Customers’ expectations – today and tomorrow

17-02-07 16:52 | Digital banking | The Digital Hub

We are witnessing how customer behaviour is changing, and how their expectations on us as advisors at the bank are evolving over time. Of course, customers have always had the expectation of advisors being knowledgeable in their field, and on the topic of advice in question; that goes without saying. Today, however, customers also expect us as a bank to be one step ahead and pre-empt the customer in terms of what is attractive and beneficial for them in particular.

This places demands on us as a company, and on our analytical capabilities. We need to be one step ahead and come up with suggestions for individuals, and no longer just groups of customers. It also demands on us to be swift, to switch from one topic to another, and to do so more or less around the clock.

Here’s an example: if a customer receives a large sum of money in their current account, we are expected to contact them shortly. Not only to ask where the money came from (which we are obliged to find out by law), but also to inquire if we can assist with advice and investment. At the same time, the advisor that contacts the customer should be knowledgeable on the topic of investments and, based on a number of questions about needs, be able to funnel it down into appropriate advice tailored to that particular customer. Availability and speed in terms of when we can set up a meeting are also crucial. If we are too slow in giving the customer options for how we can meet and when, we are out of the game. In that case, other players will always be waiting in the wings to take over.

Our Online meetings initiative gives us this opportunity. In 2017 we will open more online branches, at which our professionals work 100% with providing advice to household customers remotely. The aim is to have at least eight branches in Sweden by the end of the year. We will actively offer this possibility to an increasing number of customers.

Several industries are acting along the same lines – today, we can meet both doctors and pharmacists online. This makes it easier for us too, as familiarity with this type of meeting grows.

Thanks to our initiative in this area, we will have so many advisors that can specialise in various fields that customers can meet with somebody who is knowledgeable about the particular topic they wish to discuss. Availability will be even greater, and customers can obtain advice in the morning, evening or on Sundays – quite simply, when it suits them. Our expertise comes from across the whole of Sweden, but the physical location of the advisor actually doesn’t matter to customers.

To conclude, there are two factors driving our initiative: availability and expertise. Our motto is to be available “anytime and anywhere”, and as one wise person once put it, “a bank is no longer a place you go to, it’s something you do”. 

/Petra Eklund, Head of the Online Branch at Nordea in Sweden.

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