George Pitcher is right to suggest that grocery chains are increasingly putting banks under threat, “Decision time as supermarkets pre pare to rob banks’ business”, (MW February 21). The truth is, when grocery chains decide to turn the current trickle into a tidal wave, they will beat the banks on many key fronts.
Customers are becoming wise to a whole new range of ways to buy financial services. Given this destabilised situation, they are going to apply their newly honed and newly acquired demand for good service and take their custom where it is welcomed.
Grocery chains know all about customer service. They offer a huge range of diverse products and know how to make everything simple for customers. They know how to work with high volume, low margin profitability, and they are at the forefront of loyalty initiatives.
To take one simple analogy, imagine being offered a financial service product which clearly and simply demonstrates the benefits of having it, how to use it, and how to make the most of it. Grocery chains do this all the time with an increasingly bewildering and exotic range of produce.
If banks are serious about beating the competition, they need to thoroughly understand what supermarkets know. Consumers now and in the future won’t settle for anything less. And, by the way, isn’t it a situation of today the banks, tomorrow the insurance companies?
Helen Sullivan, Senior consultant, Abram Hawkes, Haywards Heath, West Sussex