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Alastair Majury Business Analyst

Retail Banking - A New Way For Customer Service

As the rumbles begin to fade it is apparent that the retail banking business has been through exceptionally turbulent times. The long-standing contract between banks and their retail clients was crushed.

Those of us who are long in the tooth recall the long gone branch Bank Manager whose steadiness represented the reliability of his lender, and the long term trust that his customers placed together. It truly was 'relationship banking' - construction and retaining engaged customers using face to face contact.

We have seen massive job losses and big adjustments to the branch structures already but have yet to observe the regulatory structural effects from the recent chaos. What's as clear as day is that we will continue to view flatter organisational arrangements.

Retail banking has witnessed the technology-enabled rush to supply customers with services at less price - and this tendency will continue. Will your bank see that the tech can - if harnessed correctly and combined to good strategic moves - also help in rebuilding this vital engagement with your customers?

Compared to the price cutting approach your customers need your bank to be quicker and more flexible in your interactions. They wish to be able to let you know how they would like to get solutions, and what types of services those should be, instead of being handled down a systematised straightjacket of rigid procedures.

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Their needs will probably change - and change is happening faster than ever - because the pace of growth of the enabling technology shows no indication of slacking. Significantly, the price of hardware, software and communications is also falling extending the range of technology to groups who were outside its reach so opening up additional opportunities.

The 'bleeding edge' of the is the rapid rise in mobile apps and the influence of online Social Media. Clients discuss your bank in their terms and on their choice of websites. Yes, social media is growing in influence as a marketing medium, but it's the interaction which will grow to be the secret to building those very long term relationships. Research has shown that your customers would prefer this online conversation space to be provided by your bank to ensure their views could be more surely heard - and answers provided.

Another blow to banks' fortunes is that the loss of trust in individual banks means that customers now tend to spread their financial activity over a wider set of suppliers. This puts immediate pressure on your operating margins and has already signalled the demise of 'free banking'.

If the retail banks are not careful about the way they move forward you could easily become merely 'white label' money transactors.

So how can this embattled industry begin to make sense of the new world order - and make a profit too? All marketers know the truism that it is far more effective for both parties to sell more products to an existing customer, so a clear strategy is needed to underpin the rebuilding of your customers' confidence and a path to profit is needed to sustain your business within the very long run.

The answer lies well within your grasp and can be with your engaged clients, not with inner control introspection. It's these valuable people who hold the key and know what's desired. By finding out what pushes their engagement together and then mobilising your banking skills to supply it in an attractive and economical way you can rebuild that bond of confidence. You may use it to find more customers to whom you can provide services efficiently and at lower price.

This will cause flexible customer segmentation. A segmentation that could adapt to a customer's present needs and empower different services as those needs change with time. You can just handle this by a regular, attentive and pro-active review of changing customers' needs with time.

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News Release: Alastair Majury Business Analyst
Submitted on: November 27, 2017 05:41:16 PM
Submitted by: Marshal
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