"Bank & Zukunft" – Mega trends and lighthouse projects
The financial crisis, with its repercussions still noticeable today, as well as the resulting economic conditions and mega trends (such as demographic change, technological progress and increasing interconnectivity; to mention but a few), present banks with mounting challenges. In order to pursue their aim to position themselves vis-à-vis current competitors or new entrants into the market of financial services banks must use more flexible mechanisms with more immediate impact to secure their own business.
The trend analysis conducted now already for the seventh time in the framework of the innovation forum, "Bank & Zukunft" (Banks and the Future) deals with issues surrounding the major challenges, market developments and planned strategic measures in the field of marketing and sales, organisation and use of technology. More than 320 managers from diverse financial institutions, such as cooperative banks, commercial and private banks, savings banks and specialised financial institutions were prepared to address the issues.
The significance of general trends for the future strategic orientation of banks is uncontested. At the same time, several and very diverse trends with their mutual impacts are taken into consideration for the formulation of business strategies. Demographic change is considered to be the most significant factor. The change in age structure makes it necessary to develop new ways and models to provide services to customers in earlier and later stages of their lives. Technological progress is ranked second in the assessment, and closely linked to it are further trends such interconnectivity and mobility. The communication and information possibilities are diverse and adapted to customer needs. Opinions, experience reports and decision criteria are often surveyed via the internet in discussion fora or communities. Financial institutions that refuse to make use of the new technologies and media to reorganise bank-customer-interaction, e.g. "social media", will be bypassed in the dialogue.
Trend developments from the health and education sector or a change of values are often directly related to trends such as "New Work" or "Cross Innovations" as well as the technological change already referred to. In these instances the challenge is to find a future-oriented strategy that includes these trends depending on the type of bank.
"Time for impulses – customer added value through tailor-made service and process innovations"
The competition in the banking sector is as tense as ever: in addition to the on-going cost pressure, other sectors enter the business field of banks - enough reason for the urgent need for action!
Another reason: customers change their behaviour to meet their needs. Hence listening to one’s customers, observing them and addressing their concerns individually are of crucial significance. The present trend analysis confirms that banks increasingly want to focus on expanding customer relations and customer relation management.
Success factors in customer management
- Trust is a key success factor in the banking
- Quality and individuality in the consultation
- Changed forms of communication and expectations with respect to attainability and availability
- Establish customer-focused banking as a new model
Upon being asked about lighthouse project, nearly 80 % of all persons asked mentioned intensifying customer management. At the same time this focus on customers must become an actual reality by means of suitable, tailor-made solutions, products and services as well as interactive customer-bank processes to secure corporate success in the long term. Today’s customer and future customers will respond more than ever sensitively to empty promises, and customers' loyalty to "their" bank, once highly acclaimed feature, is nowadays an achievement that banks must every day anew.