IBM Global CEO Study 2012:: customer-centricity v industry “eccentricity”


Once you get over any revulsion to the term “customer centricity” it does make really good sense, UNLESS you are one of the many people who can’t see beyond a linear supply chain with customers at one end!

imageI loved the revelation that insurance CEO’s appear to be on-board with the “sentiment”. But then I remembered that, in business (particularly the Financial Sector), there is little scope for sentiment just plenty of time for rhetoric i.e. talking the talk to, such as, IBM, PwC, KPMG, etc.

Customer focus for insurance CEOs means getting everybody involved

  • Employees. “Empowering employees through values” is a key imperative for CEOs in 2012. Technical skills are necessary but not sufficient anymore. Flexibility and communicativeness become the most important personal traits.
  • Partners. “Amplifying innovation with partnerships” means thinking past the traditional partnerships with agents and brokers, to working with third parties in claims remediation and even in underwriting.
  • Finally, the CEOs themselves need to be involved. Customer centricity starts at the top, and 68% of insurance CEOs see customer obsession as the key characteristic a successful CEO needs.
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Banks do not focus on customers, says OFT chief – New Model Adviser®


Rather, the problem is that they view customers as a “means to an end” – a common complaint about firms across Financial Services!

The “shift”, that has taken place over many years, and accelerated courtesy of “light-touch Regulation”, saw the focus move from responsible lending to misrepresenting debt as credit and widespread mis-selling at every scale:

Earning loyalty and trust by serving customers with products that added value is a long, slow, process – stable and sustainable (win/win).

Chasing and retaining market share, based upon indebtedness and inertia is cheap and fast – fragile, volatile and unsustainable (lose/win).

Fingleton said that the financial crisis has worsened the situation and that concentration had increased across most banking markets.

‘At the heart of the concerns about these markets is a lack of ‘customer focus’ on the part of providers,’ he said. ‘We still have a banking sector where competition is manifestly not working well for consumers.’

He warned that ‘if we do not see real change from banks, then a more radical approach needs to be considered.’

via Banks do not focus on customers, says OFT chief – New Model Adviser®.

CONFUSOPOLY or TRANSPARENCY?: UK banks charging as much as 800,000% on overdrafts


For me one of the most telling facts about the “Payday Loans” story is that the Financial Ombudsman receives very few complaints about them yet is swamped by unprecedented numbers of complaints about banking and the wider Financial Services sector!

Calls for regulation of interest rates are understandable and fully justified BUT, across the board. Great quote from Mike Dailly at Govan Law Centre:

“The Romans 2,500 years ago managed to cap lending charges at 8%” 

One thing that strikes me about this aspect of the market is that, at least, the Payday loan companies are TRANSPARENT about equivalent APR which cannot, necessarily, be said of the High Street Banks! Yet it is the banks who talk about customer “relationships” the other is, essentially, transactional. Confusing, isn’t it!? Read more of this post

Mass elite


If we all know it makes sense why is it so difficult to apply it consistently?

Should you treat different customers differently?

There’s no doubt about it. It’s the single easiest operational way to transform your organization, by giving loyal and profitable customers a reason to come back. The danger is that your team will misunderstand the entire point of the exercise, using it as an opportunity to cut corners on the hoi polloi (who are merely elite customers who haven’t converted yet) at the same time they try to save money by investing less in the very people you set out to serve better in the first place.

Go ahead and charge extra to people who want to pay (in money or loyalty) extra. But don’t forget to give them something in return.

Seth’s Blog: Mass elite

2010 Report Updates: FS cannot function without trust


This is a “headline” so obvious that it may well be a contender for non-news item of the decade…

image

So you would be entitled to assume that strategists within major banks and insurers would be busily scurrying around frantically innovating new products and services that simply ooze customer value. Frankly, anything that rebuilds trust and engenders loyalty, in an effort to undo the reputational damage done in recent years.

Yeah right. Customers aren’t really that important…yet!

I commented upon Edelman Trust Barometer & “Which?” reports earlier in the year – found at the following link:

Transparency – Trust – Trends – TRANSFORMATION

I know I have been going on about this for a long time now BUT, from the distinct lack of any change of attitude or strategy, it appears that the customer message has not been taken on board. Further evidence of the arrogance of FS and, in my humble opinion, a very serious mistake. As we enter, what will be, a difficult and painful period for UK (and beyond) the realisation that the perpetrators of so much of the financial misery have “escaped”, unscathed –  apart from a lot of Governmental and Regulatory rhetoric, will lead to a public backlash! Of course this has most serious implications for Government as society suffers.

FS firms who wait before offering truly innovative solutions and reintroducing customer value – instead of stripping it our for themselves and for their distributions channels – will only confirm, to the informed observer, that they have failed to learn any lesson from past, inglorious, failure.

To adapt the words of Warren Buffett “If value is what you take price is what you will pay

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