Ally Bank was recently honored as Best Online Bank, according to the MyBankTracker Best Bank awards. Staying ahead of customer trends, with a keen eye toward customer engagement and customer loyalty, Ally Bank continues to raise the bar in the customer-centric department.

Loyalty360 talked to Jennifer Flynn, Deposit and Consumer Payments, Ally Bank; and Susan Green, Deposit and Consumer Payments, Ally Bank, to learn more about this award-winning banking experience.

What does this honor mean to Ally Bank and what are your ongoing goals regarding the online banking customer experience?

Flynn: We are very proud to be recognized for offering a best-in-class online banking experience because it validates that, as our name implies, we are achieving our goal to be an ‘ally’ to our customers.
We strive to offer every customer a straightforward approach to banking with competitive rates, great service, and minimal fees to help them grow their money faster, and third-party recognition provides assurance we are meeting those goals.   

In terms of ongoing goals, it is important to continue to “raise the bar” to stay ahead of customer expectations. Simply stated, this means offering new features and products we believe will enhance the overall banking experience and encourage customers to grow their relationship with Ally through additional products and an increased “share of wallet”.

We’re always focused on ways to enhance how customers access and manage their Ally accounts in an intuitive, convenient, and easy-to-use manner. Customers are embracing the mobile and online channels as their “go to” source of information about their accounts, as well as looking for tools to conduct transactions and perform other tasks.

We have introduced a number of features recently to support this goal, including:

-Touch ID® for iPhone®, iPad® as well as mobile wallet capabilities for Apple®, Android™ and Samsung® smartphones 
-Ally Assist℠, a virtual assistant that responds to customer inquiries in a way that delivers a more intuitive and personalized banking experience
-Upgrades to the customer experience including enhancements in our Bill Pay service, the ability to manage your CDs online, initiate a wire transfer online and upload your ID electronically 

In terms of products, in June we completed the acquisition of TradeKing Inc., adding online trading and wealth management capabilities. We also introduced the Ally CashBack Credit Card in response to strong customer demand for a credit card product, and we are in launching a direct-to-consumer mortgage offering later this year. 

What do you think differentiates Ally Bank’s online banking CX from others?

Green: When we launched Ally Bank in 2009, our brand promise was to provide a customer-centric, transparent experience for all our customers. At Ally, we refer to this as being “obviously better,” and the cornerstone of this philosophy is to ensure our customers feel that we are putting them first.

Whether they are reaching out to us via our customer care center, a website, social media, or through a mobile app, we want our customers to have a consistent and unified experience that reflects our promise to being open and straightforward. To ensure we meet these expectations, we focus internally on quality, problem ownership, first contact resolution and a painless customer experience.

In addition, we gather “voice of the customer” feedback by actively listening and acting upon what they like, dislike and want, and evaluate this information to determine how we might improve our products, features and services. Through this process we have learned that our customers’ perspectives are the best research we could hope to gather and an invaluable resource in maintaining satisfaction scores that are consistently in excess of 90%.

What does CX mean to Ally Bank?

Green: To provide the best possible experience, we work to make every customer feel as though they are recognized as an individual, that their business is important to us and that they will get the same experience
and answers regardless of the channel they choose to interact in. A truly great experience is one that is rooted in helping a customer achieve their financial objectives and is efficient and pleasant, ultimately driving customer loyalty and satisfaction.

We have found that our customer-centric philosophy is mutually beneficial: When Ally delivers a better customer experience by continuing to evolve our products and services to meet our customers’ needs, we are not only able to retain more of their business, we are also able to deepen relationships with them as they are looking for additional products and services and attract new customers through positive word-of-mouth.
How we value and service our customers, how we engage and communicate with them, and how we take ownership of their issues allows us to evolve and enhance their experience and, ultimately, are factors in what makes an Ally experience best-in-class.

How do you define customer loyalty and has that definition evolved in recent years?

Flynn: There are several ways to gauge customer loyalty but three key measures are: Customer satisfaction, likelihood to recommend Ally to others, and willingness to grow their relationship with Ally through the addition of more Ally products and services.

In each category, Ally has been consistently rated at 90% or above. Since launching Ally Bank in 2009, we’ve achieved double-digit deposit growth as a result of our ability to attract new customers and retain and grow relationships with existing ones.  

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