Help! The Beatles said it best. We'll come back to that later.
Beep! Beep! Beep! My alarm wakes me up and the sudden realisation sets in. Like many other money savvy 20 somethings a calendar reminder on my smartphone alerts me that, on this occasion, my car insurance expires soon. The inexorable battle through the web of compare-supermarkets online is about to commence. Before I set about my task I go into the kitchen to pour a cup of tea and discover that my milk is off. I nip across to the shop to pick up some more and pay for it with my smartphone. I pour my tea, take a deep breath and off I go.
Naturally I start with my current provider and run a renewal quote on their website. Having spent the past 12 months as their customer I had high hopes for this to be the standard for others to compete with. After some not-so-easy site navigation and a lot of persistence I managed to get a renewal quote. Shockingly, this was significantly more than my current agreement despite nothing changing other than my age. Having struggled through their website for the best part of an hour re-entering my personal information that they could (and should) have very easily auto-completed for me, needless to say I was far from pleased with the outcome.
Next, to the plethora of comparison sites. I use a quick google search to review which is best. I select my suitor and off I go. I discover that this website is significantly easier to navigate which somewhat alleviates the painstaking process of having to enter the exact same details that I’ve already spent the best part of my morning entering into my current provider’s site. That pleasing process was enhanced further by the next page, the results! They were staggering. A large number of providers were offering a greater level of service at a considerably lower price. “How can that be”, I asked myself? For now I had to focus on which offer was best and ponder the fact later.
I review the top three policies independently, through both a google search and by using the site’s own review tool, and finally settle on my desired option. Two clicks later and I’m on the new provider’s website, details already filled in, quote as per the comparison site and a blank space waiting to complete the transaction. All I needed to do now was fill in my payment details and it was complete. Easy. I would have a new provider once my old contract ends…or so I thought!
Having settled on a new provider I go about cancelling my current service before the auto-renewal kicks in and I lose my hard-earned new policy. I call the contact centre, give my details and ask to cancel. The operator asks a few questions about “why” and then begins to offer discounts and price matching against what I’ve just signed up to. Why couldn’t they offer this level of service upfront? Why does it take me leaving for them to offer something better? In today’s economy where not just the savvy, but everybody is looking to get more for their money, why would a business continually act like this? This, in my opinion, shows a poor level of customer knowledge and more importantly a poor customer experience.
Quickly I begin to realise that many organisations across all consumer industries are acting in a similar way. In fact only the ‘new-age’ organisations can offer something different and even then are they maximising their potential? This got me thinking (back to the title) “Help! I need somebody, not just anybody!” I need my current provider to look after me. To help me. Even better, do it for me. I need them to navigate through the renewal journey for me. To offer me a bespoke service, price, whatever…designed to meet my needs, my characteristics. Act in my best interest. Maybe this is a euphoria / utopia that we may never get to however I can’t help but imagine a world where ‘the man’ is looking out for me. Providing targeted messaging about me, my spend, how and where to spend better, wiser, cheaper. Unlike The Beatles, most organisations aren’t drowning in their own success and, instead, are screaming out for a different kind of help! But what if they weren’t? Imagine a world where your bank offers you a discount to spend at your regular coffee spot, knows you’re paying above average on your street for home insurance and provides an alternative, automatically moves your savings to the best available rate, suggest alternative insurance products based on your driving style/health/lifestyle, the list is endless.
The point of this story is the power of insight, experience and Internet of Things (IOT). If our providers harnessed the data they already have (or could have) and turned this into valuable information, they would be more relevant to us and in return (we) would be better off. We are, as a consumer, looking for greater value and what better way than our existing providers changing the game. One example could be taking the comparison game to us - offering their services bespoke to our needs, after all they already know us. Another could be to improve the journey through their website, making it easier to transact. What if my bank knew my milk was already off and alerted me to buy more and attached a special offer to their message?! By empowering their staff, systems and processes even the oldest traditional organisations can realise the advantage. Increasing their customer insight and ultimately improving customer experience will bring about new markets, greater revenues and thriving customer loyalty.
Don't miss my next blog to see if we can work it out!
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