The Importance of CustomerCentricity in a Digital World


While customercentricity, also referred to as clientcentricity, is not necessarily a new term, many institutions are struggling to truly understand what it means to be customer-centric in today’s digital-driven banking environment.

At its core, developing a customer-centric business strategy prioritizes the customer’s needs to build long-term, more profitable relationships based on the delivery of consistently positive user experience. Customercentricity has shifted from a nebulous and subjective consumer term to a well-studied discipline based on the assertion that if organizations don’t truly understand their clients, there is little chance they can successfully satisfy their needs. Research indicates that today’s consumers have increasing expectations regarding how they are treated, and they demand a high level of satisfaction from their service providers.

The bank or credit union’s journey toward achieving customercentricity begins with proactive engagement that optimizes what are known as digital customer “satisfiers”while eliminating customer “dissatisfiers.”Doing so is extremely important since only one in 26 customers will openly communicate their frustration (or dissatisfaction) before they choose to end their relationship with the institution. As a result, this is often missed when banks and credit unions are developing their strategic plans. Common examples of dissatisfiers include a poorly‑designed website with cumbersome navigation, lingering unresolved issues, too many available choices, and a barrage of irrelevant information.Eliminating these dissatisfiers is crucial because their negative impact on overall customer satisfaction generally outweighs the upside benefit that satisfiers generate.

Proven digital satisfiers include improved personalization, frictionless experience, relevant guidance, and customer and member empowerment through intuitive website design with easy navigation, convenience, and operational reliability. Additionally, consumers appreciate content and communication relevance throughout the different stages of their journey – product information in the early stages and issue detection and resolution and robust feedback mechanisms later in the process- all increasing corporate credibility in the long run.

Successfully implementing customercentricity requires more than simply assuming that customers are satisfied. It requires quantifiable confirmation of customer satisfaction through metrics and data analysis. Banks and credit unions ensure their customers and members are satisfied with their experience by leveraging customer behavior detection mechanisms within digital marketing components.

An effective strategy for achieving this leverages automation in combination with the human touch to generate more meaningful interactions that produce more positive customer and member experience.

Successful financial institutions build customercentricity around seven key principles that link to business performance:

  1. Needs – If financial institutions do not understand the needs of their customers and members, there is little chance they can meet them. Consumer needs are constantly changing making it important to continually monitor and track them.
  • Engagement – This refers to deploying timely and relevant content through effective communication to proactively connect with customers and members. Consumers want education and guidance, access to knowledgeable staff, efficient fulfillment processes, and high-quality service.

  • Customer and Member Experience and Treatment – Because consumers have set expectations regarding how they want to be treated, they demand a high-quality digital experience. Through proactive engagement driving digital customer satisfiers up and eliminating customer dissatisfiers, the customer and member experience can be optimized.
  • Issues Detection and Resolution – Once an issue is detected, the successful financial institution responsively works to resolve it. This can be achieved through predictive analytics that measure and track the impact of issues and reports customer and member attrition risk for mitigation.
  • Reliability and Consistency – Recent studies provide a list of 18 explicit satisfiers and dissatisfiers. Amplifying the satisfiers and eliminating the dissatisfiers helps ensure a reliable and consistent experience for consumers.
  • Feedback – Digital delivery enjoys high consumer acceptance for many reasons primarily due to increasing customer and member control. Providing consumer feedback mechanisms result in three beneficial outcomes: increasing customer empowerment, valuable self-reported information, and demonstration that the organization cares about their customers and members.
  • Value-Driven Decisions and Actions – Financial institutions always strive for a high customer satisfaction rate. Improving customer experience and a solid return on investment often requires actions based on customer segments.

As digital banking usage continues to grow, customer experience requirements are evolving as well. Regardless of channel (contact center, branch, online, mobile), the strategic importance of delivering high quality customer and member experience is profound – especially in today’s competitive market environment.

Industry studies show that 70 percent of buying decisions are based on how the client is treated, yet in retail banking, we still see an 80 percent abandonment rate in digital fulfillment indicating a significant lack of customer centricity within the industry. This presents an opportunity for financial institutions who act upon it.Positive customer experience is directly linked to enhanced customer and member loyalty, which ultimately increases the value of customer and member assets and the institution’s future profitability.

As Senior Vice President of Business Development, Todd Robertson works with the largest financial institutions and healthcare providers in the United States to demonstrate how ARGO solutions can transform customer experiences and improve operational efficiency.

This content is for CU BUSINESS eMagazine , Special Deal: 2 websites , and NEW! The Leadership Team Builder Group Subscription members only.
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