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In our highly competitive multi-channel industry the effectiveness of our customer centricity is what drives our service and sales through personalized engagements and developments. Generally marketing people attempt to be more synchronized to customer and prospect behaviours than competitors in their promotions, product designs pricing and proactive offerings. Not too many senior management get involved in the processes or final customer messages but they "have gut feelings" which they will make known, hopefully in a curiosity way not a controlling intent. Then again there are simple ways through which anyone from the customer to the CEO can perform an audit of the institution's customer empathy and focus.

First you can survey all your promotion material and advertising to see if the messages are addressed to the customer and not text to win prizes. Are your key segments addressed and engaged.

Secondly, use all your channels periodically and listen to scripts and conversations to determine who or what is the focus- the customer or your products.

Finally, take time to check search engines on the internet and your own site. If you do a google search from a customer's perspective are you in the first couple windows or are you invisible. Then go to your web site and put in a couple customer questions e.g. (Snowbirds) How can I finance a winter property in Florida?  or (Gen X) I own my own home, what is the best way to finance a new car? We do these searches regularly especially when we see advertisements promoting a particular solution to consumers.  Even the large banks don't do well on some of these audit searches of their sites.

Generally, most of the question answers have been developed by non-customers and there is not the realization of what way people will ask critical questions. Customer centric solutions will be profitable if you lead prospects to your propositions.

Pat Palmer | Sunday, February 24, 2019 | Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Does your organization have a formal mentoring program on a selective or universal basis? Some FI's only have assigned mentors and a specific process for their most promising officers. Then there are small corporations which have a very selective approach and contract with proven external mentors.

To start, ask the question do you have people who have the skills, knowledge and desire to be effective in the role. One danger is to believe that all senior officers should be mentors without assessing their aptitudes and attitudes- wrong decision. In such a case those being mentored can be at a disadvantage with the wrong assignment. Even if there is a mentor performance measurement be careful as to what is being rated and how. Interim and post surveys are generally used as long as there is a commitment to addressing weaknesses and improper selections on either side. Don't allow poor mentors to erode your human resource assets.

In selecting candidates to receive mentoring, there is a two-sided set of benefits to be established- for the organization and for the individuals. Finding the diamonds in the rough is the goal.

Personally I enjoyed mentoring in my business and volunteer careers- real personal satisfaction during the engagement and afterwards watching the individuals succeed. In fact, having a young, intelligent and energized candidate helps the mentor to grow and tap into the motivators and emerging technologies that consume their proteges.

Ensure that mentoring is a strategic objective with associated actions and regular reviews.

Pat Palmer | Wednesday, February 13, 2019 | Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

The awesome digital capabilities just keep growing, presenting opportunities for all sizes of financial institutions to expand relationships and perhaps loyalty. On the other had some have reversed into more commodity tactics as they see that their digital distribution channels are more economical working 24/7 without the normal business boundaries. Some digital retail brands have done an excellent job of building the elusive loyalty engagements that some previously believed required personal, interactive contact.

Many FI options in our testing are weak on building digital loyalty which we measure on how strong the engagement factors are for regular, even daily, visitations. Spontaneous connections motivated by a variety of desires are happening more and more with various segments of online users who have great comfort with their control over channel choices. Ask yourself, outside of transaction necessities, do your customers and prospects connect almost automatically with you because they expect some value, planned or prompted, will be found. Merchandise retailers, such as Amazon, continue to fine tune increased loyalty once you research or buy.

In fact, expanding collaborations with your digital platform can open up new revenue and loyalty opportunities and you don't have to make a corporate acquisition to reap the benefits. Continuous online research with your digital customers will identify some of these opportunities. The setups are easy and the marketing mix reaches many more people surfing the Web. Loyalty increases your potential for increased sales and hence profitability. Some may even find having a separate digital option, like banks and insurance companies are doing today, allows them to build loyal customers with completely different value propositions- mostly emphasizing lower cost and better returns. Strategic decisions should consider all the opportunities.

Pat Palmer | Friday, February 01, 2019 | Trackbacks (0) | Permalink


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