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In this paper, Accenture presents a new customer engagement model for banks, based on leading customer-facing practices currently employed by some of the most successful and influential non-banking, retail companies around the world—companies such as Unilever, Barclays, Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble and Burberry.
This new model can provide guidance and inspiration to banks as they seek better ways to connect with, and meet the needs of, today’s constantly changing customer.
Banking executives are acutely aware of the uncertain environment in which their businesses operate and the challenges they encounter in rebuilding trust and loyalty among customers. In fact, given the ongoing growth and profitability pressures banks face, arguably one of the top priorities for banks around the world is rethinking how they engage with customers to create a healthier balance sheet.
For banks, rebuilding customer trust and loyalty in the wake of the financial crisis requires significant change—in fact, nothing short of what we call a “RE-banking Revolution.” For inspiration, banks should look to companies outside of the banking industry—those that are undisputed leaders in building intimate, long-lasting and trusting relationships with customers.
Accenture studied more than 100 leading companies across seven industries to identify nearly 200 innovative practices in marketing and distribution that help drive superior customer engagement. Through subsequent analysis, we narrowed the list to approximately 35 top practices that we believe banks can look to as a guide in their efforts to “put customers first” and create stronger connections with their customers.
We have organized these practices in a simple customer engagement model, comprised of five main actions:
By embracing this new customer engagement approach and its leading practices, banks have the potential to spark a RE-banking revolution that can put them back on the road to profitable growth.
The global banking crisis had an undeniable impact on how customers perceived banks and their relationships with those institutions. Customers are less trusting of banks, find their experiences with banks to be less than fulfilling and in general believe banks do not fully meet their needs.
These sentiments, of course, have had a direct impact on banks’ financial performance, as banks have increasingly struggled to win back customers who have switched providers, attract new customers to the fold and encourage existing customers to take greater advantage of higher-value products and services.
The key to addressing the challenge is a fundamental change in how banks interact with and engage customers. Banks can learn much in this regard from leading companies outside the banking industry that enjoy a stellar brand identity, enviable reputation among the buying public, and strong customer loyalty and advocacy.
Effectively building and sustaining a strong connection with today’s customer requires a holistic and integrated approach that is supported by the areas for action identified in the RE-banking customer engagement model and validated through our interviews with retail banking marketing leaders.
While they face challenges, banks today also have a significant opportunity to rethink their approach to customers. By embracing the RE-banking revolution in marketing and distribution, banks can position themselves to emulate the status, success and track record for growth that the most successful and admired retailers enjoy.
July 11, 2013
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