Chris Skinner

2014′s priorities for retail banks

By Chris Skinner

As the new financial year gets underway in the UK it seems like an appropriate time to take a look at some predictions for the world of retail banking. We asked Chris Skinner, what he thought would be the main priorities in 2014.

Customer focus is the top priority

Customer focus is always a priority in retail banking but, this year, it will become the focus. The reason being, that banks are highly aware of customer dissatisfaction, disillusion and dissidence. Sure, lack of trust in banks reached an all-time low in the last few years, but most banks sat and thought: so what? We make our money from corporate customers and investment banking, retail customers don’t matter. Even if they did, they never move to another bank unless we push them. That attitude will change in 2014 as account switching, competition, regulations and technology all come to a head. Banks will find that customer engagement and the user experience will be their key priorities, as they recognise that the customer is now a remote technology interaction, rather than a branch footfall. This will lead to a major investment in new business models and structures. [Read more...]

Aidan McGivern

How forecasting is helping retailers to avoid stormy surprises

By Aidan McGivern, Met Office

According to Sir Ranulph Fiennes, ‘there’s no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing.’ However, no amount of appropriate clothing could have prepared us for the bad weather this winter.

We’ve just experienced the windiest December on record throughout the UK and England and Wales have suffered the wettest January on record. An unusually powerful jet stream, hurtling across the Atlantic, has driven a relentless succession of depressions into the British Isles since the start of the winter. The timing of some of the worst storms — over the Christmas and January sales period — has created problems for retailers in particular as they’re so reliant on seasonal shopping. [Read more...]

Richard Oliver – Director of Marketing, IT Services, BT

Consumers have greater expectations — can you meet them?

By: Richard Oliver, Director of Marketing,  IT Services, BT

Patience is a virtue that consumers seem to be lacking these days. Perhaps it’s technology’s fault — every whim and desire can be fulfilled by a quick swipe or click. Want to know how many calories your business lunch contained? Just check your app. Need a new outfit for tomorrow’s industry event? Order it online by 2pm for next day delivery.

The rising popularity of smartphones allows us to get what we want in an instant — we just shop around online to get the information or goods that we need.

So how are retailers faring with the new online consumer? [Read more...]

cloud contact

Cloud contact has customer service covered

How do you keep the business running smoothly and provide the same levels of service when calls unexpectedly shoot up from 2,000 to 260,000 a day?

Let’s face it, customers rarely phone to congratulate you, so when they call they expect their query or problem to be sorted quickly and efficiently. I’m sure this isn’t a revelation. People have always had high expectations of customer service. But those expectations have skyrocketed in recent years and many businesses are struggling to keep up. [Read more...]

Jeremy Ridgway

The iPad transformation

By Jeremy Ridgway, Director of Keyfact

The impact of technology and self-service on UK branches has never been more visible than it is now.

Only a few years ago most banks’ investment in branch technology was limited to various types of ATMs, with a token nod by some towards telephone and internet banking units. Self-service was viewed as a cost-effective means of migrating footfall away from counters, and freeing up staff to better engage with – and sell to – customers face-to-face. [Read more...]