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How well are your customers engaged with your organization so that you have multiple opportunities to offer/create meaningful customer experiences? Historically we depended on the branch staff, next we added other distribution channels such as advertising media including direct mail, ATM's, contact centres. online banking, mobile representatives and, most importantly, full mobile banking apps, payments, etc in your omnichannel landscape. Customers are mutli-channel users today, although certain ones are critical customer engagement pivots especially with integrated digital solutions which can be customized/personalized to one customer at a time. Consumers are engaged more than ever and they control when, where and how those events take place or which ones they activate. How engagement effective are your channel choices or are they primarily reactive? How about your competitors- traditional, digital and platform? Customers are actually being engaged for financial services by non-bank/credit union digital disintermediators!

My favourite is Amazon, a platform digital retailer cannibalizing just about every retail sector including financial services. Amazon, once you have made a search or contact initiates their continuous engagement offers through any Internet/mobile device. In this high shopping time between Thanksgiving and Christmas it is amazing how many intra-day prompts/offers you receive in your e-mails. as pop-ups and side bars or other applications- as we say in sports, it is a full bench press! You always get the sense that Amazon has something new to offer in products, services or prices. So are we financial services spectators or participants in this digital transformation? Perhaps it is time to do some customer engagement/experience research and verify where you stand as a lead, complimentary or supplementary partner with your relationships? Digital dynamics are revolutionizing business and customer preferences and your research should be continuous and be tracking trends through daily data analytics.

Pat Palmer | Thursday, November 30, 2017 | Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

For a number of years we have written about, and consulted with various clients, on building integrated distribution businesses through collaborations, partnerships and various cooperative retailing arrangements. Some large FI's have expanded their value propositions with fintechs and adding new businesses to their retail offerings and even smaller organizations such as Credit Union Atlantic have developed hundreds of reciprocal relationships in their trading area. Still we see too many financial organizations not expanding their customer experiences or engagement catalysts.

There have been multiple manufacturers like General Motors,Harley Davidson, etc that made entrances into the retail financial products marketplace plus large retailers such as Loblaw and Walmart. These are the traditional intruders now but they represent minor competitive threats compared to the monster, integrated distributors and networks, some of which have entered financial services and others, we believe, won't be far behind- Amazon, Facebook, Wayfair, Google, Linkedin, and international platforms which are bound to enter the digital,retail financial services space in many countries.

The Internet distributors have silenced the skeptics from a few years ago and this black Friday/Christmas season will again stimulate more growth for them versus those dependent on bricks and mortar investments and passive digital responses.

Digital, competitive disintermediation is a major retailing reality which deserves priority attention, energy and action- it is a case of profitable survival!

Pat Palmer | Wednesday, November 15, 2017 | Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Is your organization truly a customer-centric one or do you have distractions that dilute your competitive impacts? Year-end is a good time to audit/review where you stand internally and externally with your customer experience (CX).

Start with assessing your vision, values and core strategies and verify that customers are what drives your business and permeates the corporate culture from the top throughout. Every strategy should have positive impacts on customer engagements and experiences. In fact evaluate the expected beneficial lift for all stakeholders in quantifiable terms/goals.

Next go to each action/program/initiative and objectively determine if progress is on track to improve CX and meet or exceed expectations. If results are disappointing undertake corrective analyses and re-introduce the program. You also want to perform internal and external research to find if there are gaps in staff beliefs,commitments and customer catalysts. At this stage, walk around unexpectedly to ask and assess first hand the customer focused atmosphere of you organization in staff and line functions. Also initiate some customer focus groups including confidential questionnaires to obtain feedback on current impressions and preferences going forward. These primary inquires will summarize synchronization of expectations or conflicts to be resolved. If you undertake this audit in an organized fashion a road map for customer experience reviews will emerge and this template can be utilized annually for comparative purposes. Customer experiences do drive profitability!

Pat Palmer | Wednesday, November 08, 2017 | Trackbacks (0) | Permalink


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