Fast growing customer management experts SECOR Consulting are making a break into the retail financial services sector with the appointment of industry specialist Kevin Smith.
Smith joins the UK-based SECOR as head of retail financial services after 20 years with the Halifax, where he was responsible for a 1500 strong sales force delivering over £6bn of mortgage lending.
"My goal at SECOR will be to help financial services firms to reduce their costs and both retain customers and improve their life time value. We will achieve that by applying SECOR's track-record of finding new and innovative ways of cross-selling products and services and by helping firms to understand their customers better" said Smith.
Peter Aggleton, SECOR's managing director said "Getting Kevin on board is a great move for SECOR. We have already developed a bridgehead in the retail financial services sector and have worked with some very prestigious clients. With Kevin on the team we are now able to build rapidly on that success and become a major presence in this area."
Explaining his role Smith said "From a customer management perspective, many of the challenges that financial services firms face are similar to those in other areas where SECOR has a wealth of experience, such as telecommunications, so we have a lot to offer."
"Across all industries, organisations are having to satisfy a population of increasingly demanding and fickle consumers who want to be treated like individuals and who want to access organisations through a variety of channels, as and when it suits them. This is particularly challenging in the financial services arena, where companies have to deal with millions of customers."
"To meet this challenge firms need to gain real insight into their customers. However many established players face the daunting prospect of extracting up-to-date business intelligence from legacy computer systems that in many cases were developed and implemented 20 years ago. Getting meaningful information out of such systems is often a slow and torturous process. That is something I hope to help them with."
"Most of these legacy systems work around product silos - non of the data they have is linked and there is no cross-organisational logic. The data these systems hold is invaluable, but firms often lack the key that will unlock it."
Smith will also be using his vast experience to help financial services firms improve their business processes so that they are more aligned to customer needs. For example, he plans to develop ways of improving the mortgage process by creating an industry-wide best practice model. This would provide a series of benchmarks for taking customers all the way from their initial mortgage application to their final repayment many years later.
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