Want To Stand Out As A Retail Bank? Try Customer CentricityJust last month I decided to invest some of the cash I had in my bank’s money market with the bank’s brokerage services. I met with the rep at my local branch, signed the papers, and left smiling. Five days later, having received no paperwork – no nothing – I went back to the branch. My rep was on vacation, and the folks on the floor knew little about brokerage services. Excuse me?

When the rep finally did deliver the paperwork, I asked him how to add this new account to my current online accounts. It was not as easy as I expected. I had to call the service center to get set up. I was also advised that this was a busy season, so I should wait a week and call exactly at 9:00 a.m. Excuse me?

So was it coincidence that I picked up Ovum’s report, “Achieving Customer Centricity in Retail Banking?” I am not alone.

Ovum contends that it’s high time for retail banks to make more than half-hearted attempts to put customer satisfaction ahead of efficiency and revenue growth. We consumers are online and mobile, and we expect our banks to keep up. We’re also social and networked, ready and able to pin a medal – or wield a sword.

Full-out customer centricity means:

  • Transformation across people, processes, and systems – Instill the “customer first” culture across the entire workforce, from front to back office. All customer-facing business processes need to be streamlined, standardized, and focused on service as well as efficiency. And IT platforms must provide – not inhibit – a full view of the customer.
  • Consistent service through holistic, multichannel CRM – Take a second, serious look at CRM. New channels are here, and there are more on the way. Channels should be supported by a multichannel platform, where core customer-facing business processes, along with customer information and interaction history, are architected to support existing or new channels.
  • Commitment to mobile – Make the investment in mobile banking. While mobile support does require investment, the business case is there. It can drive higher customer satisfaction levels as well as operational efficiency. In many markets, the quality and breadth of mobile banking options have become key criteria for banking provider selection.
  • Real-time analytics – Embed real-time analytics into front-office processes to enable stronger decision making and higher service levels. An interesting sidebar here is that Ovum presents a downside that innovations in in-memory computing address.

Can you imagine the kind of experience I would have had with customer centricity fully in place? I’m going to share these insights with my bank.