Customer Experience. It’s not Rocket Science!

Marketing Week
Strategic Consulting Management

So how difficult is this? As a consultant I can tell you this is an easy depiction (graphic above) of what the banks should be getting right and as a customer I can tell you they don’t! Again, the journey a number of customers take can start with a simple call into the call center or even apply for a credit card online. They can be existing customers looking for information, need help or want to add new products. So if banks do not get better at removing the friction from easy tasks or get better at personalized selling, they will suffer the attrition they know so very well–not to mention a lower Net Promoter Score® .

So what are banks doing with all that data on their customers and how are they presenting the right information or offer(s) at the right time through the preferred customer channels of communication? We are seeing a number of service providers peddling their wares for AI in marketing like IBM Watson.

There is even a HBS report, sponsored by SAS, Intel and Accenture and conducted by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, that looks at how businesses are using advanced customer data analytics, along with real-time analytics and real-time marketing, to enhance their customers’ experiences. 

Here’s a funny side note I will share. We actually engaged SAS over ten years ago while I was at Citi part of a consumer analytics team to do the very same thing this report covers. Sounds like my second paragraph I opened with.

No doubt the threats of non-traditional and highly technologically advanced companies are serving up offers especially to the younger customers.


Demand for alternatives to traditional banks will only grow, as younger respondents in our survey showed the greatest willingness to try these offerings. Moreover, more than one-quarter of US respondents would consider using voice-controlled assistants for their everyday banking, and Amazon currently dominates the voice-enabled speaker market with its Alexa assistant on the Echo device. Given that Amazon, Alibaba and others already sell payment services, credit cards and loans, it’s plausible that they will offer a suite of retail banking services in the near future.


Bain & Company: Evolving the Customer Experience in Banking

My approach and experience has always been that customer experiences are fluid, constantly changing, so it is imperative to work with cross-functional teams to monitor how your customers’ needs change throughout their journey. This has led to what products I have designed and launched in an agile manner to service customers better, not just to market and sell to them.


Too often, retail banks build oversize, bespoke teams and processes to address individual customer journeys with inadequate ways of collaborating across functions and measuring progress.

McKinsey & Company : Managing a customer-experience transformation in banking

We all know at the end of the day, your customers own your brand!