These days you can often hear about businesses “transforming”. This can either mean they are “cutting costs” (and hiding behind something that sounds more palatable) or genuinely seeking to change their business model for the good of the customer as well as staff and shareholders.

Many “transformation” programmes are built around the introduction of new technology – banks in particular are active in this field. The cost of the IT changes are frequently huge – carefully planned with clear documentation on likely or proposed pay back periods in order to get the CFO onside with the spend!

Project teams are then established to deliver the introduction of this new technology which will “transform” performance. As the new equipment arrives and sparkles it can look great for staff and customers. Unfortunately too many organisations are happy to spend millions on technology and then penny pinch on training the people.

The introduction of expensive CRM programmes in retail banks is a good example of getting the balance wrong. The arguments at the outset were more cross sales and a better customer experience – ask customers if their experience of their bank has been “transformed” and any banker will be very disappointed with what they hear. Staff feel frustrated that they can’t give customers what they want despite the new technology.

The question is “Is the spend truly for the benefit of the customer – do customers feel that their bank is “on their side” .

Companies that are perceived as helping their customers with their needs/ problems/ requirement surprisingly are the leading brand


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