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March 14, 2023


Navigating customer experience (and expectations) during a crisis

Customers expect to hear from brands in times of crisis

Stacy Perrus Avatar

Written by

Stacy Perrus
Last week saw the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, the largest bank to fail since 2008. Soon thereafter, regulators shut down New York-based Signature Bank. It’s an impending crisis that threatens to create a domino effect in the financial industry. Successfully navigating customer experience in a crisis requires banks to immediately shore up customer confidence with proven messaging backed by data, not guesswork.

On Monday, March 14, we used the DISQO CX platform to get a quick pulse from 328 U.S. adults with savings or checking accounts. We wanted to learn more about how this crisis impacts their attitudes about their banks, shopping plans, and how they expect banks to communicate with them.


Customers expect to hear from their banks, even when the news is good

The good news is that the majority of consumers still have a high degree of confidence in accessing their funds, with an average ranking of 4.1 on a scale of 1-5 (with 5 being extremely confident). But that doesn’t mean that they expect banks to remain silent on the issue. When asked, 86% of respondents who had heard about the issues impacting SVB and Signature Bank in New York (n=199) expect their banks to do something to acknowledge the current crisis. The most popular communication method was email, with 64% expecting one, followed by 57% expecting a message on the bank’s website, 36% expecting an automated acknowledgment on their customer service line and 34% expecting a phone call.

Maintaining existing advertising campaigns is another step banks can take to project business as usual to their customers. Fifty percent of customers said that seeing ads would reassure their confidence in the advertising bank brand.

What remains to be seen is the impact on consumer spending. With the news cycle continuing to churn, consumer awareness promises to grow. Currently, consumers are evenly split on whether the news around Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank would impact their spending on luxury or high-value items like entertainment, travel, home purchases, and automobiles. The most likely spending category to see a negative impact was home purchases, with a score of 3.1 on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being extremely likely to reconsider.


Develop a response plan that includes agile message testing

These results make it clear that customer experience in a time of crisis, requires banks to be proactive, vocal, and reassuring. It is imperative that brands take steps to react quickly to unanticipated business pressures. Developing a response plan that embraces agile testing of ad and marketing messages can help brands underscore consumer confidence in a time of uncertainty.

DISQO clients rely on our Ad Testing product to quickly gain insight into what every customer thinks of their creative and messaging – their customers, their competitors' customers, and other customers they want. Armed with this insight, banks that replace guesswork with data-driven decision making will be better prepared to navigate the current challenge.