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Date: 13.06.2018

Title: Millennial Workshop Cycle

Teaser: Build Your Future Client Base Now!

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Millennial Workshop Cycle

Build Your Future Client Base Now! Despite the much-ballyhooed improvements in customer experience, the primary aim of digitalization projects at many banks is efficiency gains. This hasn’t escaped the notice of clients, who are increasingly demanding real customer-centricity.

Author: André Höhn

Customer Experience Instead of Efficiency Improvements

Ten years after the global financial crisis, the banks are still suffering from low interest rates, slim margins, and high regulatory costs. So, it’s vital for them to reduce their operating costs permanently. With this in mind, it’s understandable that most digitalization projects at banks are designed to achieve efficiency gains.

But with the post-crisis winds appearing to calm, it’s time to put the client back at the center of attention and stop claiming that shifting internal processes to clients constitutes a great improvement in customer experience. The reduction in service quality has been noticed. In our interviews with banking clients, they often express their disappointment about this trend. Affluent clients of Generation X and older seem to feel the difference the most.

For a long time, clients were fairly loyal to their bank. They considered the effort of changing banks to be too great in light of the alternatives the market offered. Even so, banks shouldn’t misjudge the readiness of their clients to switch to another financial service provider. Millennials in particular are experienced e-consumers who almost instinctively find new suitable offerings online. They might not be able to make comparisons with the “good old days,” but they’re far less willing to compromise on service quality than previous generations.

Secure Your Future Income Now

Now is the time to make a difference and attract the clients you will be earning your money with in the future. The thing that strikes you most when you look at the winners in other industries is their uncompromising pursuit of the best customer experience.

Of course, we shouldn’t be comparing banks with apparel companies, video stores, or mobile phone producers. But that’s precisely what young customers in the Generations Y and Z are doing. They compare regardless of industry borders. If they appreciate a new service, it generally raises their expectations. This means that new and differentiating offerings soon become hygiene factors. Companies not delivering them lose customers.

Millennials are not spoiled as some people allege. They simply never had to deal with the obstacles and limitations of the pre-digital era. To them it’s inconceivable to have to wait for a store to open, fit in with a cumbersome purchase process, and then wait for the postman to deliver an offer. Given that there’s no turning back the clock, expectations will continue to rise at the same pace as digitalization provides new options.

Ideas Made Feasible with the Millennial Workshop Cycle

Let’s look at this behavior from another angle, and consider it to be true thinking outside the box rather than bad manners. Translating approaches from one industry to another is a proven way to innovate the status quo. However, that alone does not guarantee success. There’s the risk that for all your enthusiasm you’ll get lost in the forest of ideas. In the worst case you’ll end up pushing eagerly in one direction without economic return for years.

This situation motivated us to develop the Millennial Workshop Cycle, a setting that enables us to foster the Millennial generation’s unfettered way of thinking while combining it with business methodology to ensure feasibility. In a phased approach, client-winning marketing, services, or products are elaborated in three consecutive steps. Since we believe that a company’s success relies on its ongoing striving for innovation, we designed the Millennial Workshop Cycle for iterative use. But depending on the specific objectives it also works as a straight one-time procedure.

Recently we used the Millennial Workshop Cycle with a regional Swiss bank. It resulted in the introduction of a new offering, changes to the setup of the sales organization, and a new approach to marketing. Not only did the bank substantially improve its presence in the target group and receive a lot of positive feedback, but it was able to acquire significantly more new customers than before.

If you want to find out how this bank succeeded in winning new customers by applying the Millennial Workshop Cycle, check out the case study: Successful Digital Transformation in Practice



André Höhn

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