For far too many years, financial services companies have relied upon mass-produced technology and approaches to deliver their product. This has resulted in a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all approach.In today’s market is leaving younger customers cold.
Such a standardized approach leaves customers feeling like they are trapped in a stiff, restrictive environment.It may be time for banks and credit unions to consider a new approach.
What Customers Want
We are coming out of one of the largest financial crises ever faced.In this changing environment, customers are demanding a new approach to money management. Instead of industrialized, assembly-line approaches to service delivery, customers want something more personalized and simpler.
Customers want to feel loyal to their bank or credit union. In order for this to happen, they want to see services that have plain-language, easy to understand benefits and risks. They want to feel like they have a degree of control over their money.The customer does not want to be surprised by arcane regulations or fine print.
The Failure of Competition
Part of the reason financial services have become so complex is that there are more banks and credit unions than ever.There are more customers looking for services.
This has led to an intense competition among service providers, in turn has creating a veritable cornucopia of options to encourage consumers to shop around. Unfortunately, this diversity in offerings has resulted in complicated options that often are robust, but difficult to understand.
Back to Basics
Many companies are coming to realize that in lieu of heavy, complicated services, the professional services persona must be simple and easy to grasp.It must be tailored to the individual needs of the consumer. Rather than offering a broad variety of varied services, it may be better to offer a basic package that allows for customization by clients.
For many years, the approach taken has been centered on the product: here are a bunch of different packages, pick one and go. It is time for a new outlooktowards placing the focus on the customer. This shift in focus has already happened in other industries, and the financial services industry is lagging behind.
The shift that needs to occur relates to the way services are constructed as well as delivered. Like an all-you-can-eat buffet, customers need to be able to build their own financial services products.They want the flexibility of picking and choosing features based on economic conditions. Investing and saving needs are just a couple of examples.
Improving Customer Loyalty
Exactly how this can be accomplished remains to be seen.Adopting personalization schemes will improve customer satisfaction and drive loyalty by increasing trust through transparency.
Customers will tend to stick with a provider that is willing to provide exactly what they want or need. Such an approach can only add value to the products and services delivered by allowing customers to feel comfortable with the package.This is what will give providers who adopt this approach an edge in competition.
The more customers feel like they are viewed as individuals rather than numbers, the more loyalty they will have. Financial institutions need to begin viewing themselves as solution providers, placing the needs of the individual consumer above other concerns. Everything from credit cards to basic deposits can be personalized in today’s market, and banks need to begin doing so.