Guest blogger César Rainusso breaks down how retail banks can implement a successful, real-time pricing strategy from back office to front line and across customer channels.
Squash players know that when up against a strong competitor, a great serve is their greatest strategic advantage. The serve is the player’s moment to evaluate the competitor and engage mind, muscle and materials to set the tone for the rally, making incremental progress toward winning the next point and, ultimately, the match.
Just as a rushed serve can thwart a player’s chances of winning at squash, a rushed implementation of new technology capabilities can thwart a financial institution’s chances of winning in the digital economy.
A sense of urgency is understandable. Customer expectations are changing fast in response to new digital capabilities now commonplace in most B2C industries. However, retail banks would do well to recognize that strategic change management executed thoughtfully across the organization is key to increasing the pace and maximizing the profitable outcomes of omnichannel digital transformation.
Nowhere is this more true than in transformation of bank pricing infrastructure and capabilities. Price remains a top influencer of consumer behavior and a crucial growth lever for banks. In a digital world, a bank is only a swipe away from its nearest competitor, so price-sensitive customers need to see relevant offers presented to them in a consistent way across physical and digital banking channels.
That level of pricing maturity can only be achieved by aligning the bank’s technology and teams—from back office to front line.
Successful change management doesn’t have to be overwhelming. There are six core components to pricing change management that can help a bank succeed.
- Stakeholder engagement: Engage early and often with those impacted by a new pricing strategy, and line up executive sponsorship to instill ownership and lead by example.
- Business process and role design: Highlight skill gaps and plan for migration.
- Training: Develop negotiation behavior training.
- Change readiness and deployment support: Assess adoption, usage and performance rates early and often, and make adjustments as needed.
- Organization design: Create a culture and roles that embrace enterprise-wide pricing strategy, activities, processes and tools.
- Communications plan: Build transparency and trust about the pricing journey and its significance.
These change management objectives are too often overlooked or foregone by banks implementing new pricing technologies, because the technology infrastructure is tangible and more easily recognized as a priority.
While culture change, organizational buy-in, and training efficacy may seem less tangible, they are just as significant in the success of an omnichannel pricing strategy. Without getting all organizational components to work toward the goal, digital pricing tools cannot reach their full potential and customers will be lost to new market entrants with data-driven business models.
Like a skilled squash player, a bank that gathers all its strengths, skills and resources can not only win against its toughest competitors—it can wow the onlookers too.
Join César and other industry leaders in San Francisco from May 14–16 for the Banking Growth Forum 2019 to talk more about change and governance in bank pricing.