KBC's secret to fostering long-term relationships with customers

Ahead of her presentation at Efma’s upcoming CCX Forum in London, Karin Van Hoecke, general manager of Mass Retail Customers at KBC Bank, outlines what she considers to be the biggest threats to the retail financial services industry today and offers some advice on how to foster long-term relationships with customers.

KBC's secret to fostering long-term relationships with customers

What are the biggest challenges facing your organization today when it comes to the customer experience?

These are challenging times for retail bank-insurers. The biggest issue is creating a real omnichannel model with the right focus on digital, but without losing the customer relationship.

At KBC bank, customers can choose their ideal way of interacting with us and we assure them that they always get the highest level of excellent advice and services, whichever channel they choose. We use innovation to attract the early adopters, but also to get the mass involved. We are looking for the opportunities of open banking, while keeping an eye on the threats. We’re also partnering up with the right parties, so we can provide relevant, personalized services that have added value for our customers, all in a scalable way.

How does KBC create a unique user experience for its customers?

Customer2020, a strategic program we started three years ago, was recently transformed into C25. The ‘C’ stands for a number of things, but mainly ‘customer’ and ‘customer experience’. Customer experience is in our DNA. All our processes, products and services are designed with an excellent customer journey in mind.

In order to go even further, we have decided to focus on three things:

• Be Instant: instant for all plain vanilla solutions and faster than the market for advisory and relationship solutions.

• Be all-in-one: connecting internal and external processes. For internal processes this means customer solution seamlessly integrate with all relevant cross-domain products and expertise. For external processes it means being present in the customer journey with a complete solution where and when the customer need arises.

• Be more personal and proactive: we must deepen our capability to leverage big data and AI to augment our solutions and people.

This strategic vision is backed by a culture change: We create room for new ideas and enhance working together in multidisciplinary teams. We also support co-creation with external partners or customers.

What is the secret to fostering long-term relationships?

To be personal and proactive. To know your customer and acknowledge them. We really know our customers and let them know that. We aim for personalized communication in a channel of the customers’ choice. We celebrate with them and are there for them in challenging times. We make sure our basics are great and top that off with excellent, personalized advice.

Tell us about your move to incorporate non-banking services into your mobile banking app. What do you hope to achieve with this?

There’s more in life than banking and insurance. We know that. Our customers know that. And yet, money is an important part of all of our lives. A lot of our customers log on to KBC Mobile on a daily basis, just to check their bank account balance. So, we figured that customers already know the way to our app. They know and like the way it is built, the way it works. So why not offer them the opportunity to use our excellent app for other aspects of their lives. That is being all-in-one.

By searching for relevant partners that offer services which our customers can rely to, services our customers want to use or need to use on a frequent basis, we aim to stay top of mind.

What will be the key focus of your presentation at the upcoming CCX Forum?

It’s really all about the three bs that I outlined earlier: be instant; be all-in-one; and be personal and proactive.

Karin Van Hoecke will speak at the CCX Forum: Channels and Customer Experience. Save your place at the event and join her and many other top level speakers!

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Omnichannel/Multichannel Customer experience Digital/Mobile channels


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