A question that comes up regularly is should the bank evolve to a new digital model, or does it need to bite the bullet and transform?
Evolution or revolution?
That’s a question that only the bank’s CEO and management team can answer, and needs to consider:
- the current state of the bank;
- its ability to serve customers effectively;
- the agility to maintain parity and competitiveness with other banks;
- the capability to adopt and adapt to new customer demands and new technologies;
and so on and so forth.
Actually, that’s complete tosh.
That’s the way to cop out and escape making a decision.
That’s just excuses for not changing.
Because a company that wants to truly compete as an effective provider of service to customers should start with a different question and a different point.
That’s my advice to banks anyway.
Where should they start?
At the beginning.
Start with the customer.
Start with the customer today.
Start with how you want to relate to that customer.
Start with the question: how do we reach that customer today?
Start with a map of how and when you think you will touch the customer.
Map out every customer interaction touchpoint.
Create a heat map of the most important touchpoints where you can excel, differentiate and compete.
THEN BUILD YOUR BANK.
Now the bank you build will either be an evolution from where you are today to where you want to be in that customer engagement model tomorrow, or it might demand a revolution.
The answer will be based upon how radically different is that bank vision of customer interaction tomorrow to the bank you have today:
- How costly and how difficult will it be to transition to the vision you have created?
- Is it going to be worth it in terms of upheaval and change?
- Is the organisation structure capable of the move?
- Will you impact customers through this change?#
- Will those impacts create potential systems or systemic risks to the customer relationship?
- Will customers relate to the new bank?
- Does it require a different brand and presentation to be relevant or will the current bank be just as appropriate?
and more and more questions.
So there is no simple answer as to whether becoming a Digital Bank is an evolution or a revolution, as it will differ for every bank, but I would start with the vision first.
The vision is: if I could build the bank today for the customer relationship we need via digital channels, would it be revolutionary different to the bank we have today, or an evolution? and that comes back to that heat map of customer interaction.
It all comes back to the customer.
The customer is key.