Monthly Archives: May 2009

Identifying and measuring the value of customer-centricity

Customer-centricityWhat makes a customer loyal? This high-stakes question resonates from the boardroom to the call center. Finding the right answer is more difficult—and important—than ever. Keeping customers satisfied, without unnecessarily driving up sales or services costs, is a direct path to profitable growth, especially in the face of a challenging economic environment.

“In 2009, (Forrester expects) enterprises to turn their attention from an emphasis on customer acquisition to customer retention. In a recent CustomerThink survey of more than 350 CRM professionals, ‘improving customer loyalty’ was rated as a ‘top five’ business priority by 57 percent of respondents. This was second only to ‘improving the customer experience,’ picked by 62 percent. During an economic recession, sustaining revenue growth—or forestalling revenue erosion—becomes even more critical. Customer management improvement initiatives, supported by advanced business technologies, will continue to be critical to achieving this goal.”1

Industry-leading organizations make customers’ priorities their priorities. When managing performance, they continually measure, monitor and improve what matters most to customers. As companies align their value proposition to meet customer needs, they must periodically evaluate their strategies and processes to present customers with a consistently exceptional experience.

An enterprise that embraces customer-centricity defines its processes around its customer requirements at key interaction points. In essence, the company views itself as a portfolio of customers, rather than as discrete groups of products, services, territories and/or functions. This change in orientation allows companies to effect change necessary for their business processes, organizational structures and corporate cultures so that they can achieve the benefits of customer-centricity.

So, is your company customer-centric? Tell us what makes your customer loyal. If you would like to learn more about customer loyalty, read BearingPoint’s customer loyalty white paper.

1 Forrester, Trends 2009: Customer Relationship Management, Dec. 11, 2008

How the wealth management industry is in position to benefit from today’s economic climate

There is no shortage of issues confronting the wealth management industry in 2009 as clients react to the historic economic events of the past year. These events have removed any lingering doubts that what began as a subprime mortgage crisis has become a global financial crisis. This is leading to a fundamental restructuring of the global banking industry, with a significant effect on wealth management products, services and distribution. As it has done in the past, the industry will move forward, with an immediate focus on regaining the confidence of clients, shareholders, regulators and governments.

As the restructuring unfolds, the wealth management industry will emerge as an obvious beneficiary of a new economic order. The evidence is clear. Wealth management divisions of many global financial services companies have already been the recipients of reinvestment budgets and funding even as their parent companies face overall profitability challenges in the short term.

Wealth managers cannot ignore the immediate effect of what has occurred. As the dust continues to settle from the events of 2008 and 2009, some key consequences have emerged and firms’ strategic direction must now take them into account. First, both existing clients and prospects have suffered wealth erosion like they have never experienced before.

Second, skepticism of complex financial products has greatly reduced investor appetite for risk in their portfolios. Taken together, these two factors have created an atmosphere in which investors are much more reluctant to invest. However, this still is an area of growth.

Do you think the wealth management industry is poised to benefit from the economic crisis? To learn more about wealth management in 2009, download BearingPoint’s white paper.