For the largest Polish banks, customer needs and satisfaction are the core values that determine the functioning of institutions. Behind the concept of customer centricity are hidden: a specific hierarchy of objectives and activities, organizational changes and technological investments.
Whether Polish banks are ready for true customer orientation was discussed at the European Financial Congress. The heads of the biggest Polish financial institutions answered in the affirmative to this question. They also noted that the way of understanding customer satisfaction and satisfaction has changed. It is not enough – as was the case 20 years ago – that the banks’ concern to offer the highest quality services is not enough. In relations with customers, personalization is becoming more and more important and meets their needs in a personalized way with appropriate services and products. This is possible thanks to digital transformation and the continuous analysis of customer behavior.
They also pointed out the obstacles that are slowing the transformation of the banking sector’s operating philosophy from one in which the most important point is to sell a product to one that focuses on the needs and experiences of customers.
In the debate “Are Polish banks ready for true customer orientation?” in the presence of: Joanna Jabłońska-Białowąs, Chief Customer Officer, Santander Bank Polska, Marcin Giżycki, vice-president of ING Bank Śląski, Wojciech Rybak, vice-president of Millenium SA, Michał Ślusarek, director of the Customer Relationship Management and Customer department Knowledge , Bank Pekao SA, Tomasz Tarasiuk, Head of Consulting for the Financial Sector at SAS, Michał Kopyt, Partner at EY.
– McDonald’s has researched the milkshake and customer satisfaction with the purchase of this dairy dessert. First, they judged which taste customers preferred and improved it. However, after some time, the concept of the study was changed to examine why people buy these desserts. Turns out they don’t compete for burgers, they compete for peanuts. Often people bought them because they were bored – Joanna Jabłońska-Białowąs recounted this experience to indicate that for a bank to take customer satisfaction seriously means the need to seek an answer to the question about the needs and motivations for customer behavior.
– We have moved from product orientation to customer orientation. We implement it systematically and in stages. Changes are possible thanks to the commitment of the entire management of our bank. Today, at Santander Bank Polska, we can talk about process and service design with customers, and recently also with employees. “Work to do” is just seeking the meaning of our solutions through verification only through the eyes of the customer and based on data. This is our mindset: helping customers with their daily successes and challenges – says Joanna Jabłońska-Białowąs.
– We wonder why customers do something? Do we have the right products to help them meet their challenges? – explained the ideas of the Santander group.
– We ask ourselves questions about the purpose of our activities, we check whether our customers really need them. Customer satisfaction and loyalty took place in several stages. We have improved the efficiency of the front and back office, we have ensured the high quality of service and its convenience, we have simplified the language of communication with customers and the smoothness of digital transactions. We use advanced technologies, but the change is much more serious than just technological – it is a cultural change – said Joanna Jabłońska-Białowąs.
Reconcile the objectives
Interviewees admitted that long-term goals related to increased customer satisfaction are sometimes difficult to reconcile with short-term goals related to sales results. Banks, however, try to act with long-term goals in mind.
– Everything we do at ING is linked to a long-term perspective, because you will not build a meaningful relationship with the client in a short time. We ask ourselves why we want to do something, how and what we want to achieve. It is important to remember the goals set in the strategy in every action. If you really talk about it, the projects are checked, if they fit into the strategy, then there must be a few benchmarks, significance, not several dozen – said Marcin Giżycki.
With today’s modern customer processing, investments in technology and the ability to use data analytically are important.
Change the brakes
Barriers or “anchors”, as Michał Kopyt put it, can be surprising regulations, shortages of high-level specialists or analytical imperfections.
– Banks have become the primary institutions that help authenticate digital identity. In a situation where various regulations are created with services for which digital services are needed, banks are engaged in their implementation, displacing other projects, Wojciech Rybak reminded.
In his opinion, banks sometimes cannot offer a coherent, efficient and modern service (for example, related to the purchase of houses and apartments), because there is a delay in electronic services in public institutions or access to databases is difficult for financial institutions.
Michał Ślusarek pointed out that sometimes analysts or advisers hardly give up their habits and observations, which the client needs for automatic numerical analyses.