This article was originally published in the Autumn 2018 issue of The Record.
Technology use is rising, workplace structures are changing, and consumers are increasingly demanding to be served when and where it is most convenient for them. Hence, many industries are at a crossroads, having to modify existing operating models to keep up with these developments.
A growing number of companies are focusing on providing field services. For example, automotive manufacturer Hyundai’s Shopper Assurance programme enables customers to book a test drive online and wait for a sales associate to bring them the car, rather than going into the dealership. Cloud-based field service management empowers the sales associate with fast, real-time access to the same data and technology they would have in the dealership, allowing them to serve customers on their terms. Hyundai isn’t the only one – a report published by Research and Markets predicts the global field service management market will hit US$5 billion by 2023.
Banks are also going directly to wherever their customers are at an increasing rate. Sales associates are meeting with customers at their chosen locations to discuss finances and help them to open new accounts. The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, headquartered in Toronto, Canada has successfully implemented a new sales approach, moving from a branch-based sales model to a direct client engagement model. This sales model employs so-called ‘sales hunters’ – mobile sales associates who meet customers at their preferred time and location. This new sales approach has shown very promising results through more engaged customer interactions and increased revenue leveraging field service management.
It’s clear that in today’s ‘Age of the Customer’, consumers are in full control of their purchasing power and they expect companies to come directly to them. However, many banks find it challenging to implement efficient and effective field service management and equip their workforce with mobile devices that allow them to easily access necessary internal bank systems remotely. Higher expectations for convenience and accessibility, combined with a continued focus on IT consumerisation and commoditised banking services, imply that financial institutions must embrace a service-oriented model that is supported by the right technology.
The bottom line is that banks must focus relentlessly on their customers’ needs and formulate their operational approach accordingly. To succeed, banks need a partner with expertise to help develop a strategic roadmap that incorporates the right technology and reengineering of traditional back-end processes.
Lori Murray is global product leader for Banking, Capital Markets and Microsoft Business Applications at DXC Technology
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