Multichannel is buzzword de rigueur. Only outdone by Omnichannel. Today’s curation has taken me to a new post I wrote for Marketforce on their 2020 Customer Experience Portal.
Don’t Talk About the Multichannel Bank of the Future – It’s Already Here | 20:20 Customer Experience Network
The Financial Services industry has spent much of the past five years imagining what the bank of the future will look like. Marketing expert Yann Gourvennec believes this future focus leads to too much emphasis on tomorrow and not enough on today. In this challenging and thought-provoking article, Yann tells us why existing technologies and enthusiastic customer adoption mean that the bank of the future should in fact be the bank of today.
Since time immemorial, we’ve been hearing of the “bank of the future” concept. Mostly in the headlines. We have seen and read so many presentations about it, one could reasonably expect that in-branch customer experience has already been radically reformed. Yet, throughout all these years, not much has happened in terms of quality of service, bespoke financial advice, or client support, not to mention the wild goose chase of the mass affluent.
20 years after I created the internet banking barometer in London, I still hear of surreal concepts relating to the “multichannel bank of the future” with trendy furniture (no counters, that’s innovative!) in designer branches. Yet, the future is now, the internet is pervasive and Mark Weiser’s dream of ubiquitous computing is within reach.
Yet the very use of the term “multichannel” denotes an erroneous focus on technology. It reassures technologists about the importance of their work, and gives bankers (replace “bankers” with whatever profession you like) a feeling that they are at the forefront of innovation, when in fact those technologies they are desperately trying to implement have been around for 10-20 years.
As for your clients, don’t talk to them about the “bank of the future”, they won’t understand. But more than 50% of transactions are being carried out over the internet; clients don’t think “multichannel”, they live and breathe the stuff.
The mobile/tablet application, the call centre and the online bank, even the branch itself represent many pieces of the same puzzle. Pieces that clients tend to use at different times during the day, depending on where they are and what tool is most convenient. The branch is a tool too, and if people don’t use them anymore – and we know that 40% of
bank branches disappeared in the UK between 1989 and 2012 – that’s ultimately a sign that this tool is no longer delivering on its promise.