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In brief

Empathy drives better customer experience and financial performance


Empathetic Banking Leaders achieved average revenue growth of 1.3% during 2020, 1.9 points higher than Empathetic Banking Laggards at -0.6%.


Most Empathetic Banking Leaders (93%) regard human chat as an efficient option for solving problems of customers in financial distress. Only 23% of Laggards agree.

As consumers’ financial distress increases, so does the need for empathy


Nearly all banks agree that the branch will need to be redesigned in the next one to two years to meet new demands.


Four in 10 banks expect the COVID-19 crisis will affect customer attrition in 2021.

Four steps towards empathetic banking at scale

From customer insight to empathetic action

Empathetic banks translate customer signals into empathetic actions by integrating data from different sources on a single, real-time platform.

From call center to empathetic customer care hub

Leading digital banks are augmenting contact centers with artificial intelligence, chat and other digital capabilities.

From online transactions to digital empathy

Empathetic banks are using tech such as voice recognition, speech analytics and text analytics to understand customers’ emotions at all touchpoints.

From transaction hub to empathetic experience center

Banks are reinventing branches to accommodate a reality where branch contacts are lower in volume yet more important to the customer experience.

Banks that show empathy in this time of crisis will strengthen long-term customer relationships. They will be recognized as part of the solution instead of part of the problem, as they were perceived to be in the last financial crisis.

Frequently asked questions

About the Authors

Adrien Kirschfink

Managing Director – Strategy & Consulting

Bruce Holley

Senior Managing Director – Strategy & Consulting Customer, Sales & Service Lead​​​​​, North America

Edwin Van der Ouderaa

Senior Managing Director – Strategy & Consulting, Customer, Sales and Service