Customer Service in Banks – Becoming Customer Centric

29 Aug Customer Service in Banks – Becoming Customer Centric

Changes are slowly becoming apparent in the financial sector around customer service. In the last number of years several large scale surveys undertaken by various players in the financial sector point toward the emerging trend in customer centricity and developing the fourth dimension in service.

What is customer centricity?
Following extreme changes in customer behaviour, banks now find themselves competing for high level customers, as loyalty to financial institutions weaken. Nick Sandall, Managing Partner, Financial Services, UK at Deloitte in 2011 stated the importance of becoming more customer centric in the financial sectors as capital for investment becomes increasingly difficult to generate. He cited the benefit of becoming customer centric as ‘the ability to cross serve and cross sell becomes ever more critical.’ He also pointed to trust as being a key factor in retaining customers as according to research, 79% of customers will change providers if their current account charges are increased and states that ‘There is a need for financial institutions to restore trust with their core customers.’

Banks, after extensive research are focusing on customer centricity, which is based on the principle that through restructuring models to focus on the activities, needs and behaviour of customers, better service can then be provided by financial institutions, in order to acquire and retain high level customers.

How can banks be more customer centric?
This year, SAP have published a ‘to-do’ list for banks, with the view of helping become more customer centric. They particularly point toward a ‘top to bottom’ adoption of policy, whereby top level executives lead the way for the staff team in taking up customer centric practices. They also recommend an overhaul of IT structure in financial institutions to capture meaningful data about customers and reorganise how that data is used.

FICO point to customer and product segmentation at an early stage, to improve data on customer behaviour and products, from the moment they engage with the company.

Essentially, customer centricity for the banking sector is set to be a long road. Restructuring of IT systems, policy and customer service training procedures are arduous tasks and not to be taken lightly. Creation and implementation of a five year plan with clear goals will go a long way to achieving a customer centric business model.

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