Creating Strategic Advantage via Client Experience

Can Improving Your Global Client Experience Create a Strategic Advantage in Banking?

Late last year, The Banker hosted a roundtable session at the Association of Financial Professionals (AFP) annual meeting for treasurers and chief financial officers. At the roundtable*, 12 transaction bankers from top-tier banks reflected on the state of the industry and shared their thoughts on the topic of client experience. Their insights provide a valuable perspective, even today. 
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Mobile Banking: The Value of the Customer Experience

Why is the quality of the customer experience so important in the battle for mobile consumers?

In banking, the quality of the mobile experience has been proven to go beyond propensity to use – it can ultimately be the deal breaker for the entire customer relationship. Recent research by Alix Partners suggested that for 48% of account switchers, mobile banking services were either ‘Important’ or ‘Extremely important’ in their decision to Switch.
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Data Proves Bad Banking Experiences Hurt Customer Acquisition

48% of consumers immediately eliminate at least one institution from their search for a new checking product. Why? Four out of five cite a previous bad experience.

Consumers shopping for new checking accounts at can specify which financial institutions they wouldn’t consider banking with and why. 48% of shoppers choose to eliminate at least one institution before even seeing what that bank or credit union had to offer.

Read more at Financial Brand

Data Proves Bad Banking Experiences Hurt Customer Acquisition

Getting Real with Customer Experience

At a recent cocktail party I had the opportunity to talk with a community banker about his company’s strategic focus and the fact that despite a well thought out plan, the company wasn’t seeing any significant improvement in results. During the course of our conversation, here is what I heard:

  • “We don’t have the scale to compete on price; hence our plan is to compete on value.” “Everyone has the same products, and even if we offer something new and creative it can be rapidly duplicated by our competition.”
  • “Because our products are not really different from those of our competitors, we chose to focus our strategy in training and empowering our employees around customer advocacy and experience.”
  • “While our efforts seem to be recognized by our customers (our Net Promoter scores are on par with Apple and Amazon), our number of services per household isn’t growing. The end result is that the bank is treading water despite its best efforts to use customer advocacy and experience as a point of competitive advantage.”

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The informed consumer expects augmented service

We may focus upon mobile banking and customer engagement today, but soon we will focus upon augmented servicing that is proactive and predictive to encourage advocacy.

This is due to debits and credits taking place around us, behind the scenery, and therefore the need for informed service will be more critical than ever before.

Picture this scene in the near future: Chris is taking a journey into the city.  He walks past the ticket office at the subway station, and says “travelcard”.  The options appears in his eyewear and Chris chooses option 2 for all zones off-peak by saying “option two”.
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The Problem With Banking Experiences And Transformations

If you don’t know who Joe Pine is, shame on you. He wrote two of the best management books ever published, Mass Customization and The Experience Economy.

Along with my praise, however, comes a little critique.

He recently published a white paper titled Beyond Products and Services in Banking, in which he writes:

“No industry has more commoditized itself over the past three decades than banking. Banks pushed people out of branches to use automatic teller machines in order to reduce personnel costs. They pushed them out of branches – the one physical space where they could actually control the experience provided to customers – to use telephone response systems, again in a bid to save money. They pushed them out of branches and onto the Internet to further reduce transaction costs. That’s no way to create a lasting relationship.”

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The Future Of Customer Experience Will Be Personalized And Scalable

We kicked off our customer experience interviews with the insights that real-time analytics and human relationships will drive the future of customer experience.

Now we’ll get the industry perspective from Rakesh Shetty, Head of Marketing for SAP Services Industries including Banking, Insurance, Telecommunications, Media and more.

How do you define a customer-focused company these days?

Customer-focused companies continue to deliver value to their clients enabled by innovative products and services that simplify their clients’ lives and day to day operations. This applies to clients across the spectrum covering individuals, households, small businesses and corporations. Customer-focused companies as a result of this strategy continue to raise their revenues sustainably, manage their costs and grow profitably in compliance with the regulatory Framework.
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