The financial industry is putting great value on understanding customers’ needs. Once those are clear, financial institutions (FIs) can market their services and products directly toward those needs. Understanding customers’ needs also helps FIs set a clear goal: not only to meet the needs of their customers, but to exceed them.
However, needs are subjective and change rapidly. Often, by the time companies understand what their clients need and are ready to act on their conclusions, those needs have already changed.
For example, customers might want a quick peer-to-peer (P2P) capability, but payments—specifically technological ones—require the right technical capabilities and legal and compliance approvals. FIs are increasingly finding themselves too late to react as more non-banks and tech vendors enter the market.
FIs will likely have to follow a longer process and deal with more complicated requirements to achieve the same results as tech companies when it comes to these types of offerings. Thus, their best strategy will be to predict what customers’ future needs are and aim to meet, or exceed, those.
There are many ways companies can try to predict their customers’ needs. In recent years, more target=”_blank”>predictive analytics, AI-powered tech, and advanced modeling.
However, before looking into such methods, a shift needs to be made in how a given company perceives its customers. Not business opportunities, but partners. Not clients, but collaborators. Additionally, products and services should be evaluated similarly to investments—rather than thinking about current performance, think about future outcomes. Are your products and services answering current needs and market trends, or are they based on predictions about future needs?
While it is likely to be more successful in the long run, this forward-looking approach requires an investment in and transformation of companies’ compliance and governance approaches. If done hastily and without appropriate planning, churn rate might increase if customers feel their current needs are not being met.
In the long run, though, customers will appreciate the thoroughness, leading to an increase in sales and better overall performance. Making this shift effectively will require patience and thought leadership on the part of management.
To learn more about how to be proactive and provide services and products that target your customers’ future needs, please read our latest Customer Experience practice report 10 Trends in Customer Experience: Expanding Scope and Managing Expectations.