Customer banking experience is focal point in the Nordics
Earlier this summer Mapa attended the Customer Experience Transformation: Financial Services Nordics in Stockholm. Over this two-day conference, we had the opportunity to listen to and discuss the best initiatives, solutions and challenges regarding customer experience with financial experts from across the Nordic countries as well as the rest of Europe. The conference offered lively discussions and hot debates that covered one of the greatest challenges of financial services today; ‘How to optimise customer experience in order to increase customer loyalty’ and ultimately, profits.
The first day kicked off with a presentation by Anne Melchiorsen from Danske Bank (DK), giving her take on how to improve customer experience. Titled “Every experience counts”, the presentation challenged the traditional approach of trying to fit the customer into the bank’s processes. Rather, Anne expressed the need for banks to reverse these roles and create a culture of customer centricity by adapting their processes to suit the customer.
The message of this motivational presentation set off some interesting debates in the following panel discussions, led by Jive Software, Aktia Bank (FI), American Express and Nets Sweden. The discussions covered topics such as the need to simplify the complex language of banking in order to appeal to a greater audience, as well as internal culture changes and the challenges that come with this.
The afternoon tackled ‘omni-channel’, and how to provide valuable and personalised experiences to customers based on their requirements. A round table discussion with representatives from Artificial Solutions, SEB and Pitney Bowes offered insights and discussions into best practice initiatives and challenges of increasing customer engagement and loyalty in the digital world. The open discussions allowed for insights from a wide audience – representing both vendors, high street banks and financial services providers. The main focus of the discussion was around identifying problems before they emerge in order to provide a smooth and personalised customer experience.
The second day of the conference was the day before one of Sweden’s biggest public holidays and the start of the holiday season for many of the participants, and hence the audience was reducing slowly but surely throughout the day. However, the remaining attendees were eager to continue the omni-channel debate on how to achieve consistent multi-channel delivery, as well as fulfilling brand promise and ensuring personalisation for the customer. This debate continued into the afternoon presentations from Nordea’s Henning Kruhaug on how to build trust across your customer base, as well as Miia Heliö’s presentation from AIG on how to adapt products and services around customer requirements and behavioural patterns. The hot topic around the afternoon table discussion led by Kruhaug was on how to provide transparency as well as building trust and engagement with the customers. The key – care for customer perception and their feelings towards the services you provide.
At a time where trust and loyalty in financial services is at an all-time low, and the challenge is to build trust as well as meeting expectations, there seemed to be a consensus on the need to focus on the customer experience rather than the profit margins. The bottom line is that no matter how many new innovative products and new technologies there are on the market – financial services has to put the customer at the forefront of considerations, and develop a strategy based on customer needs in order to be successful and get those returns.
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