Social media and customer feedback platforms available directly or indirectly for banks to gauge customers feedback indicate to us that there are more frowns than smiles. This needs fixing and the question should be asked, as private banks, are we really meeting the expectations of our customers? If customers are to choose between individual brands, is there one that truly stands out and offers customers hassle-free banking and delivers value?
It really does not matter what banking brand you belong to. We all have a challenge before us, and if we can find answers to these questions, then we can full-proof our existence, build sustainable businesses and take care of our clients current and future needs. The other aspect we need to grapple with is absolute competitive advantage. With most banks offering financial products and services that are similar, how does a private banking brand remain exclusive and premium?
Although in most cases the most innovative brands do the hard work and test the waters on behalf of the fast follower who usually waits and responds through a competing product or service, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being an innovative brand as it is something that customers like and appreciate. What about being a fast follower or a late adopter? Loyal customers will probably stick with you and wait for you to get your act together, but some customers will not forgive you for being slow and will gladly pack and visit your competitor.
Perhaps a shift from product and services to clients’ needs and orientation will be the answer and a better chance of retaining clients and attracting new ones is created. Most researchers in the area of private banking argue that the industry has lost its focus and is now pursuing higher volumes of customers rather than quality customers.
A report by Finweek further indicates that among the big four banks in southern Africa, there has been a gap between cost and service delivery. Furthermore, when compared to countries in Europe and the United States, our industry does not have wealth that characterises private banking and customers do not really get the personalised private banking service that they deserve. The provision of high levels of service quality is therefore important to building a mutually beneficial bank-client relationship.
In the series, we touched on a number of talking points – from technology, systems, value chains, unique selling points and quality of conversations through wealth management and private banking teams. All these aspects should work in unison to create equilibrium in ensuring that clients are well taken care of and ought to be addressed unambiguously. These are some of the fundamentals that we ought to have to create life-changing experiences for clients. Therein lies in a golden opportunity to be the best in the business.
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