Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Between the human and the new technologies: the new dilemma … – Les Echos

In the space of 20 years, retail banking has radically changed its face. The digital revolutionized the bank’s consumption patterns and created new needs that upset the subtle balance in the relationship between customers with their bank. Analysis and put into perspective from the latest study “customer relationship in the bank” published by “Les Echos Etudes.”

Read the study “Customer Relationship in the bank”

Internet has become in the space of 10 years as a privileged point of contact for customers. Consultation of accounts, transfers, simulations … In 2014, 59% of bank customers go online at least once a week on the site of their bank (exclusive survey of the study). But above all, customers multiply interactions with banks: emails to the counselor, phone calls, interactions on social networks … The banks are facing a massive influx of requests that do not necessarily correspond to physical flows agency because 10 years drastically reduces their attendance.

Today it is rare that a consultant agency spends two to three hours a day to respond to emails from customers, or process requests transferred by the central call center: “Customers are much more impatient of the delay and the quality of the answer, but the bank, due to its regulatory, hardly a satisfactory response to these new expectations. They consult their accounts before buying a flat screen on Amazon and know on Facebook. “Said an official of the strategy of a large French retail banking interviewed for the study.

The desecration of the bank involves new organizational challenges …

Being in almost daily contact with his Bank trivializes the relationship. From his computer, laptop, its tablet, phone, via social networks … The contact opportunities with the bank are multiplied and facilitated. But above all, the way customers communicate with their bank has changed considerably and is modeled on Internet communications codes, much more informal.

Also, some types of customers (the youngest or most techies) are sensitive to the institutions that will highlight these new more informal communication codes. Consumers are also much more experienced and raise the level of requests addressed to advisors, which requires banks to offer their sales force new types of formations.

Thanks to the Internet it is also easier and faster to compare more offers from financial institutions, which means for banks to cope with an ever increasing influx of applications information to a conversion rate which ultimately will be lower. Hence the strategic importance for banks to best industrialize their processes for establishing offers with increasingly sophisticated CRM systems. Many officials interviewed also believe that a better exploitation of the so-called “Big Data” could mark a significant technological breakthrough in the CRM approaches in the coming years.

… and technology

The most advanced populations (ie more affluent classes and youth) n ‘ more reluctant to take the plunge to become direct bank clients as ING Direct, Boursorama Bank, Bank Hello … The traditional retail banks therefore see their customers with high potential abandon their agencies for the benefit of schools that will offer banking services higher technological content.

In an attempt to differentiate other than on the single tariff scale, direct banks also entered a race for technological innovations that ultimately benefit the entire sector: mobile services on shelves, voice recognition, new web interfaces …

By spill effect, these technological innovations generate new services in what is now commonly called “connected agencies’ tablets or workstations, self-service, video conference rooms, Wi-Fi terminals, touch tables … This cluster of technological innovations could be very promising and distinctive for financial institutions, provided they do not fall in the “gadgetization” tools they make available to their customers.

And instead of humans?

However, unlike the Cassandras who augured, there few years, a “bank of dehumanization”, with a possible generalization of banks 100% online, our study shows that customers are generally very attached to their client advisor and satisfaction levels are quite good. There is no massive rejection of the councilors, at most some annoyances due to their insufficient specialization.

In addition, customers are not necessarily tied to a customer advisor as such, but would rather be followed by a counselor according to the issues involved. So we are moving towards a preference of specialization advisors: real estate, property, tax …

Few experts still believe the sector to a massive development of what called Peer To Peer Banking in the wake of Web 2.0 concepts. For proof, such websites 2.0 bank born last ten years (like Zopa, Funding Circle or French Credit Union) are confined to very specific markets and are not yet ready to make imitators among the general public.

Similarly, 100% Internet banking has certainly increased exponentially in recent years, but still plays a secondary role in the banking market. For example, when Boursorama has made 208 million euros in net banking income in 2013, BNP Paribas had made nearly 40 billion, or almost 200 times. The credit, which is the main business of the bank and also the most profitable, remains quite incompatible with a completely paperless final model.

A time overtaken by technological innovations direct banks, traditional retail banks are now aware that they can regain control through a major asset: their network. Moreover, none of the banks interviewed for the study intends to significantly reduce the density of its network. Investment projects are very important otherwise to modernize agencies and integrate more technology in human services.

The new banking landscape is already designed, most retail banks have now integrated within their fold direct banking: Société Générale with Boursorama Banque, Crédit Agricole with BforBank, BNP Paribas with Hello Bank, Crédit Mutuel Arkea with Fortuneo … However, the key to the success of these new models called the Bank 3.0 will be the ability of banks to put in place the most innovative synergies and the more technical between signs and their direct network of agencies that will now be connected … but not empty advisors!

Gilles Blanc / Author of the study “Customer Relations in the bank” published by “Les Echos Studies”


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