These days Banks are losing trust and confidence of customer due to being pushy on Selling their Products and Services and becoming for Sales Centric instead of Customer Centric.
Sometimes the push is so extreme that customers lose temper, which further leads to dissatisfaction, discomfort and complaint.
Also, these customers shift to another bank and again same story.
Due to this, the Image, Reputation, and Respect the Bank Employees is getting down slowly and gradually.
Bank employees are treated as sales representatives instead of trusted Banking Partners.
Therefore, Banks must shift their approach from Sales Centric to Customer Centric.
Read on to know what it is all about and how Banks and their Sales Teams can achieve it.
Brief Historical Background:
In the Mid ’90s, there was a revolution in the Banking Sector in India.
When few Private Sector Bank started its operations, the core behind this move was to transform traditional banking to service-oriented.
These private sector banks were providing better services at affordable prices, attracting more customers towards banks by following customer centric approach.
It led the Government sector banks to change their strategy and be more customer centric and use advance technology to serve better.
Almost initial 10-15 years were excellent in terms of technological advancement and more exceptional customer experience.
Still, in the last ten years, things are changing from Customer Centric to Sales Centric.
Pressure from the bank is increasing on the customer, to buy a product from the bank, in the last five years.
Teams doing sales are pushed heaving by senior management to sell to their customer, making things worse.
Sales Centric Approach:
The Sales Centric Approach focuses on selling more and earn more. Under this approach, customers are forces directly or indirectly or sometimes emotionally to buy products and services.
And sometimes customers are deceived, cheater, misinformed or misrepresented about the product and services.
There are numerous instances reported by customers getting told about some product or services but given something else.
These Sales Centric Banks have two objectives; First Meeting Sales Targets and Second Increasing their Market Share.
Banks put their entire efforts in achieving these two objectives, celebrating the success of those who meet their targets and encourage others to do the same.
They are least bothered about selling to a customer without their will and proving them the right information and knowledge about the products and services.
Things are rapidly changing in the fast-moving technological world.
Increasing competition with the entry of many Small Banks in the markets, the game is going to get tougher gradually.
If these Private and Government Sector Banks does not change their approach,
then, new and small banks will become large soon if they follow the customer-centric approach and gain the market share.
Adverse Effects of Sales Centric Approach:
The Sales Centric approach may sometimes be useful when the competition is less or new product or services launched in the market.
In case of a highly competitive market, it is not possible to run, survive and grow in the long run.
There are adverse effects of having a Sales Centric approach, such as:
- Follow one-sided plan from Senior Management by pushing employees aggressively for meeting sales targets.
- Employees feel high pressure of sales targets which leads to negativity and stress.
- Unsatisfied or negative mindset employees would make customer annoyed and dissatisfied.
- Organizations lose their valued customers, and they find it challenging to retain them.
- After a while, the profitability started to decline.
- There is Risk of losing organizational image and brand value.
- Over a while, the cost of acquisition keeps on increasing.
- Lack of Customer engagement and no feedback is relevant and considered.
Customer Centric Approach:
The Customer Centric Approach focuses on creating a superior experience to customer by offering better products and services, adding value to their life and building relationship.
Organizations ensured that customer is the center of business philosophy, product and services, operations, innovation and more, believing that the customer is the primary reason for their existence and growth.
They put their entire focus to deliver what their customer needs and demand to satisfy them completely.
Banks and Financial institution needs to focus on a customer-centric approach and provide a one-stop-shop solution to retain existing customers and gain more customers.
All banks in India are more or less offer a one-stop-shop solution.
Still, the customer-centric approach is missing, which needs to be rebuilt again to be in the market for long and continue to grow.
How Customer Centric Approach Work:
Banking is one of the highly competitive sectors, and Customer Centric Approach plays a significant role in Banking these days.
Banks need to improve on their quality and service standards and focus on a customer-centric approach to enhance the service relationship with customers. Technological development in the Banking sector is gaining lots of focus.
With the use of electronic and online platforms, service standards are improving to a great extent.
The concept of Customer-centric approach in Banking majorly focuses on four categories, i.e., Banking Product and Services Quality, Electronic or Online Services, Automated Services and Customer Services Quality:
Banking Product and Services Quality:
By Banking Product and Service quality we mean, the offering Bank have for their customers. These days Banks are upgrading and improving their product and services to attract more customers and adding variety and distinct features.
Banks are also offering Tailor-made products and services as well to meet the requirement and demands of different types of customers to suit their needs and pocket size.
Product differentiation, innovation and customer service quality lead to customer satisfaction. This help to gain a competitive advantage in this highly competitive market.
Electronic or Online Services:
With the growth of internet and information technology, the demand for Electronic or online services is continuing to rise, saves time and effort as compared to executing the physical transaction at Bank Branch.
Technology plays a significant role by way of overall cost reduction and improvement of customer delight.
Banks are opting for more and more ease to their customer by way of electronic and online services, Automated ATM’s, Linking multiple accounts, phone banking, online banking and more. Customer can link their vendor transactions, and bill payments to their account and they can be paid on a selected date automatically.
Customer Services Quality:
The most crucial factor in assessing Banks performance is the quality of their services and client satisfaction.
The customer service quality can be evaluated based on the difference between the service delivery by the bank’s employees and customer expectation.
Banks these days, putting considerable efforts in satisfying the client’s expectations by offering better products and services and Banks are continually working on improving, controlling and measuring the service quality and taking corrective action where applicable.
Benefits of Customer Centric Approach:
There are many benefits of implementing a customer-centric approach, and few of them can help Banks to grow customer base and increase their profits. These are as follows:
- Customers are ready to pay more to companies offering/delivering exceptional services.
- A moderate increase in customer experience and satisfaction increases revenue multi-fold.
- It helps with customer retention and increases more profits.
- Helps to retain and acquire more customers.
- It helps to gain loyal and repeat customers.
- Help in the reduction of overall cost and improvement in profit margins.
- Organizations get more value if they are customer-centric instead of being sales-centric.
- Help to gain improved market image and enhanced market share.
- Higher customer participation and engagement.
Customer Centric Approach can be achieved by:
Banks who wish to decide to prioritize on customer centricity and enhanced customer experience needs to follow the following:
- Training and development of employees to understand customer needs and provide a suitable solution to fulfill that.
- Participation and engagement in Top and Middle Management.
- Continuous improvement in products and services.
- Hire and Incentivize Employees for empathy and customer orientation.
- Use automated process as it saves time and cost and improve customer satisfaction.
- Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Chatbots help in better customer engagement and satisfaction.
- Treat your customer exclusively and create an experience for them.
- Keep things transparently and honestly and explicit communication help in building trust and gaining respect.
- Admit if wrong instantly and take corrective action to improve.
- Must follow the customer-first philosophy and approach in their product and services.
- The customer gets the power to determine the level of quality and satisfaction based on his needs, demands and expectations.
- Encourage customers to share their response and feedback to measure their satisfaction and happiness level.
At the current Banking conditions, all banks are following Sales Oriented Approach instead of Customer Centric Approach these days, as the cost of operation and Employee cost at senior management, the level has increased drastically in recent times.
The quality of the resources and their engagement with customer level is getting worse, which is resulting in average or poor customer handling and services.
The global slowdown in the industry, NPA is also at rising, resulting in low profitability, leading as stress to Banks and their performance.
Therefore the approach of Banks in the last few years has turned towards sales which are resulting in higher attrition of all times, stressed and unsatisfied employees.
All these factors reflecting in poor customer services and customers getting forced to accept such poor services as all Banks are at worse in customer services these days.
Also, in recent times, many Small Finance Banks, Payment Banks and Fintech Startups have entered the market.
They are continually improving customer engagement and services.
Therefore if existing medium or, large banks do not improve on towards customer-centricity and creating a better experience, then they would lose their customers to the competition.
In the changing world customer is the utmost authority who can change the game.
Therefore it is essential to improve and work towards customer-centricity.