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7.2 Customer Focus and the Win-Win Situation

Customer focus in the digital age is manifested in the creation of a win-win situation for the bank and the customer in a partnership of equals.[1] This is characterised by the fact that both parties experience success—monetary or otherwise, for example where needs are met in a perfectly tailored manner—from the contractual relationship, which they would not have had if the relationship or transaction had not occurred. In addition, the success gained from the contractual relationship should be divided appropriately between both parties.[2]

Customer benefit must be emphasised more, a fair balance of interests between the customer and the bank must be secured (Walter 2012, p. 23).

The manner in which interests are balanced and thus the “appropriate way” of dividing the profit from the exchange relationship depends on the goals of the customer and the bank. Customer satisfaction or recommendation rates are suitable indicators for checking whether a win-win situation has been and will be realised for both parties.

Yet the win-win cycle does not only encompass success from the viewpoint of the customer or the bank, but also from the perspective of the shareholder. If customers perceive the exchange relationship to be successful, this also influences the success of the bank, due to the aforementioned aspects. An appropriate success for the bank, in turn, is a prerequisite for also meeting the expectations of shareholders. They make capital available (usually a scarce resource). Only when a company attains attractive yields compared to the competition can it secure its financial means. Profit can be seen as a test statistic that indicates whether the company can enable the customer to have efficient and effective success.[3] In future, banks will be measured according to whether they have created long-term value for customers and investors equally. For some time Deutsche Bank has been postulating the “fair share” principle and states that, in its view, it can only be successful in the long term if it creates benefits for customers and shareholders to an equal degree (Deutsche Bank 2013).

Along with customers there are other interest groups that are important for the survival of the company. Other stakeholders of the banks include employees, suppliers, society, regulators and also rating agencies and other financial agents. It is also the case here that the requirements of these interest groups must be considered in order to survive in the long term. Ideally, banks should manage to put together an attractive offer for all shareholders and stakeholders, which will create value for all interest groups (Capellmann et al. 2012).

The starting point of the win-win cycle shown in Fig. 7.1, therefore, is the success of the customer. However, in the next sections the win cycle of the bank will first be presented, as this is the traditional business perspective and it forms the basis for fundamental findings about the connection between reputation, trust, customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. Then we shall leave this “traditional” perspective and take an innovative look at customer needs and the success that

Fig. 7.1 Win-win cycles—mechanics of success (Source Own illustration)

customers might have gained from a bank relationship. Only this radical change in perspective allows us to recognise the facets of customer needs in the digital age, to create a win-win situation, and this to develop marketable digital business models.

  • [1] When the parties involved in a negotiation agree a result by which they receive greater benefit than if there had been no agreement at all, one then speaks of a “win-win situation” (Projektmagazin 2013).
  • [2] The president of the Santander Bank Brazil described win-win (with regard to bank relationships with companies) as follows: “The company received products and services according to its requirements, thus improved its image and increased its competitive strength. At the same time that had advantages for society and the environment. And we were able to make more turnover and strengthen our relationship with our customers” (Capellmann et al. 2012, p. 244).
  • [3] It cannot be the task of the company to create isolated values for the shareholder, profit or options for management (Malik 2005, p. 26 ff.).
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