A New Relational Model

The relational model for Individual customers must be renewed, because the fundamental customer-advisor relationship has weakened. The customer goes to the branch less frequently, sometimes by-passing it altogether, in favour of online channels. There are fewer advisors available, and their high turnover prevents the creation of the relationship the client would like.

For professionals and smaller companies, the strong connection with Business Advisors remains but the new generation of professionals is both less dependent on cash and checks, and therefore on the branch, and more comfortable with a more distant relationship with their bank. The relationship model must therefore evolve in response to these factors, and in order to cope with the arrival of online banking for professionals.

For the individual, there are many relationship models to choose from, depending on whether the customer prioritises human contact, expertise or response time. These models must be consistent with the bank’s purpose and culture. They also need to be tested.

Hybrid levers for the creation of a winning relational model include a cultural assessment to show the appropriate relationship model for the bank concerned (prioritising people vs expertise for example); field model experiments involving employees and customers (beta testers); and the use of data (voice analysis, verbatim comments) to detect levels of customer satisfaction.

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