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I don't see any paradox here. Customers simply like (or dislike!) multiple channels and if they select one channel today, it doesn't mean they'll reject all the other channels forever. It's only finsurgents and neobanks who think in terms of channel cost,
"Borders" moment and "if you're not with us, you're against us".
Customers see different strengths for different channels and simply choose the one they find most suitable in any given context. From personal experience, assessment of suitability could also be very fluid: If I need to make a payment, I might choose Online
Banking if I'm in the office having good Internet connectivity but choose to drop a cheque in the drop box at the branch if I'm in the neighborhood of the branch. I don't see any contradiction in any of this.
Ketharam, I completely agree that customers prefer a choice of channels and indeed need a choice of channels given the range of interactions they have with banks. My interest is more that current research tends to ppint to consumers saying one thing and
doing another, hence a bit of a paradox.
My suspicion is question bias in the research gathering methodology. Although I wouldn't use the terms "finsurgents & neobanks", I do agree that some of the research pointing to particular consumer use of channel is potentially biased by the agenda of the
organisation that comissioned it!
I was not hinting at any agenda-led bias. My point is more related to frame of reference and a limitation in research methodology. To continue with my example regarding method of payment / choice of channel, the way to evoke the full and correct answer is
to frame the question thus: "If you're in the office with good Internet connectivity, which channel will you select for making a payment? On the other hand, if you're in your branch's neighborhood, will your answer be different?"
But not many MR agencies have the skills to recast this somewhat tricky question into a simpler one that captures the essence of the topic but can still be administered via their surveys. As a result, many surveys end up with simplistic questions masquerading
as simple ones and we end up with snappy answers to stupid questions that sound paradoxical!
10 Jan 2008
This post is from a series of posts in the group:
A discussion of trends in innovation management within financial institutions, and the key processes, technology and cultural shifts driving innovation.