New Celent Survey Tackles Customers and Banks

August 21, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

Banks are increasingly required to know their customers, particularly under the terms of a doctrine known as Know Your Customer. Beyond that, however, knowing more about the customer helps ensure that banks—or any other customer-facing operation—understands its customers and what they want. In aid of that, Celent recently released the latest part of a report called “How Well Do Banks Know Their Customers?”, that examined this very concept.

What the latest part of the report noted was that banks do generally know their customers well, but not in all areas, and not across all banks. In other words, many banks do know their customers, just not all the time, and not always in the same way.

One major point of disconnect, the report noted, was that bankers are treating transactional activity just like they’d treat nontransactional activity. Since customers see those two terms differently, it’s a lost opportunity for banks, and one they’d do well to address.

While banks also well-understand the trends involved in transactions, they have much less understanding of customer engagement. In fact, views of engagement preferences vary wildly from one bank to another. This could be because customer preferences also tend to vary wildly based on one segment of the population to another, but it’s more likely that the banks just don’t tend to understand.

Banks do understand, and very well, what customers value in a branch experience, and also know that their customers tend to prefer branch operations. In fact, banks actually tend to overestimate the importance of antiquated technology “forcing” customers to return to the bank, which may well spark further development down the line.

Basically, banks are doing at least a passable job of keeping up with the customer, but there’s always room for improvement. One big point was that banks need to work on providing what customers will want based on what they currently want. Since banks take so long to provide new services—development takes time—they’re often coming out with the tools to win the last war, so to speak.

Still, there’s a lot of positive uptick to take out of the Celent report, and the more banks can do to build tomorrow’s bank today, the better off both they and their customers will likely be.