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Last Updated : Apr 17, 2017 07:20 PM IST | Source:

Why customer's perspective should come first for financial products

It is the customer who is the best judge of options that optimally fit their investment objectives.

RM Vishakha

"Customer First" is a stated philosophy in organisations world over.  Every organisation realises that having a satisfied customer is crucial to their existence and continued growth. To create an "ideal" customer journey, organizations adopt surveys and sample feedbacks which aid in developing relevant customer experience across segments.

This approach of sample data and extrapolation is suitable for industries where a particular community/Target Group (TGs) has a defined lifestyle, culture and food habits etc. This primarily helps studying lifestyle consumption patterns, which in turn helps develop suitable products and services.


On the contrary, when it comes to financial products/services, this defined and segmented approach of "one size fits one segment" is perhaps inappropriate, as this may lead to customer dissonance.

Considering similar lifestyles, can one assume that all insurance professionals between the age of 30 to 35, married with a child, working in insurance companies, and earning between Rs 10 lakh to 15 lakh per annum, will have a comparable level of financial knowledge/preferences? The answer is probably no. However, will they have similar needs? The answer is probably yes! Do they need financial products to address these needs? Yes!

This clearly shows that people falling in the same demographic brackets could have diametrically different rationale backing their investment choices. One’s risk appetite and financial awareness levels are not likely to be same as their immediate peers.

There are a plethora of products offered by banks, insurance companies, and mutual fund organisations. In a world full of options, financial companies are evolving to provide customers with multiple options of DIY (Do it yourself) or "Leave it to us" or "joint management". Even a simple share purchase works with all these options of direct trading, PMS options and broker-assisted transactions.

The question arises: how to decide what is the right product/process/ experience for the customer? The answer does not lie in "right" but lies in evaluating customer perspective -"right for me" or commonly called "suitability". In order to arrive at the “right for me” decision, it is important to understand an individual’s inclination, capability and competence. This is where the customer’s awareness of his/her own financial literacy levels will help to arrive at customized solutions.

It is the customer who is the best judge of options that optimally fit their investment objectives.

  • It is advisable to ask some simple questions to oneself and then evaluate the relevance of the product proposition.

  • Understand the features of the product applicability based on the preference.

  • It is imperative to be 100 percent sure of what one is buying, to ensure making investments works towards fulfilling unique goals.

To sum it up, while organisations focus on customer-oriented products/ services with an approach of "Customer First", it is indeed a customer only who can help devise a fitting financial ecosystem.

The writer is the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of IndiaFirst Life Insurance.

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First Published on Apr 17, 2017 07:20 pm
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