By KC Blonski
KC is AchieveGlobal’s Senior Director of New Business Partnerships - Sales. KC is responsible for a sales team focused on acquisition of new partnerships specific to identified vertical markets.
In March of this year, I had the pleasure of attending a financial services conference in New York, where I moderated a panel on customer experience. To a great extent, I came away with the confirmed recognition that now more than ever banks need to differentiate their brands by focusing on their customer’s experience across all channels.
It may seem like nothing new, but there are crucial insights and new perspectives that bring added dimension to the importance of customer experience. In fact, AchieveGlobal recently published a report on this very topic, titled, Customer Centricity in Banking.
In reality, there are many obstacles that intervene when it comes to building a loyal customer relationship, or earning and keeping the trust of that customer. Technology affects customer expectations, from being able to access everything at their fingertips, to the frustrations of circular automated helplines. Added to this, recent security breaches of corporate and financial databases build on the already existing fears customers have developed since the recent financial crisis. Today’s banking customer lives somewhere in the netherworld between, “I am completely empowered” and “I am completely vulnerable.”
The truth is that most customers in the banking sector take nothing for granted anymore: they want and expect value beyond better interest rates and a greater diversity of products. Banking customers want to feel appreciated and valued.
But customer-centricity requires intense corporate focus, close oversight and unwavering accountability. In our report, we identify what banks must do to achieve this level of customer experience, including:
- Creating incentives that encourage employees to cultivate a positive customer experience
- Appointing a “customer centricity champion” responsible for advocating moment-by-moment customer service.
- Collecting data to help understand the customer.
- Connecting with the customer through solution-centric selling and effective partnering.
- Delivering on the promise of customer experience
In today’s banking environment it’s not an exaggeration to say, “Without customer-centricity, there may be no customers. Without customers, there’s no bank.” So in speaking of continuously reinventing their corporations as service-driven, my colleagues at that financial services conferences all seemed to reflect these six words, “We must. We can. We will.”