Week in Digital: meeting consumer needs
By Teamspirit on Monday, 8 December 2014
Recently, many of us in London have hopped into a cab by using Uber, the app that allows for incredibly low-cost cab journeys across the capital. However, how is it possible to improve service and lower costs without having an impact on quality?
At this time of year, people tend to look for a good deal on anything. From Christmas presents to a quick trip across London to see a friend before the holidays begin, London tends to grind to a halt for a few days. Service use is at its peak, and financial services (such as online banking) will have to keep up with customers seeing a heightened level of expenditure during the holiday season.
But financial services don't come cheap – and rightly so. "You get what you pay for" was a mantra of one IFA we spoke to, and people aiming to get cheap services will get exactly that, in both senses of the word. So how can financial services lower their prices without making compromises?
Adapting to and making use of new technology is often key to ensuring that FS companies can meet customers in the middle. By making use of mobile sites, text message verification and other recent additions to the FS customer tech suite, the prices may stay similar to what they are now, but the value of the service goes up, and to the customer it more deserving of their outgoings.
Making use of new technology is often key to ensuring that FS companies can meet customers in the middle. By making use of new technology, from two-step verification to contactless payments, services rise in value, and customers see those services as complete solutions, rather than a step towards one.
Convenience is also key. The twist of Uber cab journeys is that they are often used for trips that could easily be replaced by the Tube, or a bus. Because they are priced within an accessible margin to many customers and offer door-to-door convenience, they have become a viable alternative.
The same goes for other services. In our Love Finance newsletter last week, we discussed the ability of GP patients to attend appointments by using their webcam, removing many of the inconveniences of balancing medical appointments against a busy lifestyle.
There's no reason this can't happen for financial services - being able to converse with an IFA via the same webcam, adds value through convenience – key to Uber's success.
It's not just about being cheaper than the competition - it's about being there for customers in the best ways possible, and with a smartphone app that could bring a cab to any corner in London taking the city by storm, financial services could see the same benefits without making sacrifices.