Reflecting on BAI Retail Delivery 2015
Last week, I traveled to Las Vegas for the annual BAI Retail Delivery conference, and spoke with numerous retail banking executives during breakout sessions as well as in the expo hall.
The keynote session by ABC’s Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran and Robert Herjavec kicked off the conference, sharing their life lessons that could also be applied to today’s retail banking world:
- “When you’re there in person, you’ve got to make it count.” (With so many digital interactions, when the customer is in front of you in the branch or live on the phone, you need to make a personal connection.)
- “It’s not my responsibility to listen; it’s your responsibility to make me hear.” (Your message needs to be relevant—and could change—for each audience.)
- “All of business depends on the skills and smarts of individual people.”
- “Regulation is a fact. Stop complaining about it. Embrace it and figure out how you can innovate in today’s environment and engage your customers.” (Stop whining and making excuses.)
The Banking Transformation and Channel Optimization tracks were especially popular based on attendance for each session. Indications are that many senior banking executives believe that banking transformation is critical—and that although customers don’t think in channels, this continues to be a stumbling block for banks.
Historically banks have been organized into separate and distinct functions supporting each channel in a silo, with firmly defined areas of responsibility, budgets and performance goals, and even their own data on customer interactions. This needs to change. Banks need to evolve their organizational structures and their business models in order to effectively support customer engagement.
I was very pleased to co-present with Wendy Kumm, senior vice president, Associated Bank (photo below), “Leveraging the Contact Center – Taking Advantage of All it has to Offer.” Wendy shared how they were using technology in innovative ways in both their inbound and outbound contact center teams to evolve their operations to respond to the more complex calls from customers while delivering a high quality customer experience and helping drive revenue.
We also discussed the importance of changing customer expectations, and balancing personalization with security in the context of recent large data breaches, as highlighted in a recent Verint Ovum survey.
Verint’s Chris Zaske, global vice president, also participated in two panels, “Leveraging Innovative Technology to Transform the Branch,” and “Driving Revenue Growth through Customer Engagement.” Both continue to be hot topics for discussion as financial institutions evaluate their branch networks and growth strategies in an environment with low interest rates and margins—as well as ongoing pressures to reduce expenses.
Another strong area of interest included solutions to help banks reduce fraud while securely and conveniently authenticating their customers. Many BAI attendees stopped by the Verint booth to learn how we might help them.
Overall many opportunities await retail banks today. From the conversations during the conference, I expect that the financial institutions that embrace change and work to evolve their organizations and processes in response to customer expectations will continue to grow and succeed.