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Why Banks need to focus on "Growth Decisions"

I was meeting with an IDC Financial Insights analyst today, Rachel Hunt, and in the conversation she used the phrase "growth decisions". I really liked this as it seems to me that increasingly banks, and many other organizations, are going to have to focus on "growth decisions" like cross-sell decisions and customer treatment decisions as carefully as they have had to focus on risk decisions in the past.

As I was thinking about this, I saw a survey over on 1:1 Weekly about What Drives Loyalty in Financial Services. This survey showed there was "a significant opportunity for financial institutions to engage customers more effectively and capture more value from existing relationships" and its findings make me more certain that what matters is turning the focus onto the hidden "growth decisions" in a bank. Or, as Luc Bondar, vice president of Loyalty at Carlson Marketing, said.

"Using customer insight, financial services companies can engage their customers, learn what they want, and give it to them in an explicit manner, all of which serves to keep them loyal and grow their value."

So what kind of decisions do we mean? Consider:

  • When you send marketing communications, you make a growth decision each time you send an individual customer an offer
    Treat each letter, email or phone call as a unique decision and make it as well as you can by applying your business rules and analytics based on the data you (and only you) have about the customer. This is what the survey means by relevance and personalization.
  • When a customer logs onto your website, you make a growth decision when you display the website
    Will you focus on the activities they most want to perform, make a compelling offer based on their profile and make it clear you know them, their online behavior and likely needs or will you fail to realize that what you display is a decision and give everyone essentially the same web experience?
  • When a customer calls the call center or accesses the ATM, you make a series of growth decisions as you present options, present marketing messages etc.
    Does your ATM look the same to everyone? Do you always list the same call center options? Or do you make a growth decision by focusing on the customer and their needs and potential wants?

You get the picture. Every interaction with your customer is an opportunity for a growth decision - you can decide to use what you know about them to make a relevant, customized, personalized interaction happen regardless of channel. This will build on loyalty and deliver growth - just read the survey.

Also, you might enjoy this post on bank customer decisioning, this one on building the bank of the future and this banking story.

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