Q: How would you describe the role of customer service today?
A: It is something crucial to our business. Retaining customers has never been more critical amid a marketplace that is constantly transforming. Customer service remains the only real differentiator and forms the bedrock of any service organisation.

In today’s virtual world, technology plays a pivotal role since customers are often served remotely and 24/7, which adds a lot more complexity to service organisations such as ours. With all these developments, the traditional concept of customer service has shifted more towards providing an enriching customer experience.

Q: Is customer satisfaction important and how does it impact loyalty?
A: Customers want to deal with people and businesses that understand them, and will continue to interact if they’re happy with the experiences they encounter. First and foremost, customers are human; they want to be understood and assisted, as they work towards achieving their goals and aspirations. This is what builds loyalty.

Therefore, service organisations such as ours should employ every available tool to ensure high levels of customer satisfaction leading to retention and allegiance.

Q: What is your approach to customer service?
A: At Nations Trust Bank, we place service excellence at the centre of what we do and it has been embedded in our DNA. We try to set the standard for service excellence in the banking sector.

We want to serve as an enabler, allowing our clients to enjoy an experience tailored for them consistently – both physically and digitally. For us, customer service is a way of life. Everything we do is inspired and driven by a desire to always create the best experiences, through impeccable service for existing and potential customers.

Q: In what ways does the bank add value to the service experience?
A: Our approach to products and processes is inspired by the customer experience we want to create. We focus on things in demand based on our understanding of each customer.

At  Nations Trust Bank, we have a dedicated customer experience team to lead in service enhancement, take accountability and help us add value to the end user experience. It is this approach that truly sets us apart from others in the banking sector.

Like a character driven story, we are a customer driven bank. Who we are is a reflection of the needs and desires of our customers. 

Q: How does your organisation measure customer service quality?
A: Multiple metrics and mechanisms are employed to ensure we stay on track in terms of service excellence.

We use advanced data analytics alongside traditional methods like carrying out mystery customer surveys, requesting automated customer feedback and receiving feedback from customers via the 24/7 contact centre to gauge service quality.

A robust system is in place to manage complaints and receive positive feedback to help us stay ahead of the curve. All this data and feedback is computed into a customer net promoter score, which we benchmark with global service brands.

The bank’s dedicated customer experience team also tracks service quality across our network and at all touchpoints through regular audits.

Q: What are the latest innovations in terms of customer excellence?
A: Digitally savvy modern consumers operate in a hybrid world that seamlessly moves between physical and digital channels. Therefore, we are constantly innovating to deliver experiences that are as close as possible to a truly personalised omnichannel experience across all channels: this is our ultimate goal.

Research shows that customers gravitate towards brands that have mastered the end-to-end experience within the ecosystem in which they operate. We identified this trend early on and have since been striving to provide consistent customer experiences across our ecosystem – including our digital channels and global payment partner networks such as American Express, MasterCard, Diner’s Club and Discover.

Our service experience is further strengthened through innovative solutions such as digital on boarding through Nations Alpha, FriMi, Banking at Your Doorstep and eBox for all bank communications, and our self-service channels such as mobile banking.

We also drive seamless experiences by collaborating with our merchant customers – including SMEs and corporate banking customers – to ensure that the end user experience always has a unique and instantly recognisable flavour.

Q: What are the challenges faced by the banking sector?
A: Staying ahead of constantly rising customer expectations, maintaining service consistency across all touch points – particularly where human intervention is required – and adapting to a new operating environment brought about by the pandemic and related norms are the key challenges we have had to face in the recent past.

Q: What are your future plans?
A: At Nations Trust Bank, we are optimistic of the future and look forward to a post-pandemic revival. We’re fully geared to supporting our customers – be they be consumer clients, commercial enterprises or corporates – to bounce back and achieve their growth aspirations.

Through this approach, it is our common belief that we will be able to support the economic growth and long-term development of Sri Lanka.

Hemantha D. Gunetilleke
Deputy Chief Executive Officer