Equinox Consulting

Mobilise the bank! Step 3: More advisory services = more coaching (for more sales)

Jean Bouvier at 2015-09-17 in Décryptage

Read more excerpts from our forthcoming management book, « Faites bouger la banque ! » (Mobilise the bank), releasing end of September 2015, in which Equinox-Cognizant experts examine the HR-related impacts resulting from a rationalised retail-banking model.

Find out more in this extract from our book:

Whether they work in the city or in rural areas, with corporates or professionals, asset holders or ordinary individuals, the local bank advisers share one common characteristic; that is, they are all in the front-line of the revolution that is bringing radical changes to their profession.

The emergence of digital channels requires a redefinition of their roles and responsibilities owing to increasingly complex customer journeys: Web-to-store (with adviser as the final support to customer conversion), store-to-web (the adviser supports the diagnosis and discovery, without any assurance that the customer will actually come back to complete the subscription), 100% digital journeys (customer seeks information online and subscribes online with or without human assistance).

This diversification of purchasing processes and channels requires the adviser to be equipped with greater versatility and enhanced ability to remotely manage customer contacts, through all possible channels.

The adviser’s priorities are also changing: with increased use of online « self-service » banking, advisers spend less time in account opening and other basic operations. Their management-related activities are also declining with the rise of electronic document and process management. Conversely, their skill must translate to expertise in customer relationship management tools that serve a two-fold purpose: personalised service and offering on the one hand, and follow-up of customer-bank interactions across all channels on the other hand.

The main challenge lies in the fact that the transition from Adviser 2.0 to this new reality is far from being complete because of lack of adapted tools and tailored training programmes. […] Equally regrettable is the gap experienced by advisers between their private and professional life, in terms of access to information . At home or on smartphone, they have unrestricted access, whereas in office, their freedom is restrained by very secured or old information systems. Consequently, advisers find it difficult to fully leverage their expertise with the prospect or the customer and to address too many challenges. They must first adapt to the customer journey that switches between Internet, mobile applications, call center and the branch. They must remotely assure customers of taking a good purchase decision and provide further information if necessary.


Faites bouger la banque Acte 3Illustration credits: Gabs for Equinox – Cognizant, 2015

Finally, the adviser must act as the bank’s brand ambassador and generate added value from these communications, in addition to providing expertise. When it comes to customer dissatisfaction, it is again the adviser who must face the customer when the latter realizes that the multi-channel purchase process lacks flexibility and fluidity. Similarly, filling an online contract is not always enough to ensure its approval: the bank sometimes requires its customer to come to the branch for such approvals, either because electronic signature feature is unavailable or because regulations require a paper signature. If poorly designed, the multi-channel approach eventually leads to dissatisfying and frustrating the advisers. They complain when actual workload, arising from targets, exceeds theoretical workload calculated at agreement conclusions with social partners.

And the arrival of ‘digital natives’, the new generation more at ease with digital tools, further adds to this discomfort. This new generation makes the digital divide more prominent with the senior associates. In 2020, 60% of employees will come from Generation Y and 4 to 5 generations of employees will coexist together. In addition, these ‘digital native’ advisers, quick to communicate on a multitude of channels, increase the risk of spreading false information and complicate the e-reputation management of the bank that employs them.

To avoid these hurdles, banks have a direct interest in reshaping the bank adviser’s profession.

Wish to learn more on this topic? « Step 4: customer satisfaction = professional growth of advisers » coming next on September 22!


Jean Bouvier   Jean


Digital, Retail and SFS

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