Read an interesting blog by Chris Skinner at TheFinanser on customer service in banking and raising the question whether banking has become a utility.
Do customers really want utility banking? For some aspects like payments, I would say yes. You don’t need to go to a bank to make a payment these days. The payment space is really becoming a utility based service and there, quality of service and price are key differentiators. Consumers just want this to work and to be cheap.
However for other aspects in (retail) banking, the key is for banks to realise that they are retail organisations that happen to sell financial products. Innovation should be customer driven and IT enabled and not the other way around as it very often is. Sales and customer service organisations within banks should be tightly coupled, for example linking customer service performance to sales success.
The customer has changed, is more savvy, listens to his peers, … But he/she is still out there, ready to consume, and with a little bit of love, will be happy to buy from you.