What Banks Can Learn from the Retail Industry

Disruption is the new reality for every industry and the biggest challenge retailers of all stripes share is how to remain relevant with customers. Banks are not immune to these rapidly advancing changes and can learn a lot from retailers who live in a world of too many stores, a shift to online and mobile shopping, and rising operational costs. Sound familiar?

Our work within retail service industries, such as with telecommunications companies Cox CommunicationsCable and Wireless, Wireless Wave, and TBooth, has demonstrated that even in a commoditized and regulated industry, you can still stand out and grow. The same can be said for the apparel and foodservice industries, which have continued to respond to the shifting needs of value-driven customers who are looking to discover unique experiences and products. Gaining insights from other industries is pivotal for banks since customers come to their institutions with habits and expectations developed through experiences with those other industries. Understanding how to leverage these learned behaviors will help banks create better customer experiences that drive greater differentiation for their brands.

To provide insights on which learned behaviors provide the best benefits for banks, we have listed what we believe are the most critical learnings from retail industry clients, grouped around our ideal engagement model. This ideal omni-experience model was created through years of assisting major brand transformation programs for companies such as Dairy QueenCox CommunicationsOfficeMax, and Regions Bank. Our model groups these learned behaviors into three categories: process levers, defined by how both the customer and the staff engage with the brand in the virtual and real world; structure levers, outlining the built environment and all of its features, from size, location, number of products/services to overall personality; and finally message levers, the communication tools and content required to effectively engage and tell the right brand story. All three of these transformational levers play a critical role in brands capitalizing on increasingly important behavioral economics.

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