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Jonathan Camhi
Jonathan Camhi
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Better Customer Experience: It’s In The Details

Collaboration and determination are needed if banks are going to achieve a differentiated customer experience that truly sets them apart.

A differentiated customer experience is increasingly becoming a key competitive advantage in financial services, but banks need to change how they innovate to achieve that differentiation, says Eric Disend, a partner and leader at Capco Digital.

“I’ve often seen where a team gets a great idea and a project gets started, and then along the way you start to bring in constraints like compliance,” Disend relates.

Once those constraints are brought in, the idea at the heart of the project tends to get watered down, Disend observes, and the end product winds up being a vanilla offering. The differentiated experience gets lost along the way as compliance, security, legacy back-end systems and other considerations take their toll over the course of the project.

[Check Out How USAA Has Improved Its Customer Experience: USAA's Greg Schwartz Keeps IT's Focus On The Customer Experience]

Moving forward banks will need to be more collaborative early on in the development of their projects to avoid this issue, Disend says. “You need to bring in different teams earlier on so these constraints don’t come in later and have a negative impact,” he explains.

Banks have to focus on becoming more like startups in terms of being highly collaborative. “As spending comes back during the recovery, banks should use those resources to reinvest in innovation. They now have the opportunity to say we’re a tech organization, and we need to think differently,” Disend recommends. And part of that is figuring out how different teams are going to be aligned over the next several years to work together, he adds.

Beyond greater collaboration, Disend also says that banks need to be more determined and focused to achieve differentiation. “There needs to be a desire to create a differentiated model,” he notes. “To simplify the customer experience, you really need to drill into the details. You have to be determined to push boundaries a little harder.”

That focus and determination can get lost when the constraints set in, and then taking the constraints into account becomes the focus, Disend shares. Collaboration can help ameliorate that issue, but it will still be up to the IT teams to stay sharp and keep their focus on the details.

Jonathan Camhi has been an associate editor with Bank Systems & Technology since 2012. He previously worked as a freelance journalist in New York City covering politics, health and immigration, and has a master's degree from the City University of New York's Graduate School ... View Full Bio

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Becca Lipman
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Becca Lipman,
User Rank: Author
11/11/2013 | 3:11:46 PM
re: Better Customer Experience: It’s In The Details
Oh yes. I recently posted an article on consolidating social media tools in FS [plug: http://www.wallstreetandtech.c... ] The average company uses 10-12 tools across business lines to manage Twitter, how can they possibly compare metrics and strategies!?
Jonathan_Camhi
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Jonathan_Camhi,
User Rank: Strategist
11/8/2013 | 5:47:23 PM
re: Better Customer Experience: It’s In The Details
Smaller FI's are definitely ways to get the most bang for their buck though with by leveraging partners. I think they're forced to be more efficient with their resources, which has both pro's and con's.
Byurcan
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Byurcan,
User Rank: Strategist
11/7/2013 | 9:38:12 PM
re: Better Customer Experience: It’s In The Details
Yes, this is especially true in financial services, which has long dealt with siloed lines of business and lack of communication across the enterprise.
Becca Lipman
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Becca Lipman,
User Rank: Author
11/7/2013 | 4:52:39 PM
re: Better Customer Experience: It’s In The Details
Solid point, the very tools that they use to communicate can be mismatched! The data that they use can be formatted very differently, the very DNA of their departments make collaboration a real headache.
Becca Lipman
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Becca Lipman,
User Rank: Author
11/7/2013 | 4:47:27 PM
re: Better Customer Experience: It’s In The Details
There's some argument to that. Smaller companies may have an easier time with flexibility, but they don't have the resources to switch course and reinvest like larger firms (and would their investors approve?). So they are by circumstance begrudgingly committed to the projects that they've invested in. In this case resources trump red tape.
Ivy Schmerken
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Ivy Schmerken,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/5/2013 | 11:23:01 PM
re: Better Customer Experience: It’s In The Details
I agree. Sometimes smaller, more nimble companies are more nimble and can more easily shift to an innovative system, while a large company is more entrenched in a legacy system and can't risk moving a huge business over.
KBurger
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KBurger,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/5/2013 | 10:11:23 PM
re: Better Customer Experience: It’s In The Details
Yes, but smaller FIs often have a flexibility, entrepreneurial culture and -- most importantly -- closeness to their customers and markets that the bigger companies often lack. So I think the "we don't have the resources" argument is a bit of a canard.
Nathan Golia
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Nathan Golia,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/5/2013 | 8:42:25 PM
re: Better Customer Experience: It’s In The Details
The biggest companies are often ahead of smaller ones on emerging technologies, because they can afford to throw resources at business problems. It's much more about culture and prioritization than size.
Jonathan_Camhi
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Jonathan_Camhi,
User Rank: Strategist
11/5/2013 | 6:53:41 PM
re: Better Customer Experience: It’s In The Details
Again I think that more determination is needed to push the teams to collaborate on the part of the executives.
Zarna Patel
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Zarna Patel,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/4/2013 | 8:03:39 PM
re: Better Customer Experience: It’s In The Details
Collaborating, in general, is very difficult even with an array of communication devices at everyone's fingertips. Getting a handle on just connecting different departments will be a struggle, but maintaining the relationships and measuring the progress will definitely be the bigger challenge.
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