Wikipedia indicates that the act of talking, or of conversation, is that refers to an interactive exercise upon which, at least two speakers, contribute to the building of a content, as opposed to the monologue, where only one person controls its construction. That is why it “is said” that we are in a dialog.
Nowadays, companies and customers have stopped talking to each other. Nobody is to blame, yet everyone is at fault. On one hand because they shout too much, and the other because they no longer have patience to listen (not even for a moment, given that they have developed specific mechanisms and barriers in order to prevent any non-relevant message from reaching the fields of their reasoning).
In the last 30 years, the distance between customers and their financial institutions (in particular, but extensive to any company or public institution body) has grown enormously, due to the lack of interest on the part of the first party (arising from the lack of an attractive speech or claim and due to the financial suspicion of any interaction with the entity), as well as from the commoditization and convergence of a highly non-differentiated offer on the part of the second party, projecting upon the customer an increasing state of distaste and disaffection.
We must take up the conversation again. We should seek new meeting points, that local store (versus the current superstore where we try to find them), that neighborhood café (versus the mall coffee franchise in the mall), but it should be done within the ecosystem proposed by the customer, not within the one specified by the entity. My customers are telling me what channels are the correct ones. We should accept their rules (because there are no others).
Customers are increasingly more sophisticated, active and educated in the recognition of market offers; they demand multi-channeling and complete availability (their time is more highly valued than ours), and more complex and personalized services (the individual as a niche).
Two words appear as critical in order to regain a relationship, if not intimate, at least one of active listening. Relevance and personalization. We should seek those tools that enable us to re-establish the bridges for dialog. It is possible that we have the answer in our pockets. Yes, it is the mobile phone, but we are not here to talk necessarily about the potential of this channel, but about how it should be utilized. Any asynchronous channel (instant text messaging, email, Twitter’s DM, push notifications – Android & Apple iOS-…) offers unique possibilities to be relevant, to tell each customer what they want to hear, and for us to understand, that no two customers are the same, even to the point that the same customer goes through various several stages throughout the day, thus converting the same him into multiple business window opportunities. Customers are polyhedral, operating in 3D, given that the context of their (financial) operations (financial) varies around a permanent space-time axis.
2.0 is two-way conversation, it is not -alone- Twitter, Facebook or Foursquare, it is above all an attitude, a way of thinking, where there are no technologies, but there are tools (technological ones). Therefore, we at Latinia, with the goal of recuperating that lost dialog, have decided to invest in the Banking…2.0. And we are not talking about forcing bi-directionality upon irrelevant services, just because technology allows us to be interactive with the customer. Querying your bank account status though a pull Performing consultation in one step (e.g. by way of text message) to the account is neither very practical nor very useful. It is not the best method for achieving that natural interactiveness provided by the means. The conversation should be initiated based upon the relevance (content) that we can provide our customers if we understand their context and activity, in real-time. That is the key and focus of our obsession. Turn their your one-way communication into a dialog communication (asynchronous) into, something unique, not only for that specific customer, but likewise for the scores of contexts that their your customers’ daily activity provides us.
If the message (as content) is univocal (It’s me –and my financial reality- I am the one that has spent $152 at the Wall-Mart of Mazatlán at 3.32 p.m., not another, much less 15,000 people –model CRM paradigm-), why don’t we treat them as such?
More than a text message informing him of the expense made in that Wal-Mart, can we communicate something more to him? How can we be relevant for him? Based upon who the person is. According to the type of transaction. Regarding the amount of that transaction. Depending upon where the person is. This is to think as he about them, to go moving from segment marketing based on segments, not to one of individuals, but to one of contexts. If customers are polyhedral, we should thus assume our approach to the same, based upon a myriad of options.
The capacity to adapt a message (text, instant, electronic…always asynchronous) to the context of each customer, appears as the authentic Holy Grail for a financial institution to overcome the obstacles of an inefficient and outdated communication model. And we are not talking about technology, but about how to utilize it.
If communication was birthed massive communication (one2many, same message to many), and but evolved into personalized communication (one2one, marketing paradigm until the customer decided that what we told him was not of his interest), today, Latinia proposes the many2one (different messages to the same individual… according to context, at each moment, because if no two customers are the same, that means two messages less, even to the same customer.) Welcome to the age of micro-relevancy, welcome to push banking.
Come, because (the customer) is expecting us.