As a phrase, ‘customer centricity’ is somewhat hackneyed. As with much other business jargon there is a risk that no one really understands the meaning of it, let alone how to achieve it. But in a world where digital is empowering consumers, ‘customer centricity’ is far more than just jargon – it should be a priority for all brands.
As previously argued, the digitally empowered consumers of today are better connected, more vocal, and, ultimately, have higher expectations of brands than ever before. This new breed of consumers expects companies to provide services that address consumers’ needs and add real value.
Traditionally, financial services has never been an industry that has been associated with putting the customer first – particularly in the light of the miss-selling scandals of late. However, you don’t have to scratch far below the surface to uncover a whole host of financial services providers demonstrating what it means to put the customer first. These forward-thinking institutions are achieving this through tech-enabled solutions that not only add real convenience to account holders, but also empower them with their own financial spending data. Here are three of our favourites:
- mBank, ‘the world’s first mobile social bank’, transformed itself through ‘Project New mBank’, resulting in a purely digital omni-channel banking experience. More recently, mBank released a new app. This offers similar features to most other banking apps, but what really sets it apart from the pack is its interface. mBank has utilised Window’s Live Tiles to create an aesthetically pleasing, highly intuitive app which is incredibly easy-to-use. The app also provides customers with tools to help them better understand their outgoing and incoming finances, giving them greater control of their money.
- BBVA, Spain’s second largest bank, has re-modeled its branches, to provide a more customer-centric service. Through ‘Easy Bank’ and ‘Flagship’, BBVA provides a physical touch point for customers that is fully integrated with their online banking experience. More recently, BBVA acquired Simple, the online US bank devoted to offering a more transparent, customer-focused alternative to traditional banking. Through this acquisition BBVA are looking to bolster their online offering and ultimately lead the technology-driven change in the financial services industry.
- Tink, a forward-thinking Swedish company, has developed an intuitive app which puts the customer at the heart of everything it does. Tink connects your bank account with your credit cards, aggregating and categorising up to two years of historic spending to provide a clear, dashboard showing your consumption patterns. Tink gives consumers a greater degree of control over their finances by providing an overview of expenses, income and remaining salary on a month-by-month basis. The app also provides customers with a heightened level of security. It identifies any unusual activity on your account in real-time and contacts you immediately.
We will be watching with anticipation to see which financial services institutions will set the bar ever higher in a bid to respond to consumers’ expectations and become a truly customer-centric bank.