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Simplify Each Business Model Step for Customers, Users, and Beneficiaries

Feb 10, 2008
When you consider how you might deliver the benefits of a new business model, you will find that many activities that you or others do or have done are no longer needed. It's good to carefully reexamine all of your processes to be sure you don't do the unnecessary.

Here's an example: Years ago, few public companies had ever hired anyone to interview their institutional investors to find out ways to improve communications. Initially, those offering such interviews had to convince skeptical executives that investors often held back some of their opinions from the executives during routine conversations. Why? The investors wanted to keep friendly and open access to the company.

If an investor tells a CFO that the investor thinks that the CFO doesn't know anything about operations, that CFO may not take that investor's call the next time. If protected by anonymity, the investor would like the company to know that the CFO needs to develop more operational skills.

After learning from a few such surprises gained through anonymously sponsored interviews, companies became more open to purchasing such interviews. Once the value of such interviews was understood by executives, those who provided interviews were able to simplify the sales and presentation processes to exclude explaining why new information was developed from what had been learned in routine conversations.

Consider If the Step Is Needed

Go into most banks and you need to provide identification to cash a check or to take money out of an account. That's a prudent practice. If your business model is to provide great service to wealthy people, however, you might instead want to greet these customers by name and skip the identification process.

A new teller could rely on other tellers to help by discreetly signaling that this is a good customer. Skipping the manual identification process doesn't make the bank any less careful, but it makes the customer feel ever so much more appreciated and saves time for both the bank and the customer.

A more powerful business model might consider the banking customer's time as being even more valuable than the bank's time. Such customers might not always want to head to the bank to pick up certified checks and large amounts of cash.

A bank solely focused on wealthy customers might provide delivery services in those instances. The customer might also welcome a secure escort to the site of a transaction where the certified check or cash is to change hands.

These days it's almost an anachronism for a legal transaction to require certified checks or cash deposits. Wiring money is usually faster and easier.

For customers who don't realize that, the bank could offer to handle the wire transaction beginning with obtaining the correct wiring and account information from the other party.

In fact, if you offer these services, multiple debit cards, great electronic banking, and various bill-paying services, your wealthy customers shouldn't ever need to come to the bank to obtain cash or certified checks.

Take that time-saving one step further. Help customers learn how to arrange for incoming payments to be sent to the bank electronically, and the customers won't have to go to the bank to deposit checks. Should the odd check arrive anyway, make it easy to mail in those checks with prepaid envelopes.

But a bank wants to have happy customers. How enthralled will customers be if they never see anyone from the bank? Instead of tellers, such a bank might have personal bankers who are available at all times to their customers. Each customer would work with more than one personal banker so that not every banker will have to do overnight duty.

How will such customers open accounts, meet with their bankers, and conduct other business? The personal bankers will come to the customers. The bank would then be able to skip having so many branches and use some of the savings to pay fees to allow customers to use any ATM network.

Keep pushing like this and pretty soon you may well have eliminated many banking transaction steps. In the process, you'll be approaching the ideal best practice in providing better offerings and performance.
About the Author
Donald Mitchell is an author of seven books including Adventures of an Optimist, The 2,000 Percent Squared Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution Workbook, The Irresistible Growth Enterprise, and The Ultimate Competitive Advantage. Read about creating breakthroughs through 2,000 percent solutions and receive tips by e-mail by registering for free at

http://www.2000percentsolution.com .
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