“Customer centricity” as a concept is nothing new. For more than two decades, banks and credit unions have lauded the benefits of putting people first. Indeed no institution would claim anything other than placing customers at the heart of their business model.
In the study, 75% of banks confessed they have not concentrated efforts on improving their customer experience, but instead have remained focused on sales-specific activities.In fact, 48% of respondents think the term “customer centricity” is overused.
The increasing penetration of digital devices globally — in industries beyond banking — is putting pressure on financial institutions to reengineer their infrastructure around digital. However, banks and credit unions have still not shifted enough out of the branch and into digital. In spite of big developments in digital infrastructure and two decades of bank investment in this area, Misys research shows that digital banking services still have yet to fulfill their promise. One in five banks performs less than one percent of sales via digital channels, and 87% of banks perform less than 10% of sales via digital.
Only 12% of banks state that digital channels are the greatest source of customer acquisition, while 41% of banks still place the branch as the top source. Word of mouth and advertising still perform strongly for banks when it comes to generating new customer relationships, indicating that the power of reputation remains strong in retail banking.
Many banks have yet to benefit from proactive, predictive selling leveraged in other industries. But the current picture is predicted to change dramatically in the next three years. The number of banks performing more than 10% of sales via digital channels is forecast to jump from 13% today to 75% in three years. In fact, more than a third of respondents think that only one-quarter of sales will continue to come through traditional channels by 2018.
With more institutions now measuring customer relationship successes as opposed to traditional sales goals, core systems must be able to deliver the relevant insights and analytics that highlight successes and opportunities. Far from being able to emulate Google and Amazon, banks are currently unable to innovate despite a strong desire to do so.
“There is a fierce battle between banks and fintech start-ups to win and steal customers — to capitalize on- or create a switching market,” says Simon Paris, President and Chief Sales Officer with Misys. “The players who will win will have the most innovative and competitive financial products. They will be digital-first, and will have superior customer service processes and teams. Digital must start earning its investment, and become a sales channel. Processes will become fully-automated. Banks need to become more resilient, more efficient and more competitive, if they are to survive the next decade, amidst the digital disruption that has arrived.”
Technology advances and consumer attitudes make it feasible that digital channels will become the primary source of banks’ sales. But the question is: “Will banks meet their own forecast and deliver by 2018?” Now is the time to close the gap between hype and reality.