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Managing the multi-channel paradox in retail banking

Frost & Sullivan has released a report on managing the multi-channel challenges that retail banking is faced with today. According to the report, multi-channel banking has increased the potential for diminshed sales opportunities despite the expanded number of distribution channels!

The report says:

"...the number of bank channels and touch points have proliferated and so has the complexity of the service delivery which has added to the overall cost structure. Rather than lowering the overhead, the greater number of touch points actually prompted customers to increase their transactions - resulting in higher overall costs...."

Some of the best practice recommended are:

  1. Meet and exceed the needs of the high value customers - Find ways to creatively service the needs of these customers.
  2. Provide "consistent" quality of multi-channel  experience - Don't create a fragmented feel of interactions across multiple-channels.Create an organization-wide customer experience strategy.
  3. Integrate across channels.
  4. Provide action-oriented intelligence - Integrated data can provide proactive customer interaction measures.
  5. Employ Event-based selling

I believe the key point here is getting different silos of retail banks to work together with a common customer experience strategy across mutiple product offerings, agreed metrics around different channels( for acquisition, retention, cross-sell and customer service issues) and drawing-up proper handshake processes between channels when customers interact with banks.