Interview With an Expert: Defining Banks’ Push and Pull Strategy

September 6, 2018 Cam Smith

More than ever, banks are realizing that they can only be profitable so long as they have a satisfied, loyal customer base. This means offering competitive rates and fees, ensuring high-quality products, and responding rapidly to changing market conditions.

We talked to our internal expert, Meenaz Sunderji, Vice President Partner Growth & Sales, about how banks are using a “push-pull” strategy to elevate customer experience.


Cam: When you speak with banks, what challenges are you hearing related to customer experience?

Meenaz: So today, there’s a huge emphasis on the digital rush and everybody wants to become digital or digitized and the challenge that they’re facing today is that a lot of money and time is being spent on process efficiencies on the digital side, onboarding, origination, sales, servicing, etc.

However, what’s missing in that whole process is enrichment. So, how are you impacting the customer? Are you making the right decisions in that process? Are you recommending the right products and services? Or, are you understanding your customers’ needs to better serve them through that process, not just getting through the process faster. I think that’s sort of a challenge and an opportunity that financial institutions globally face today.

What exactly is a push-pull strategy and how does it impact customer experience?

Most banks typically have a push strategy which means that they feel they know what the customer wants and they start pushing products and services to those customers. What lacks in that process is two things. One is that most banks don’t have a pull strategy. What I mean by pull is they don’t go ask the customers what they need or understand their needs at a point in time of their life to make an informed decision of what to recommend or what to suggest and how to service them based on those needs at that point in time. That’s what I refer to as a pull strategy.

The other issue with the push strategy is that there is a lack of analysis of data that is available to financial institutions, and that’s why AI is such a big piece or machine learning and in other areas where you can use that data to improve your push strategy, so when you’re recommending something, it’s based on better understanding of your customers over a period of time, or their behaviors, so that push strategy becomes more effective. However, that being said, you should not only have a push strategy, in my opinion, you should have both a pull and a balance push strategy.

So say a bank adopts a proper push or pull strategy or a balance of both. How do you think the end user will benefit with these changes?

Well one, I think the end users will start now realizing that banks are just not a commodity, They actually could become part of their lives, right. When I say “part of their lives” it means they could actually be the conduit or the forum to address lifestyle needs of a customer.

So, most banking customers have lifestyle needs, so you open a mortgage, or you buy a mortgage, it’s when you want to buy a home. Or you start searching for a mortgage when you’re looking to buy a home as an example, right, and in that particular search, if banks can have recommendations of various services, theirs in terms of financial services, and nonfinancial services, as part of that push and pull strategy, then you’re completing that need for a customer better, rather than just being siloed in nature and not multifaceted.

What do you think are some steps or something that the banks can take today to create that better customer experience and adopt that push, pull?

I think that many years ago, Omni Channel was a huge topic, now digital is a huge topic, and the challenges that Omni Channel faced 10 years ago or so, the same challenges digital face currently. There is inconsistency of data, experience, and decisioning in the banks. Digitization is their focus. It’s one of their number one priorities when they have discretionary spend all, and I think what’s missing in that entire process is that digitization today is primarily focused around efficiencies of the processes, so how fast can you onboard a customer, sell something to a customer, you know. How fast can you get through that process, and how can you reduce the time, right?

And I think what’s missing in that entire process is the enrichment of the customer experience, the journey of the customer, where the focus should not necessarily be on how fast you can get through a process, but it should ensure that the process is effective and efficient in addressing the customer’s needs.

Want to learn about how Zafin can help you bank leverage an effective push-pull strategy and make your customer experience so much better? Get in touch with us today!

About Zafin

Zafin (@zafin) is a leading financial technology provider that enables banks to form richer, more personalized client relationships. Built from the ground up for financial services, its platform empowers banks to enhance revenue and operational efficiency. Founded in 2002, Zafin sits among North America’s top FinTech companies, and is trusted by retail and corporate units at some of the largest banks worldwide. Headquartered in Toronto with global offices, Zafin has a proven track record with a 100 percent client retention rate as validation.

Cam Smith

Cam is the Digital Communications and Marketing Coordinator at Zafin. With a background in journalism and a passion for blogging, Cam strives to tell compelling digital stories. At Zafin he will share the latest trends and news in the FinTech world, and share the Zafin role as leader in the industry. Follow him on Twitter @CamSmoth

The post Interview With an Expert: Defining Banks’ Push and Pull Strategy appeared first on Zafin.

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