My recent conversations with banking professionals in Asia Pacific has made one thing very clear: customer-centricity is all the buzz nearly in every conversation. Every bank is trying their best to attract customers by putting their best foot forward.
Despite gloomy news on the economic horizon, particularly in Europe, the approach of customer-centricity is a very healthy direction for banks. It is a natural reaction to an environment where business conditions are going to be tougher, and competition will be intense. No one can afford to lose loyal customers.
For a long time, banks have operated in silos. Product teams in the same bank did not talk to each other. The customers were bombarded with similar products from different entities in the same bank, resulting in confusion. With a customer-centric approach, banks can not only bring back customer faith and loyalty with superior product delivery, they can also increase profitability.
Becoming customer-centric is no easy task, as we all know. Perhaps the biggest challenge is to unify customer information, which is typically scattered across the organization. It is critical that banks make necessary investments to create a unified customer database.
In addition, banks need analytics, tools and proccesses that enable them to roll out customer-centric strategies. On that front, FICO has long worked to help banks head in the right direction. Our business consultancy team regularly helps clients unearth gaps in current process and system, and provides recommendations on how to leverage existing infrastructure to the fullest and where best to enhance it with additional investment.
While investment in infrastructure is important, keep in mind that without a good driver, even the most expensive car on a beautiful road can be absolutely useless. In other words, managing the business with great infrastructure and state-of-the-art analytics still requires highly skilled people, and this doesn't happen overnight. There is a shortage of the right skill-set in the market. Organizations cognizant of this have benefitted greatly from their foresight by fostering needed skills into competitive advantage.