Customer Experience – The new competitive frontier for retail banks in an Omni-channel world

A consistent, superior customer experience is a key element for every bank as they define and implement Omni-channel delivery strategies.

In fact, financial services firms are working to shape the strategies and initiatives that will transition how they reach, interact and service the needs of customers.

Cisco recently released a survey of 10 countries to identify consumer preferences and attitudes towards the value of more personal banking and financial services. The study asked respondents about their willingness to provide more personal information to retail banks in exchange for these personal services.  The survey also examined changing preferences on access to financial services via multiple channels.

The study found that 71 per cent of Canadian consumers are comfortable with their financial provider using technology (such as texting, email or video) instead of seeing them in person.

This is interesting because the proliferation of digital devices and era of convenience we live in have consumers expecting business experiences on the go, making it essential for retail banks to develop the capability to serve customers effectively through any channel they choose, including digital.

Today, Canadian retail banks serve customers through traditional channels such as branches, telephones, ATM’s and, increasingly via the Internet. These channels have all evolved separately over time, and vary in the level and scope of services provided. While customers can access information about products and services via the Internet, speak to an agent via telephone, and complete cash based transactions at ATM’s, customer are required to visit the branch for more complex services. As a result, the physical branch continues to be the channel with the capability and capacity to meet the majority of customer needs.

But if we read the results of this study correctly, Canadians are asking for more.

As a result of their experience in other sectors, Canadians are increasingly expecting retail banks to provide a consistent and productive experience through their channel of choice. Today’s consumer desires a more personalized experience over all channels, with expectations driven by the pervasive connectivity of mobile and Internet technologies.

Yet only 54 per cent of Canadian respondents felt their banks had enough information to offer them personalized services. This is the gap we need to address in Canada and with our retail banks.

Cisco is at the centre of this transition, helping financial services clients to understand the trends, shifts in consumer preferences, and charting the transformation path to materialize the omni-channel capability.

Read the release and full results of this study here.

As I said before, producing a consistent, superior customer experience is a key element for every bank as they define and implement these omni-channel delivery strategies.  The time for action is now. Be sure to look out for future articles and blogs on omni-channel in retail banking, and leave a comment or question below.

About Geoffrey King

Geoff is the Lead for Cisco’s Business Transformation solutions for the Financial Services Industry in Canada. Geoff works with Business leaders in Retail Banking, Wealth Management and Insurance to develop initiatives that leverage Cisco’s expertise, products, services and partners to improve operating economics, deliver distinctive client experience, and drive service delivery model innovation. Geoff draws on a broad base of international leadership, business transformation and mergers and acquisition experience in large private sector organizations and private-public sector partnerships in Canada, the US, and Emerging markets. Prior to joining Cisco Canada, Geoff worked with the Toronto Financial Services Alliance, a strategic partnership composed of the major Financial Services organizations, three levels of Government, and Educational Institutions, focused on building the international reputation of the Toronto region as a vibrant and strong Top 10 Global Financial Centre. Prior to his return to Canada in 2009, Geoff was based in Barbados, where he was a member of the senior leadership team building and expanding CIBC’s Caribbean multi-line franchise, CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank with operations across 17 countries, and in Houston Texas with Williams Communications Solutions, leading the integration of several acquisitions. M. King est le chef des solutions de transformation des activités pour le secteur des services financiers de Cisco Canada. Dans le cadre de son travail, M. King collabore avec des dirigeants d'entreprise des domaines des services bancaires au détail, des services de gestion de patrimoine et des assurances pour élaborer des initiatives qui tirent profit de l'expertise, des produits, des services et des partenaires de Cisco pour accroître la rentabilité des activités d'exploitation, offrir une expérience utilisateur distincte et favoriser l'innovation en matière de modèle de prestation de services. M. King s'appuie sur une vaste expérience de leadership international, de transformation des activités et de fusions et d'acquisitions, laquelle a été acquise au sein de grandes sociétés du secteur privé et de partenariats publics-privés au Canada, aux États-Unis et dans des marchés émergents. Avant d'entrer au service de Cisco Canada, M. King a travaillé au sein de la Toronto Financial Services Alliance – partenariat stratégique composé de grandes entreprises de services financiers, de trois paliers de gouvernement et d'établissements d'enseignement – centrée sur l'accroissement du rayonnement international de la région de Toronto à titre de centre financier fort et vibrant figurant parmi les 10 plus importants centres financiers au monde. Avant de revenir au Canada en 2009, M. King travaillait à la Barbade au sein de l'équipe de cadres supérieurs chargée de bâtir et de faire croître la CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank, franchise multigamme de la CIBC aux Caraïbes, qui exploite des bureaux dans 17 pays. Il a aussi travaillé pour Williams Communications Solutions à Houston Texas, où il a dirigé l'intégration de plusieurs acquisitions.
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