Tag Archives: Customization

What means Customer Experience anno 2014?

…From history to the drivers for change in this year…

For this blog I had the honor to interview B. Joseph Pine II. Author of several best-selling management books around Customization and Experience, speaker at TEDx conferences and contributor to several research papers for the Harvard Business Review. During my last blog I discussed customization of banking services and referred to his thinking already. This blog therefore is an interesting follow-up on that.

I used the inputs from this interview across my blog and want to thank Joe Pine for his contributions at the beginning of my blog.


Banking in the past was perceived as something for very smart guys and customers missed the understanding of it. They really needed their bank and its advisors to manage their cash. Today the world looks different. The (product) information is freely available and written in a more understandable way. Customers are looking more at how and when they do their banking. The customers know what is possible and expect it to be delivered in a simple and seamless way. Banks seem to understand that they need not only their customers’ money but the customers in person too!

Although this change is widely accepted and we regularly stepping over to it quickly in our publications, it is interesting to understand how this evolvement took place so quickly. With 2008’s financial crisis and the Smartphone development we have the 2 key components together.

Trust in banks went to an all time low during and after the financial crisis with customers that wanted to be much closer involved in management of their financials. Although we experience a strong increase in customers trust towards banks again, customers will never ever let them act stand alone anymore. They will always be more closely involved than pre-2008 levels.

This is partly due to the fact that they can easily connect with their bank online or by mobile. The ease and speed of those channels make the barriers almost disappearing to do so. What does this mean for customer experience anno 2014?

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Why real Customization should be a customer’s pull instead of a banks push…

…Joseph Pine II knew it 22 years ago!

These days we are experiencing an increased focus of banks to communicate what they call their customized approach towards their customers. Banks are using the term customization most of the times to refer to their ‘tailored approach’. But after reading an article (non-financial services related) I started thinking about what customization really means.

Note: If you are not interested in definitions please scroll down to the part on ‘The customers are deciding for themselves’,  but in my opinion the definitions are important in the broader discussion of my blog.

To ensure I was not misleading myself I had a look at the Oxford Dictionary which describes customization as: ‘To modify (something) to suit a particular individual or task.’

This sounds quite straight forward, but makes no distinction on who is modifying something (what is actually spot-on, but I get to that point later).


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