During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, banks and financial service firms across the world played a critical role as key workers; supporting economies and communities alike as government interventions required support to be stood up at scale and at short notice.

The drive, determination and flexibility of people across the sector to deliver during one of the most volatile periods in decades was remarkable to witness. Teams went above and beyond as we all adjusted to new working practices, the increased demand for mortgage holidays and also requests for emergency loans and distribution of funds as rapid state interventions were rolled out.

While many firms just about managed to deliver service to anxious customers during the darkest days of the crisis; many came away with a sense that delivering seamless, multichannel service, reimagining the art of the possible and adapting to the shifting sands of customer demand, felt far more difficult than it should have – with many leaders concerned about their ability to weather future storms.

As the pressure continues to mount on banks to support economic recovery and deliver for customers who are now carrying refreshed expectations of what ‘good’ service looks and feels like; we have seen firms across the world emerge with a palpable hunger to reassess, refocus and accelerate transformation programmes.

Getting this right will take more than simply moving faster than before. Engaging and empowering people, driving focus in the right areas and challenging some of the sectors most ingrained ways of working and culture must all be aggressively pursued, to help build stronger and more resilient banks fit for our new future.

As the backbone of economic recovery across the world, banks cannot afford to get this wrong.

To discover more about customer service models post COVID-19 read our new Whitepaper, a joint publication with Gobeyond Partners, part of the Webhelp group, on Reimagining service for the new world which is underpinned by our unique industry perspective alongside new research to discover the operating models of the future.