Comment: Channels may change but people’s needs do not


The traditional role of the BDM remains relevant but there is now greater emphasis on strategic business planning

The modern age has given rise to a number of channels in which customers can engage and interact with service providers. For businesses of all sizes, this offers the potential to target a wider customer base in a far more effective manner.

Mobile technology also provides customers with a 24/7 platform on which to vent frustrations if expectations are not being met. Firms must acknowledge the shift in business-customer dynamic and adapt accordingly.

Customer satisfaction should always be at the heart of any successful business but, with expectations constantly shifting, it is not always easy to keep pace.

That said, basic human requirements have not changed. Those seeking answers need to know: a) who can provide them, and b) the most effective way of getting them. Satisfaction levels will be rated on how timely and useful any initial response is, which serves to underline the importance of the first point of contact within this chain. For intermediaries, this may well be the BDM.

Supporting the intermediary market has evolved way beyond simply waiting for business to be submitted and servicing the needs of clients when called upon.

The traditional role of the BDM is still relevant but there is now greater emphasis on strategic business planning. A better understanding of how and why cases are being submitted is vital, not to mention a deeper grasp of every intermediary partner’s business needs.

It is vital that lenders constantly adapt their service offerings to not only meet the shifting demands of advisers but also those of clients.

Sidney Wager is intermediary partnerships director at Barclays