Over the years the financial services industry has made strides to improve customer service. It seems like an eternity ago when we could only visit the bank on weekdays from 9 – 5. But as technology changes, so do the expectations of customers; offering convenience no longer guarantees satisfaction or loyalty.

Fortunately, some companies sense the customer service storm is coming and have already announced or rolled out new features that should get people excited. From enhanced security features, to new secured chats, here are four companies that are improving their customer service.

Tangerine launches real-time secure chat

Tangerine has always led the customer service experience so whenever they make an announcement it's usually a big deal. Earlier this month they launched their Secure Chat, a new service that allows clients to interact securely with the bank in real-time.

This is a significant upgrade over its previous chat feature which was limited to general inquiries; clients will now be able to have typed conversations about their confidential banking needs and complete transactions if they so desire.  In the past these requests would have to be done over the phone, but now clients can do it through the Tangerine website and soon on their mobile banking app.

Improved layout at TD makes investing less intimidating

TD recently made changes to their layout that should make clients much more comfortable with their investments. All portfolios are now displayed in graphs with their performance clearly shown. Even novice investors will find the graphical data easy to understand. Investing also becomes easier since some of the technical terms have been changed to be more user-friendly.

Late last year TD also announced that they would be offering customer service through Facebook Messenger. Simply like TD, and message in the Messenger app between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. EST, seven days a week and you'll be connected to a customer service representative. This isn't a secure chat, but at least it's another way to reach TD if you have a quick question.

Capital One’s Second Look available soon

Capital One's Second Look feature is currently in beta and will slowly be rolled out to all Canadian Capital One cardholders this year. The service has been available in the U.S. for some time now, and has received much positive feedback so a similar product will be released here in Canada.

The full details aren't available yet, but basically Second Look is a free security feature that watches your account for unusual, duplicate, and auto-renewal charges. Whenever Second Look finds a questionable charge, you'll receive an alert so you can you look into the details.

BMO now offering online portfolio management services

The Bank of Montreal’s online portfolio management service is now available to Canadians. The service is called SmartFolio and operates in a similar way to other robo-advisors. Clients will have access to an affordable personalized portfolio which will be managed by BMO Nesbitt Burns. Although there is a minimum initial investment of $5,000 and quarterly fees, overall the rates are comparable to other established Canadian robo-advisors.

What I really like about some of these announcements is that they don’t just address what customers have been asking for, but they also anticipate future needs. As long as the financial services industry continues to come up with new useful products and features, the customer service experience will continue to improve.  

Barry Choi

Barry Choi is a personal finance and budget travel expert at Moneywehave.com. He has been quoted by media in Canada and the United States including The Financial Post, The Toronto Star, Business Insider, The Globe and Mail, and has appeared on HuffPost Live.

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