“Banking customers have both old and new demands” - interview with Debashis Sarkar

Written by: Fleming. Team

Debashis Sarkar

Improvement Practitioner &
Phil Crosby Medalist

1. What are the greatest demands that banking customers make compared to the last 5 years?

We live in a very different time compared to 5 years ago, yet the customers have demands which are both old and new. The new demands pertain to the technological revolution that is currently underway in the background, while the old demands relate to things that have always been associated with banking. The following are some of the highlights:

New demands:

  • Rise of Gen C or connected customers who are multi-device connected and would like to access banks across screens – The challenge for banks is to make sure they have a consistent experience across channels
  • Rise of mobile as a banking channel – Apps being used just not for checking balance but carrying out a myriad of transaction types
  • Personalisation is the name of the game – How do banks operate “in the Amazon way” and provide products / services based on customer’s life events and unspoken needs,
  • Delighting customers is a passé, the banks need to focus on creating a “sharable experience”. They need to proactively embed experiences which the customer is happy to share on social media – A great advocacy tool
  • Understanding the customer behaviour and their journey as they navigate various channels

Old demands:

  • Getting the basics right by ensuring they provide service when needed while ensuring safety, security and fairness.
  • Being able to meet the requirements of the customers’ life events, such as the education of their children, vehicle loans, home loans etc
  • Making sure the products are simple and easy to understand, with customers exactly getting what they want without being misled
  • Resonating the brand promise across touch points – In many banks, the marketing and customer experience / service departments are still two different entities who work in isolation, which should be avoided.
  • Understanding the customer segments and helping them with financial decisions,
  • Having a knowledgeable and caring staff

2. Which are the key channels that the banks must perfect in order to solidify the experience of their customers?

As I mentioned earlier, I believe banks need to make sure customers have a consistent experience across channels. The key channel to perfect is very bank-centric and would depend on current gaps. However, we need to remember that while we perfect newer channels such as mobile, self-service kiosks or televisions, we should not forget age-old phone banking. As a matter of fact, a survey that was conducted a while ago found services coming from the contact centres to be a big cause of concern for banks.

3. Are there any learnings in customer experience from other industries that could be utilized in ME banking as well?

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