Feb. 25, 2003 — “The sky is falling” call of the mid-nineties predicted the death of the financial services intermediary at the hands of the Internet. How the tables have turned. Customers seek advice for items which, to them, present some degree of uncertainty. By their very nature, financial services products, especially insurance and investment products, are abstract in their potential fulfillment.
Thus the tables have turned. Customers and prospects are seeking advice like never before. The financial boom of the nineties has bust. Discretionary funds are scarce, or at least treated as such. Political, business, financial and international affairs are fraught with uncertainty. No wonder then that good advice from those I know, or are at least close by, is being sought.
Understanding customers and prospects can be invaluable. Getting to know them, and then leveraging that knowledge in an intermediated relationship, is no mean feat.
This then forms the starting point for this research from Kimberly Collins, GartnerG2. The “executive summary”.
15 January 2003
Financial services providers that rely on intermediaries to sell and deliver service have unique CRM challenges.
Part of the answer lies in sharing more complete and accurate information with a trusted network of partners and customers.
- Customer relationship management has been inhibited by disagreements over control of relationships and data ownership.
- CRM success requires cooperation from the entire distribution network, supported by a variety of enabling technologies.
- Increasingly, independent intermediaries will be the prime sales and servicing agents for insurance and investment products.
- Independent intermediaries’ loyalty will go to organizations that offer the greatest resources.
- Technology standards for improved information exchange between provider and intermediary desktop systems are two years out.
- Providers: Treat intermediaries as partners and set information sharing requirements for each type of partner.
- Evaluate regulatory requirements and develop a strategy to maximize collaboration/information sharing and compliance.
- Provide incentives for information sharing.
- Related Research from GartnerG2
- Gartner Core Research