“The successful financial services providers of the future will be customer centric organisations”.
How many times have you heard that recently? How many times have you heard that over the last several years!
For me being customer centric means putting the customer at the centre of everything an organisation seeks to achieve. The base point in that premise is that, as a minimum, the organisation understands its customer’s needs, behaviours and lifestyle, or,
it makes it its business to understand them.
The trouble is there are increasingly fewer and fewer F2F touch points between the financial service provider and the customer. I remember smiling at the irony when all those years ago Retail banks got turned on to actively selling their financial products
and had the whizzo idea that if they pushed their customers out of the branch to draw cash from the ATM that would free up front line staff to sell more ……….err ………. to less people actually entering the premises!
Anyway the merchant community have a big head start on the banks in the area of customer understanding. However, it’s not really the fact that the customers are physically in their stores that gives them the edge it has much more to do with their analysis
of customer spending habits, i.e. data mining.
The banks too have a wealth of customer information sitting in their data repositories both current account based and within their credit card operations yet they remain, with few exceptions, well behind the curve compared to retailers in customer analysis
and understanding. Monoline credit card issuers are probably best of breed in the Financial Services arena.
So, I have no doubt that the successful financial services providers of the future will increasingly ensure that they have ready access to the wealth of customer information they possess and utilise it on a much broader and deeper basis than is the case