How FIs Can Increase CX, Loyalty AND Revenue Without Decreasing Service And Increasing Qualification Criteria

Less than 5 years ago, when you qualified for frequent flyer status with an airline it meant a lot of perks and comfort was coming your way. Typically, the perks would revolve around priority baggage, lounge access, priority boarding and a number of other feel good services that attracted passengers to remain loyal to programs and fly as frequently as possible to maintain the status.


In recent years, major airline carriers like American Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Air Canada to name a few, have made qualifying for status more difficult and loyalists rightfully so aren’t pleased. Why would an airline make it more difficult to qualify for status? There are simply too many passengers who qualify, which actually creates a difficult environment to service this segment. The resources allotted to this segment haven’t grown but the number of qualified passengers has and this results in service related issues and complaints from ‘entitled’ customers. The airlines’ solution to their problem is to change criteria and make it more difficult for passengers to qualify and ease the service burden on resources.

What does this have to do with financial services and technology? There will and there are service related problems within the banking sector as the mass affluent (USD 500K – USD 2M) segment is the fastest growing demographic, globally. This means that more and more consumers are qualifying for ‘premium’ banking status. Premium banking is considered to be a relationship level below private banking.

Recently, I had a coffee with an ex-consultant and discussing perks that banks offer to premium level clients to attract the relationship and AuM through the door. The ex-consultant was sharing his story about moving his account to the new bank for the promotional interest rate and admittedly the relationship was a lateral move. He transferred from one premium banking relationship to another; received a higher ‘teaser’ rate for 90-days, then, the experience was on par with his previous bank; never heard from them, again.

As the global population yields more mass affluent consumers, they will inherently qualify for premium banking relationships and it will become increasingly difficult for banks to service this group. The airlines could not service the burgeoning frequent flyer segment so they simply decided to change the qualifying criteria. By doing so the airlines upset a lot of loyal customers.

Banks can amend criteria for premium banking relationships and make qualification more arduous and this will upset customers, as well. Would this solve the problem? Hardly. Nothing worse than telling a customer that their million dollars just isn’t good enough anymore. The customers would be moved into another category and receive even less service. Then, the argument about automated banking and robo-investing starts to surface, again. The problem within the industry is service, perception and how to address it.

The banking and financial advisory process takes too long and offers little value to clients and results in infrequent communication and a product push. Infrequent communication and product pushing is the worst scenario for a bank to be perceived by its customers. Banks and advisors who service the premium level relationships are commoditized on price and do not have an efficient tool that builds the client’s perception of value.

How does a bank address its service issues? Through technology and real change management. With a proven WealthTech solution, an advisor with a growing client list will be able to review, communicate, manage and prescribe tailored investment solutions that will raise the client experience and brand awareness for the bank. Oh and I forgot to mention, the WealthTech solution will also significantly increase revenue.

Jovin Shen

Head of Sales & Marketing

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