In addition to misspent budgets and operational waste, lacking customer closeness comes with opportunity costs for financial-services companies. When financial firms are unable to identify and approach customers who may be at a crossroads that requires them to make investment and financial decisions, they may even lose more than a one-time opportunity to provide valuable services and grow their business. Customers’ connections to financial services companies may erode until they are ready to consider the competition. Most clients do not change their financial-services providers lightly or frequently, and it may be challenging to regain their loyalty and trust once they are at that point.
When multiple applications provide data and management capabilities inconsistently across a company, various groups may experience differing degrees of awareness when it comes to customers, marketing, or business development. As happens in some financial-services firms, a call-center team or a sales organization may be fully informed regarding customers’ histories, use of financial solutions, upcoming decisions, and known preferences. However, without the right tools it may be more difficult for them to assess market and industry trends and relate them to with customers’ interests.
Other business groups—executives, for instance—may entirely lack first-hand customer insight, but have a good sense of the company’s performance toward its goals, or its overall return on marketing spending. The disjointed systems used in many firms make it almost impossible for individuals on different teams to exchange information and align their approach to serving clients without spending time on redundant data entry or navigating specialty applications with poor usability.