Banking for a new generation of customers

By: Anil Sreedhar
March 2015

ANIL SREEDHAR

HEAD OF PRODUCT MANAGEMENT –
FINANCIAL SERVICES SUNTEC BUSINESS
SOLUTIONS

 Anil as Head of Product management is responsible for the product vision and strategy, product management and innovation, product planning and execution throughout the life cycle for all SunTec’s Financial Services products. Anil has over 19 years of experience in the areas of Strategic Planning Operational Improvement & Business Technology Management. His financial services domain expertise includes Consumer Wealth Management, Asset Management, Private and Retail Banking and Operations. Prior to joining SunTec, Anil held senior leadership roles in various banks across Middle East.

Role of revenue management in improving customer experience

Customers and their requirements in the postmodern contemporary world are completely new. The technological innovations and cyber offerings from innovative and disruptive young businesses have changed the mentality of customers. Living in the current ‘always on’ society, consumers have become digitally savvy and more-informed than ever before, creating a new level of expectations in customer service.

With the growing number of touch points, banks are expected to be aware of customers’ transactions across all channels and from that, provide a unified experience with every transaction. If these needs are not met, consumers will actively search for the best alternative until they achieve instant satisfaction. The choices are too many. Welcome to the world of the new well-informed and demanding customer.

The evolution of customer demands has placed extreme pressures on banks to deliver new and innovative products, bundle various services and provide value-added offerings based on individual customer tastes. Moreover, the banking sector is experiencing challenges posed by local and global regulators. 

The regulatory panorama which banks are facing is the biggest onslaught of recent times, partly due to the aftershock of the 2008 financial crisis. Even though regulations are seeking to enhance financial stability for consumers of banking services, a lot of structural changes need to be incorporated.

To manage the growing market forces, banks need to use an approach distinctly different from anything they have used in the past. Providing great customer experience is one of the cornerstones of attracting and maintaining digitally-savvy and informed consumers. Like the best suits, businesses must work on tailoring the needs of modern customers and deliver a suit which answers the demands over the long term. Banks need to focus on collaboration and new product features which improve communication and enables customer centricity. 

The next generation of banking needs to pride themselves on matching the needs created by the new generation of customers. This can be done by taking an innovative approach directed away from the traditional means of banking. 

A more sophisticated audience has Led to growing numbers of individuals looking for financial services that match their own specific requirements.

The ‘one-size-Jits-all’ mindset needs to be replaced by adopting ‘Customer Empowered’ services. Gone are the days where banks could thrive by offering one off services to all customers. 

Banks need to work with their customers by providing them with a flexible, bespoke, highly personal banking service. The very best services are also simple and transparent so that regulators are satisfied. Customers would be much happier if banks were able to offer the ingredients for customers to serve themselves and build their own product. The personalization should trickle down all the way from offer creation to billing the customer. The mantra is relationship-based pricing, personalized offering, and relationship-based billing. Customers are no longer a generic, undefined population. We have to provide flexibility and cater to different customer traits which will facilitate customer loyalty.

Revenue Management as a key strategy 

Revenue management has become a strategy used by financial institutions to match products and services to customers in order to improve customer experience. Traditionally, revenue management was not a big issue for banks, no challengers posed a threat and customers tended to be life-long. Fast forward to today, regulators are tightening revenue avenues by forcing banks to conduct business in a more ethical manner. Investing in revenue management solutions has become the key business driver in accomplishing high financial performance and continuity.

Information and data of customers have become critical assets for that any company can possess. The lack of granular customer insight is down to core technology systems not being able to cater different customer needs. In the financial services industry there needs to be better management of customer data, trapped in the ethers of legacy IT systems, to prevent missing glimpses of opportunities to cross-sell and up-sell products to customers. 

Business Assurance goes hand-in-hand with Revenue Management

Whilst banks deploy revenue management strategies to improve customer centricity and revenues, they also need to ensure business assurance and sustainability by effective liquidity management, plugging of any revenue leakage, operational optimization as well as security controls.

Revenue leakage has become a costly problem. Banks are faced with the complexity of incorporating effective controls and checks on the humungous quantities of business transactions which takes place on a daily basis. Banks need to ensure that the products and offers they are designing are profitable to the organization in the long run. Business processes can be automated to take care of all the vital checks and controls, ensuring quick and informed decision-making at all levels within the organization.

Mitigating risks, providing security to customer data and assets have become a key boardroom topic. The news agencies are filled with stories of banks losing millions of customer data and of cybercriminals who continue to attack banks; as they are still the main handler of funds. High profile breaches in the retail and entertainment sectors have already led to the dismissal of senior executives and it would be logical to assume this may be the same for banks which have weak security postures. Giving customers the confidence that their details are safe is a sure way of retaining their customers. 

In a world where banks are still paying for poor customer service and losing income, technology can help the processes of revenue management, regulatory compliance and business assurance. Customers want and are willing to pay for high quality suits to invest in long-term value. Alarmingly, the bespoken services offered is a long way off, as the ambush of new regulatory forces and customer demands have turned customer- experience- delivery into a puzzle for businesses. A great experience can be devised if businesses have the technology to match current offers with the value which the customer brings in to the business. 

Xelerating Revenue Management and Business Assurance enable banks with the competitive advantage in today’s customer-centric and high regulation environment.

With the power to Xelerate, banks can intuitively create innovative products and highly personalized offers to satisfy customer needs spot-on. Equipped with future-ready technology and in-built real-time analytics, executives across the bank can now make more informed business decisions and ensure the highest Level of customer satisfaction, but definitely not at the cost of the bank’s revenue. 

Customer satisfaction is directly linked to the quality of service offered and the regulatory forces and if customers are happier, the roar of regulators tends to be quieter.