Magazine article American Banker

A Bad Channel Strategy Creates a Bad Mood

Magazine article American Banker

A Bad Channel Strategy Creates a Bad Mood

Article excerpt

Byline: John Adams

CHICAGO - The Occupy Wall Street protests may be far from the BAI conference here, but for bankers, the public dissatisfaction evident in those protests was front of mind.

During a panel discussion Tuesday on achieving cross-channel success during economic turbulence, James Van Dyke, founder of Javelin Strategy and Research, said banks could be a positive force in a variety of ways in how they reach out to anxious consumers. "The point is there is an opportunity to look for a shared win with the customer," he said. "There are a lot of unmet needs."

One such strategy is to use strong analytics to properly match consumer needs for financial services with the proper channel or mix of channels to improve overall experience and satisfaction, he said.

Van Dyke did not take a position on the protests or place blame for the unrest. He was joined on the panel by Ashley Ross, senior vice president of integrated channels at Bank of America Corp.; Tom McDermott, senior vice president of cross-channel strategy for SunTrust Banks Inc.; and Jennifer Wilson, senior vice president of Internet channel strategy for BBVA Compass Bank.

While none of the bank execs addressed the protests, the panelists discussed the perils of channel migration for channel migration's sake. Moving consumers to lower-costs channels, simply because those channels cost less, would make a bad impression, they said. "Forcing customers into certain service channels because of profitability will result in unintended consequences," Wilson said. "You have to find a way to give people a reason to go to a channel. …

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