How banks could learn from other industries and their own customers

South American International Bank Curacao
The changing landscape of the financial services industry
February 21, 2018

How banks could learn from other industries and their own customers

‘Customers chooses channel’. That is one of the first things I was taught by my manager when I started working with Rabobank, 10 years ago. First you wonder why this is so important. But at some point during your career you start realizing the relevance more and more. The second thing that I was taught is that ‘you have to be there where your customers are’.

These two things have become more important through the years, as customers have more channels, devices and technology at their disposal. For Sai Bank, this is interesting as well as we are digitalizing our processes, optimizing our digital services and rolling out many other projects, throughout this year.

It’s also well known that financial service providers in general and banks in particular were not very quick with following up on all the changes in their industry lately. A majority of customers are online and mobile and have high expectations about consuming services anytime, anywhere through any device.

That’s a lot of responsibility for a financial service provider, specifically if customers consider your services a being commodities.

The things I mentioned in the first paragraph are important if you realize that customers base their expectations on experiences with other industries. As an example I can mention scheduling and booking a trip or buying retail products. Those industries are far more ahead than banking when it comes to customer experience (CES); a marketing concept that industries use to measure what customers expect and how satisfied they are with your service. Or not.

So the financial service industry is changing quickly and we wouldn’t have believed it, if this was said to us 10 years ago. Now, we see it all around us and we have decided to follow up on it.

To make sure we do the right thing in changing and digitalization of our organization, we have launched a ‘Customer Panel’. This panel consists of 5 business companies that represent multiple other customers of our bank. We chose them because of their involvement with our customers, the success of their own businesses and the fact they are generally interested in helping our bank move forward.

By including customers in our digitalization process, we acknowledge the importance of sharing our ambitions with customers, providing influence on the improvements of services and products and keeping a dialogue with the most important stakeholders we have: our customers.

In a next blog, we will elaborate on the experiences we have learned from, coming from Rabobank and their customer panel.

Thank you,
Jan Willem de Waard
Manager Digital Transformation Sai Bank