Accenture’s 2015 B2B Customer Experience Research revealed a number of interesting insights into client expectations in business-to-business situations. Three, in particular, stood out to me for the investment banking industry: 78 percent of respondents expect tailored solutions, 76 percent want a self-directed experience, and three-quarters are monitoring and evaluating their vendor’s performance.

In short, your clients want it all and they’re watching closely to make sure you deliver. The tricky part, of course, is that many investment banks are currently in the process of pruning their businesses. And as client expectations soar, the opportunities for differentiation are dwindling. It’s a challenging environment that requires careful navigation.

Why do organizations fail at customer experience transformation?

There are all sorts of reasons why companies fail—or don’t fully succeed—at customer experience transformation. Topping the list is too little time dedicated (48 percent), followed by underdeveloped processes or technology (46 percent), lack of C-suite attention (46 percent) and poor cross-company collaboration (46 percent).

Other common factors include an unclear return on investment, lack of back-office harmonization, poor customer data, lack of critical technology or tools, lack of funding, and lack of required skills.

What sets the masters apart?

Organizations that excel at customer experience transformation tend to follow six key principles to break through the barriers outlined above:

  1. They walk the talk and do it well. Customer experience is truly a priority—and it shows.
  2. They start at the end and work back, examining ways that technology can help improve the after-sales service experience.
  3. Instead of shying away from disruption, they create it. That might mean re-imagining services or extending existing services to digitally enabled channels.
  4. They focus on digital, investing heavily in digital technologies to blur the boundaries between digital and physical.
  5. They expand their distribution ecosystems, using external partner collaborations to improve the end-to-end delivery experience.
  6. They value people, putting digital talent development and leadership empowerment at their core.

What does it all mean for you?

Read the report.

Client experience transformation can no longer be viewed as a static challenge to be solved or conquered, but rather an ongoing process. Investment banks must be prepared to continually adjust their operations to meet clients’ ever-changing expectations. The job is never finished, but it must be started just the same.

For more on customer experience transformation, read the full report: Challenge 6: Liquid Standards: Improving the Client Experience. Or, if you want to discuss your organization’s journey, get in touch with me directly at robert.p.gach@accenture.com.