Author: David Webber
Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.com and one of the most successful businessmen to emerge in the last decade, once said: “We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.”
It’s this attitude towards the customer that has undoubtedly been the driving force behind the company’s rapid rise from internet start-up to multi-billion dollar enterprise. While companies like Amazon are renowned for the emphasis they put on customer services, the banking sector has regularly come under fire for the lack of it. Considering this, it was great to read that RBS has recently launched an online ideas portal, enabling it to ask its customers directly how it can improve its services.
It’s a great step by the bank; and the fact that suggestions are limited to 260 characters shows that the bank has taken note of, and embraced, the current digital trends that the nation (and in particular the vital 18-25 customer age bracket) have adopted as second nature in recent years. This is further reflected in the fact that the most popular responses and ideas are published on the site, promoting discussion and allowing customers to truly feel that they are being heard. Unsurprisingly, improvements to mobile and online banking solutions are already proving to be the most popular suggestions.
Innovation must be at the heart of any digital solution, and projects such as this are vital in order for banks to ensure that they are on the right track as they fight for supremacy in an increasingly busy marketplace. To stay competitive, banks have to think on their feet – rolling out a digital solution that they assume blindly their customers will want is no longer good enough. Nor is it enough to try to predict the future from the past – banks must look ahead to customer behaviour patterns and trends in order to understand how best to serve their needs and expectations
This move from RBS is a clear sign that it wants to make an impact on the digital finance arena and fine tune itself to the digital lives of its customers. The task now is to follow through on what the customer wants, and to use these suggestions and trends – not only to roll out a solution that will prove popular, but also to predict what their client base will want in the future.
Jeff Bezos turned Amazon into a powerhouse by leveraging consumer demand. It is time for the banks to follow suit and demonstrate their commitment to innovation and customer experience, establishing their credentials as credible and relevant financial services providers of the future.