Do You Really Know Your Customers?

Felix Thomson

Content Executive

The Financial Services Forum

Roger Donbavand highlights new research which shows the need to reassess the old life stage models to target accurately new consumer groups. He argues that consumer insight is an essential ingredient in building a ‘customer-centric’ organisation.
We all know the importance of getting up close to our customers, knowing what their wants and requirements are and providing products and services that meet those needs. But how many organisations can truly claim to be totally consumer focused?
A good place to start is to define what is meant by ‘customer-centric.’ Customer-centric modelling relates to the development of corporate, marketing and sales strategies that clearly identify whom the organisation’s real customers are, what these customers’ priorities are and what the organisation must do to meet those needs – not just for the present but continuously. This latter point is very important. To quote Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, “you can’t just keep doing what works one time. Everything around you is always changing. To succeed, stay out in front of that change.”
As a leading financial services research consultancy, Business Development Research Consultants recently released a report titled Financial Pathfinder* that addressed a number of key issues facing financial services providers. In particular, the report looked not only at what changes were taking place and had already taken place, but also at where organisations were falling down by not clearly identifying and addressing these changes to meet the needs of their customers.
The finance industry is more adversely affected by subtle changes in the market than most industries. To enable organisations to develop more effective customer-focused strategies, it is worth looking at some of the findings of the Pathfinder Report, in particular life stage modelling, and subsequent research we undertook in the savings and investments markets.
To read the full article, please download the PDF above. 

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