Conference and Forum,

October 18, 2012

Willbrook Platinum Convention Center,
Bucharest, Romania

How can bankers build long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationships with customers?

We have great news for marketers working in banks. Our most recently confirmed speaker is a “Banks Transformation” Pro, whose almost entire career has been associated with banking in developing countries.

Michael Ruckman, Founder, President and CEO of Senteo is known for his experience in more than 30 countries around the world and his focus on assisting banks in transformation process, from internal processes such as operations, management model, staff development, cost optimization, risk management to a more innovative process, that involves developing the relationship-centricity for a bank.

We asked Michael what is the unique methodology that he offers to the banks, and this is his answer:

“We have developed a unique methodology, which is designed to help banks improve the relationship with their customers.  A bank customer does not dream about a car loan, he dreams of a new car. He does not need a credit card, he seeks the freedom to shop when he wants. At the first evolutionary stage the main objective is to create a reason why a customer would want to purchase a banking product. At the next stage the objective is to remove the reasons why a customer may want to leave. And, finally, at the last stage the objective is to establish a reason or reasons why that customer would want to stay with the bank and even become less sensitive to price because the value of the relationship outweighs the costs.

What we are trying to achieve, through improved customer relationships, is to encourage customers to consolidate their entire financial “life” in one bank. This would represent a huge advantage to any bank. For example, a bank could get to know its customers much better, it could significantly lower risks and customer service costs, etc.

For that, innovation in products and channels is not enough. If you look at emerging markets, ten years ago it was easy to be the first with a new credit card with a grace period. In 2005, when we launched mobile banking at Alfa-Bank, it was something amazing, wow! Even in Europe and the United States people were surprised when I demonstrated how someone can make a transaction using a mobile phone. In the first phase of market development such technological innovations generate a real advantage, but as soon as the rest of the market develops, everyone starts to copy your solutions.

But innovation on an emotional level is a completely different type of innovation. Still, no bank product can cause as much consumer enthusiasm, as an iPod or a Harley. I have never seen anyone anxiously waiting for his bank to launch a car loan, or lining up outside at 6:30 in the morning just to have a chance to apply for that new mortgage. Banking products are boring; they are uninteresting. They do not stimulate desire. What people really want is end goal that the banking products can help achieve. Bank is a just an instrument to get to the desired goal. Banks must accept that.

We must stop selling bank products. Instead, we need to sell solutions that help people to achieve certain results.”

Here is a short preview of Michael Ruckman’s presentation at Leaders in Marketing conference and forum on October 18, Bucharest. Meet Senteo’s CEO to learn about the relationship- centric bank  and how bankers can build long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationships with customers.


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