Delivery Channel Optimization, Managing the Customer Experience across All Channels

by Mercator Advisory Group 0

When retail banks add new channels there are always some who are looking to reduce capacity of another channel and because branches are the most expensive channels they are at the top of the hit list. The adoption of mobile and the decline of checks have raised these questions once again. This article provides some perspective from James DiCuaula, vice president and director, customer experience and channel integration at Harris Bank in Chicago, on how to take a holistic look at channel management.

Today, the focus has shifted to “channel optimization,” an analytics-rich science of maximizing the usage of those customer touchpoints within an overall channel management strategy that tries to anticipate future customer behavior.

“It starts by having the management information around customer trends and how they are changing; by constantly monitoring customer behavior, you’re able to take action at the right time,” Di Ciaula says. When you look at customer behavior, customer demand is really around “anytime, anywhere” banking. So, when you look at integrated channel management or how you respond to customer needs, you really need to think about what the customer wants. They’re at the center of the decision-making process and we respond to their preferences.

“Channel integration revolves around the customer experience: how do you create consistency either in the features or information that is available within the different distribution channels? If you call a branch about a new promotion, can that same information be accessed in the online space? Was that same information communicated and coached in the call center?”

Harris is one of the few banks that offer online chat on their retail website:

“We are among the early adopters of the “Push to Talk” functionality. It’s a kind of insurance policy. Customers may not use it, but they know it’s there, and that gives a lot of comfort to some customers.”

“With all the movement towards virtual channels, customers still have questions, and some are only willing to go so far before they want to speak to an individual. That’s just part of making it easier for customers to do business with us – offering them the flexibility and choice to do business with us when, where and how they want to be served.”

For more discussion on integrated channel management, read the article in Banking Strategies:

For a related Mercator resource, Managing the Multi-Channel Experience: Who’s Satisfied?, click here:

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