Can Customer Experience Management save the banking sector´s image?

Written by Silvana Buljan for Buljan & Partners Consulting

Imagine you lose all your hardly earned savings you invested in promising financial products, that were sold to you not informing you about the risk or just by blurring your eyes with promises that could not realistically be fulfilled… It is true that the responsibility is shared: the bank you trusted in has not been transparent in transactions, and you were looking for a high ROI without analyzing in depth the risk that these kind of products have. The fact is though that you are furious about your bank, and the client manager dealing with your money, and the government because they did not prevent this from happening, and and and.

You feel betrayed. And lost because suddenly life as retired person in the future has another image than the one that you were working on. What could the bank do to not lose you as customer? What would YOU make trust them again?

We live in financial times, yes, but we also live in a society whose “rules of the game” are being redefined / reinvented / questioned. Have we missed a fundamental discussion on such basic things like ethics or human values? Every citizen knows that a bank is making money with his money, it´s part of a bank´s business model. And every citizen knows that borrowing money is more expensive than lending it. That´s fair and nobody complains. But is it fair to not offer any recovery if things work out differently than thought? Definitely the money lost in your individual case is “peanuts” for the bank, but still you are the one taking over 100% of responsibility as you signed a “carte blanche” regarding liability rules.

Banks in the last couple of years (especially with the start of the financial crisis) have discovered Customer Experience Management, as well as they have been one of the first industries to discover Customer Relationship Management more than a decade ago. Why are they doing this? Might it be considered as magic wand to regain their customers’ trust? Or is it considered as another strategy to growth and profitability? Why not start with regaining trust by offering recovery and assuming responsibilites in a first place?

I’m amazed when reading some banks promises: “no commission”, “give and take”, “we care about you”, “passion for customers”….  “we want to improve our customers´experience” Every bank is making the same promise to customers, and almost all of them fail in delivery: there are still bad products in the market, and they are sold every day. But it´s fashionable to care about customers, yes, because they are the ones making the business model work, as in any other industry.

I have a true hope that those banks really investing in CEM do it not only to be more profitable by improving customer experience of selected segments, but by truly wanting to give answers to the fundamental discussion I mentioned before: My dear and appreciated customer, I listen to you, I respect you and I give you transparency in transaction and interaction. I have to make a living as well as you do, but let´s try to make it a WIN – WIN relationship so both of us are fine. Because this is what CEM is about: a WIN – WIN for both.


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