It’s been an amazing couple of months in the banking industry. Recent news has highlighted that some banks may have been assuming the acceptance of offers by customers without any evidence that this was the case.
This, of course, is not OK as bank products can accrue fees and liabilities for customers. It is pretty clear that regulators are paying attention and that some measures will be put in place to ensure banks know what they have offered to whom.
Herein lies an incredible opportunity. Offer management in most banks has been a relatively haphazard process with lots of well-intentioned people at the front lines often playing their role without clear guidelines or direction. If banks will soon need to record what they are offering, then isn’t this the right time to overhaul the process full stop to enable more accountable sales?
Thefirst step in improving offer management is to be able to record what you are offering in live interactions. This means that front line staff need a system to record the entire sales conversation including what was offered first, what was offered next, etc. This doesn’t have to be an onerous process if it is just the capturing of what is happening anyway as a branch or call center banker presents each offer to the customer.
Since the interactions are now being tracked, the second step should be to make these interactions as effective as possible. The front line team needs to know what their personal objective is, what financial solutions and at what price they can offer them. The state of the art here is guided selling where the person gets real-time insight as to what the next step should be and the steps are optimized to the best outcomes for the bank AND the customers. It may include an interactive script and branching logic that would map the most efficient process to closed business and satisfied customers.
The final step of both tight commercial and regulatory control over front line selling is to identify gaps in the process that reduce possible sales results or identify situations where customers are not being properly satisfied or properly informed for the products they are considering or buying. Monitoring account activity, for example, might be a good proxy metric for the efficacy of the sales process for these products and the actual products themselves.
Managing the offer process has not been front burner for most banks. It now looks like it will be. We’d like to see banks take advantage of this opportunity to responsibly tune their processes to maximize the growth AND efficacy these processes are capable of delivering.