Customer-centricity is a hot topic, but some organization still fail to create a culture and experience that truly puts the customer first. Pre-existing services, the status quo, a well-intentioned focus on technology, and overwhelm due to change all distract from a truly customer-centric financial institution. Take these steps with your executive and management team, and think about ways you can encourage a customer-focused mindset to permeate throughout your organization.
Understand All the Paths
Every organization functions with a multitude of customer journeys. Think about different ways to map them out and understand every single interaction your customers have with your brand:
- Discovery. How do they learn about new products and services? How to they access information you provide? What third parties do they use? Understanding the learning process gives your organization a say in this process, where you can inform, provide value, and make a pitch for your own products.
- Type of customer. What is the economic circumstance of your customer? What is their rental/mortgage like? What are their unique financial needs? These circumstances will dictate the way they interact with your products and services.
- Product/Service. Most quintessentially, understanding what type of product, service or solution your customer is seeking will help understand the choices they make and how to best interact with them.
Think About Non-Monetary Ways to Build Trust
Make sure your employees focus on providing value first, and selling second. While your staff is trained to execute a number of tasks and to promote your services, their number one priority should be helping your customers or potential customers. Active listening, laser-focus on the issue at hand, and creative problem solving are all the most important skills your staff should focus on, while viewing your products and services as tools to resolve customer needs. Sometimes, customer needs won’t result in immediate financial benefit for your organization. This is okay, and should be encouraged — your employees should be more focused on relationship building than on creating a transaction in the moment.
Coach to Serve
Specific coaching around useful behaviors will make a world of difference in differentiating your organization and creating an environment that treats customers like gold. Make sure your staff is focused on providing value, and that they have the tools necessary to do so. Beyond educating them about your products and services, you should focus on training soft skills like active listening, establishing a more robust financial background, cross-training to encourage use of the universal banker, and leveraging resources to come up with creative solutions.