The relationship between money and individuals is inherently personal; however, the interaction with banks often lacks this personalised touch. In an era where personalisation and digitisation are pivotal, the shortcomings of UK high street banks are becoming increasingly visible.
A One-Size-Fits-All Misstep
Recent studies indicate that these banks are faltering in their approach to customer experience, largely owing to a societal blindness and a continued adherence to a universal approach in customer service. More than half of UK’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are contemplating their banking affiliations, and less than a quarter of individual customers are content with the support from their banks. This alarming statistic underscores an urgent need for an overhaul in customer service protocols.
A Society in Fast Forward
The rapid evolution of societal norms, amplified by the advent of digital maturity and changing consumer expectations, has widened the gap between customer expectations and service delivery. Traditional financial institutions, particularly the larger banks, are lagged in their adaptability to these dynamic shifts. The societal transformation is outpacing the banks’ rate of adaptation, highlighting an escalating issue.
Gender and Age: The Untapped Variables
Banks have historically adopted a uniform approach to service delivery, overlooking key demographic variables like gender and age that profoundly influence customer behaviours and expectations. For instance, distinct financial behaviours are evident between men and women, with each gender displaying unique preferences and orientations towards banking. Similarly, age demographics like Baby Boomers and Gen Z exhibit contrasting tendencies in their banking choices, influenced by factors like digital experience and financial incentives.
The SME Conundrum
For SMEs, the differentiation is even more pronounced, with factors like the company’s size, industry, and the executives’ age and experience playing pivotal roles in shaping their banking preferences. The challenge for banks is not the absence of this crucial information but rather the siloed and inaccessible nature of existing data.
The Path to Innovation
The remedy lies in harnessing modern platforms, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning to integrate and utilise this data effectively. Innovation doesn’t have to overhaul the entire system but can focus on strategic disruptions in key areas. The real hurdle is recognising the need for change and estimating the financial implications of the persisting over-standardisation in services.
By redefining banking products and services with a contemporary perspective, banks can unlock the potential of personalised customer experiences. A shift towards informed, educational, and guided customer interactions can significantly enhance banks’ market share. The prerequisite is an in-depth understanding of customer identities, preferences, and appropriate engagement methodologies.
A Time for Change
The current landscape presents an opportune moment for a digital reset. The imperative is for banks to transcend traditional service delivery models, embrace innovation, and align with the evolving societal and consumer landscapes. The integration of personalisation and strategic innovation is not just a competitive advantage but a necessity in the rapidly transforming digital and societal ecosystem.