A foreigner on a customer journey

Eximee Team
Published 10/07/2023

What do you associate the term Customer Journey with? Probably your first thought is customer experience, but it is more than that, especially for people living outside their home country. Moving to another country and taking up a job necessitates the use of banking services and embarking on an entirely new banking customer journey.

The increase in the number of non-residents

The number of non-residents has been steadily increasing, as evidenced by Eurostat’s migration and migrant population statistics from March 2023. In 2021 alone, 1.4 million people residing in one EU Member State migrated to another Member State — an increase of almost 17% compared to 2020. Additionally, 2.3 million immigrants entered the EU from non-EU countries in 2021, marking an 18% increase from the previous year. Furthermore, according to the UNHCR, as of February 15, 2023, over 8 million Ukrainian refugees have been registered in Europe since the war began.

These people have obvious needs related to various aspects of life such as housing, shopping, entertainment, and communication, all of which usually require the use of banking services. In an effort to attract as many foreigners as possible, banks must understand and find solutions to the problems these people face. Understanding customer expectations in the banking industry is crucial to providing seamless and personalized interactions. Let’s explore how Eximee can assist you in this endeavor.

Language barrier

Dealing with banking matters, whether in branches, call centers, or online, can be particularly challenging due to the language barrier. Understanding customer behavior is crucial to improving customer satisfaction in these interactions. When signing an agreement, a customer must understand and agree to various consents and declarations written in formal language, which can often be challenging even in their native tongue.Here’s how small changes can dramatically improve the experience for bank customers, starting with something as basic as opening a bank account.

Filling out the application form at the branch

Traditional banks often require a visit to a branch where a front desk employee is responsible for helping a customer complete the application form. In this scenario, a bank agent usually must explain the meaning of a given field or consent in the application form. With a language barrier, however, this can be difficult or even impossible.

The solution lies in a well-designed application form that enables both the customer and the employee to complete it together. With the Eximee low-code platform, bilingual application forms can be created, as demonstrated in the example below, featuring both Polish and Ukrainian languages.

The customer and the bank employee can view the same application form on a computer or tablet screen, with all field descriptions, consents, and other information displayed in both languages. This simple measure significantly reduces stress for foreign customers and enhances the sense of receiving high-quality service.

Online banking application forms

Implementing digital processes, especially self-service options, allows foreigners to open accounts remotely, eliminating the need for in-person visits that may be challenging due to communication issues. The growing importance of mobile banking cannot be overstated in this context. The Eximee low-code development platform is the perfect tool for digitizing banking processes quickly and efficiently.

Aside from translation, there are additional steps that can be taken to make it easier for foreigners to fill out online application forms. Understanding customer needs and preferences in online banking is crucial for enhancing the digital banking customer journey.

First and foremost, provide omnichannel application forms, allowing customers to choose the channel that best suits them. The Eximee low-code development platform enables the creation and deployment of forms and entire processes that consider the unique characteristics of each distribution channel. Ensure options such as email support or a chatbot in case foreign customers seek assistance or clarification during the digital onboarding process.

Secondly, application forms for foreigners often rely on existing standard forms but need to account for formal differences, such as the absence of an ID card issued in the given country. In such cases, customers will likely hold a passport or a residence card that provides an address of residence in their country of origin. With Eximee Forms, it is easy to anticipate this requirement and include the necessary fields.

Last but not least, you can also integrate automated verification and formatting tools to minimize errors due to, for example, different date formats in particular countries. It will not only help foreigners avoid mistakes and frustration but also streamline document validation and speed up the process.

Procedures and requirements

Banks often require specific documents. For instance, in the case of an account opening, it can be proof of address, identification, and sometimes even a local reference. Financial institutions play a crucial role in providing seamless experiences by mapping customer journeys and addressing challenges.  Understanding the requirements and providing the necessary documentation can be challenging, especially for someone unfamiliar with local banking practices. Therefore, banks should address this issue by providing clear guidelines and information tailored to foreigners, leveraging digital technology to streamline the process.

The Eximee Customer Panel provides personalized information to foreigners (and other customers, of course) about active and available products, offers clear instructions on the required documents, and explains the process flow. It also directs customers to the appropriate channels for addressing specific issues they may encounter at the bank. This comprehensive approach ensures that foreigners have the necessary information and resources to navigate their banking experience effectively.

Every journey begins with the first step – Customer Journey is no different

By proactively addressing these challenges, banks enhance their service and create an inclusive banking environment that caters to individuals with diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Ensuring a seamless customer journey is crucial in this context.

The feedback received from banks utilizing the Eximee platform unequivocally supports this notion. Application forms available in a customer’s language, along with the other solutions mentioned in this article make interacting with a bank a less stressful experience for foreigners throughout their entire customer journey. This, in turn, leads to a significant increase in trust and helps improve customer satisfaction.

FAQ

What challenges do foreigners face in the banking customer journey?

Foreigners face challenges such as language barriers, understanding local banking procedures, and navigating documentation requirements.

How does the language barrier affect the customer journey?

The language barrier can make it difficult for foreigners to understand banking terms and conditions, leading to stress and misunderstandings during the customer journey.

What solutions can banks implement to improve customer satisfaction for foreigners?

Banks can use bilingual application forms, digital self-service options, and clear guidelines to improve customer satisfaction and provide a seamless customer journey.

How can online banking forms help in the customer journey?

Online banking forms allow foreigners to open accounts remotely, reducing the need for in-person visits and simplifying the banking customer journey.

Why is understanding customer behavior important in banking?

Understanding customer behavior helps banks tailor their services to meet customer expectations, leading to improved customer satisfaction and a better banking experience.

What role does digital technology play in enhancing the customer journey?

Digital technology enables banks to offer self-service options, automate processes, and provide personalized information, enhancing the overall customer journey.

How can banks address the documentation requirements for foreigners?

Banks should provide clear guidelines and instructions tailored to foreigners, making it easier for them to understand and meet the documentation requirements.

What benefits do bilingual application forms offer in the banking industry?

Bilingual application forms help reduce stress and misunderstandings for foreign customers, improving the quality of service and customer satisfaction in the banking industry.

  • UX

Authors

Eximee Team