Retail banks today face significant challenges to growth and profitability. The erosion of customer trust, the slow economic recovery, and margin pressure stemming from a variety of sources are among the many factors that account for the current difficulties.
In search of growth opportunities in this environment, many banks are focusing on deepening their share of wallet with existing customers. In all regions—the Americas, Europe, and Asia-Pacific—financial institutions have launched marketing campaigns with slogans such as Reinventing Banking, Restoring Trust, and Deepening Customer Relationships. The goal is to make customers feel that their banking needs are being well looked after—to become, in a nutshell, more “customer centric.”
Yet to make those two words more than just a catchy phrase, banks that choose customer-centricity as a strategy must figure out how to transform their vision into actions that deliver on promises. Banks also need to understand the customer-value equation—not overinvesting in customers who are not likely to respond to new initiatives or whose long-term value to the bank is relatively low.
Some key questions present themselves:
- What exactly is customer-centricity and why should retail banks care?
- What do retail-banking customers really want?
- Are any patterns of customer-centric banking emerging?
By exploring these and related questions in detail, banks can gain the understanding they will require to cope both with current challenges and with those that lie ahead.
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