two-way SMS to allow customers to validate transactions in real-time. 

Why it works:  

Nets prioritizes security and customer experience. With two-way SMS, the company is now protecting end-users from fraud while ensuring a frictionless user experience.  

“The two-way communication solution allows us to react instantly towards cardholders while ensuring the best user experience and a high level of security at the same time.” — Majken Bech Thanning, Product Manager at Nets

Two-way messaging is a great tool for digital banking services because it enables customers to discern the legitimacy of transactions in real-time. For a more in-depth view on the role that this can play in fraud prevention, check out the video below: 

Discover how two-way messaging enhances fraud prevention in banking.


5. Triodos offers a smooth, personalized experience at every step

Triodos Bank is a world leader in sustainable banking. They needed a solution that would verify their customers and help them through the onboarding process.

How they achieved it: 

Triodos Bank redefined customer engagement to offer personalized, value-adding experiences across the entire customer journey.

“Integrating the listening processes, surveys, personalized interviews, ad hoc studies, website data and transactions, social media movement, chat messages or video messages we receive; all of this serves to evaluate what the clients need in real-time.” Sergio Rodriguez, Customer Experience Specialist, Triodos Bank.

Additionally, in its commitment to delivering seamless and secure personalized experiences, the company uses SMS verification for hassle-free logins and sign-ups.

Why it works: 

Triodos’ integrated, customer-centric approach allows them to understand and adapt to customers’ needs and expectations. This results in seamless onboarding, a highly personalized experience, and meaningful interactions across various digital channels throughout the entire customer journey.

Watch this video from Alejandro Murcia, Director of Global Financial Service at Sinch, to stay ahead of the curve and unlock the potential for introducing more personalized financial journeys. 

Learn about the importance of hyper-personalization in banking and financial services.

Key takeaways to improve customer service in banking

Now that you’ve seen how industry leaders have crafted excellent banking experiences, let’s explore a few key ways to improve the customer service experience at your financial institution. 

In a world with seemingly endless banking options, like national banks, community banks, and credit unions, these strategies will help ensure that your customers choose you over and over again.


Make sure all your communications are personalized

According to our research, nearly nine out of ten people say they’d like to receive personalized assistance and guidance from their bank, but fewer than three in ten get this today. This gap highlights a clear need for banks to significantly invest in enhancing their ability to understand customer needs and queries. 

When your customers interact with your bank, it’s crucial to ensure their conversation is meaningful and productive. Understanding why a customer is reaching out, and addressing their concerns promptly, can help them from becoming stuck in an endless loop of support. This shows them that you’re committed to knowing and understanding them as individuals and goes a long way to enhance their overall banking experience and improve their loyalty.


Be mobile-first

Switching banks is easier now than ever. In fact, one in three customers have switched banks to get a better mobile experience.

Customers clearly value when their banks offer a great mobile experience and help to ensure their day-to-day interactions are as easy as possible.

According to Accenture, nearly 63% of consumers’ mobile banking logins are simply to check their account balance. That means that most of your customers are looking for convenience over anything else. This includes creating an experience that makes it super easy to do easy tasks directly from their mobile phone, like make a simple transfer or apply for a new credit card.

Customer experience in financial services through Meta channels like WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger

Create mobile-first experiences so that your customers can complete easy tasks directly from their phone.

Being mobile-first will not only show your customers that you care about their experience but also empower them with the flexibility and convenience they expect in today’s digital age. This approach is essential for customer retention, as it aligns with customers’ evolving preferences for mobile functionality.


Develop an omnichannel experience

Many banks have adopted an omnichannel strategy as customers increasingly seek convenience across various touchpoints. This approach enables customers to seamlessly navigate from mobile apps to website chatbots, receive push notifications, and engage on social media while consistently experiencing the same brand and messaging.

An omnichannel banking approach means that a customer can manage their finances and interact through their preferred channels to build a strong relationship with your brand.

Benefits of omnichannel banking

The benefits of investing in omnichannel banking experiences pay off in many ways. 


Train all employees for interpersonal skills

Financial matters can be critical for your customers – especially when they have to do with a denied loan application or stalled mortgages. That’s why it’s vital for your frontline and branch employees to be well-trained in interpersonal skills. This training should equip them to provide your customers with great customer service, regardless of whether your customer service team is in a call center or in-person at a branch.

Invest in effective training that equips bank employees with the knowledge and skills they need to provide consistent and courteous assistance. The training should also help them stay updated on the latest banking products and services you offer so they can consistently deliver a great customer experience.


Allow your customers to self-serve

Self-service is a game-changer for customer service in banking because it empowers customers to help themselves. A whopping 81% of all customers attempt to take care of matters themselves before reaching out to a live representative, meaning that today’s consumers value the autonomy and efficiency that self-service solutions provide.

Investing in tools like a knowledge base or FAQ page can benefit both your customers and your business. They allow customers to resolve minor support issues on their own, freeing up customer support agents to focus on more complex problems.


Provide real-time support

In the cases when a knowledge base isn’t enough, offering customer support through both automated experiences and live chat are a great way to ensure their needs are met promptly. 

Live chat gives your customers direct routing to a banking customer service representative and is great for situations that require personalized services or assistance. Meanwhile, automation can help you address routine queries and transactions instantly.  

Together, these tools can help you create a convenient, 24/7 support system – and a great customer experience.


Always ask for customer feedback

While customer data in your CRM provides valuable insights, it’s only one part of understanding customer satisfaction. The other crucial component lies in the feedback your customers give you about the banking services you provide. 

It's essential to actively ask customers to give you their feedback after every customer interaction. This helps you understand if their needs are being met, what products or services they’re interested in, their financial goals, and much more. It's like having a direct line to your customers’ thoughts and preferences.

Streamlining the feedback process with technology like chatbots or WhatsApp makes it both valuable and effortless for you to gauge customer satisfaction, and for your support teams to provide an excellent banking experience. 

Bottom line: It's all about value 

The most important thing to remember about these examples of excellent customer service in banking and financial services is that you always need to think about the value you’re bringing to your customers.   

If you understand their needs and make every interaction helpful and personalized, then you're well on your way to delivering outstanding experiences and creating meaningful, lasting customer relationships.   

Need more insights? Download our complete guide to financial services communications to learn more about how you can create meaningful, secure communication experiences for your customers — simply and reliably.

Financial services communications guide


Sinch helps over 200 financial service providers worldwide prevent fraud, stay compliant, and offer a smooth customer experience. Explore our customer engagement solutions for financial services, or get in touch to start creating experiences your customers will love. 

Alejandro Murcia, Head of Global Financial Services & Fintech Vertical, Sinch
Written by: Alejandro Murcia
Head of Global Financial Services & Fintech Vertical, Sinch