Situational Banking: Improving Personal Advice

Having access to your Savings Banks and Regional Banks with branches near your home has become commonplace for both Banks and their Customers; however, we all know that a short geographical distance does not guarantee that the advisor really knows the customer. Enter a hybrid approach: Combine online tools and personal contact, does it become a recipe for personalised banking with greater customer service and satisfaction?

In times of intense competition, financial institutions are required to clearly define their role. Regional banks have an advantage: They are very close to the customer, at least geographically, through a dense network of branches with. This provides the customer with a network of hybrid services that offer high degree of convenience and security in the handling of their financial affairs. If the financial industry changes disruptively rather than evolutionarily, it becomes indispensable in this way, according to Oliver Wyman’s Bankenreport Deutschland 2030: “In the disruption scenario, the variety and complexity of the financial services offered often exceed the understanding and patience of both individual and corporate customers. Providers who create an optimal offering for their customers, explain it and deliver it (including purchased components), thereby create lasting benefits for their customers (‘pilots in the financial services jungle’)”.

Depending on the situation: online services and personal advice can complement each other

Sparkassen Consulting GmbH, together with iaw-Köln, have developed the concept of situational banking, which allows “proactive needs management”. A joint study showed that “customers want to access simple services as quickly and easily as possible online. Added benefits such as price or performance differences in current accounts are easily shifted to digital. However, when it comes to more complex products, such as mortgages, customers still prefer personal contact with an advisor.” The savings banks – and also other financial institutions such as the Swiss regional banks – are called upon to “offer the appropriate added value [to] suit the situation”. The noticeable silo thinking – Sparkassen Consulting calls it “static segmentation criteria” – is seen as an obstacle to this, making it difficult to take a comprehensive look at the customer.

Today, banks do their customers justice when they “focus on the topic-specific situations that people go through in their lives and on the solutions they need”. This gives rise to a number of questions: “What digital footprints does the customer leave behind in his customer journey and how can we make this data valuable to the customer? In addition: “What are the touchpoints that the customer goes through within his or her process and how do we have to present ourselves in order to be perceived as a relevant provider?

Software solutions for end-to-end consulting

Comprehensive software solutions for hybrid consulting such as our Financial Advisory Workbench take these aspects into account. The consulting is organized according to subject areas and thus systematically records the actual needs of the customers. Based on their “digital footprints”, they are individually supported – both in the branch and online. In this way, banks with a well-developed branch network can establish personal relationships that are no longer based on the product structure of their own company, but on the customers themselves. Digitalization, which is sometimes assumed to be the “dehumanization” of business relationships, contributes exactly the opposite with intelligent Fintech products: It enables banks to do justice to their customers by providing them with a more personalised approach, elevating the customer expierence.

Together with inspiring speakers and experienced practitioners, we will present situational banking and other “approaches for the bank of the future” at the Digital Banking Days on 24 and 25 October 2018 in Frankfurt. Secure your ticket now!

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