In the highly competitive financial services industry, being able to immediately respond to changing market conditions is paramount to survival. The industry, facing ever-increasing competition and stifling regulation, is further being challenged by a shift of consumers to self-service channels – this double-edged sword has, while decreasing overall cost-to-serve, significantly damaged the traditional company-client relationship.
 

Such factors are driving companies to transform themselves; from providing consistent service across all channels to transforming the customer experience, building effective retention strategies to transforming employee behaviors, change is the name of the game. 
 

Our experiences helping financial services companies make such transformations is extensive. We have enabled small to large-scale transformations to happen in boutique as well as blue-chip financial services institutions across several countries.
 

In line with our core belief that making actual change happen is at the core of consulting, in most of our engagements in this field we have provided end-to-end service (from designing new strategies to conducting the actual implementation of the change).

Distribution Channel Redesign / Mix Optimization
A service around reshaping the distribution channel function, from designing and launching new distribution channels, to optimizing the commissioning model, redesigning the support organization, to developing channel-specific policies and standards.
Total Customer Relationship Loyalty Program Design
A service around designing a loyalty program that drives behavior change across the entire customer lifecycle, to ensure maximum realization of objectives beyond just customer retention and customer satisfaction (such as cost reduction, margin uplift, etc.).
Channel Migration Strategy Design
A solution that determines the specific interactions of various customer segments that should be migrated to alternative channels, in order to not only drive down operating costs, but maximize customer value-increasing efforts.
Market Potential Analysis
A solution that estimates the untapped potential in the market, allowing financial services companies to in a strategic and data-driven manner design their distribution and marketing strategies, particularly as it pertains to the opening of new branches / ATMs.
Real-Time Sales & Attrition Action Modeling
A solution enabling financial services companies to take action in a close to real-time manner around driving up sales performance or down attrition, not only complementing but bettering traditional data mining model-driven practices.
Customer Experience Culture Change Management
A service around transforming company and employee culture, to ensure it is aligned with the desired experience to be delivered to customers, being a driver of change rather than a barrier to change.
Customer Experience Transformation
A service around transforming the customer experience of various stakeholders across their respective lifecycles, in order to ensure optimal and consistent interactions that collectively drive a positive impact on the bottom line.
Performance Management System Design
A service around redesigning the overall performance management system within companies, including how employees are measured and monitored, what their specific targets are, how review cycles work, how employees are rewarded, etc.
Actionable Behavioral Micro-Segmentation
A novel method of segmenting customers on a behavioral micro-level, going far beyond classic macro customer segmentation, allowing for tactical actions to be taken on the customer base to drive results around a variety of objectives.
Proactive Sales Shift (Lead Generation)
A solution that turns reactive distribution channel points into proactive sales machines, through the development of a sales lead generation and distribution mechanism, driving proactive sales efforts across the entire distribution network.
Designing Core Customer-Related Processes

For a leading Central Asian bank, we designed all core processes around the credit card practice of the company, ensuring efficient and effective operations around acquisition, cross-sales, account closing, etc.

Conducting Cards-Related Consumer Segmentation

For a leading Central Asian bank, we conducted a comprehensive cards-based consumer segmentation effort, in order for the company to bolster its performance in this area where it lags in its market.

Conducting a Commercial Due Diligence - Software Sector

For a leading European investment fund, we conducted a commercial due diligence of one of Turkey's up and coming software companies - the effort culminated in the acquisition of the target entity.

Conducting a Commercial Due Diligence - Retail Sector

For a leading European investment fund, we conducted a commercial due diligence of one of Turkey's largest children's retailers - the effort culminated in the acquisition of the target entity.

Conducting a Commercial Due Diligence - Security Sector

For one of the world's ten largest investment funds, we conducted a commercial due diligence of one of Turkey's largest property security companies - the effort culminated in the rejection of the opportunity, as our assessment found a significant over-estimation by the acquisition target company of its value.

Conducting a Commercial Due Diligence - E-Commerce Sector

For one of the world's ten largest investment funds, we conducted a commercial due diligence of one of Turkey's largest e-commerce companies - the effort culminated in the acquisition of the target entity.

Designing a Cards Cross-Sales Propensity Model

For one of Eastern Europe's largest banks, we designed a credit card cross-sales propensity model, which identified the likelihood of existing banking customers accepting credit card offers; the model allowed the bank to conducted very targeted marketing practices, rather than trying to sell to the entire mass of customers.

Designing & Operationalizing Balanced Scorecards

For a boutique bank in Turkey, we designed an end-to-end performance management system, including a balanced scorecard with individual level KPIs, a capability and skill-sets framework, and an overall rewarding system tied into annual performance reviews - as well, we designed an operational Access-based KPI monitoring system that was made accessible across the entire bank until the procurement of additional software.

Enabling Campaign Management Practices

For one of Turkey's largest public banks, we designed the credit card unit's campaign management operations, with a particular focus on enabling below-the-line marketing activities. Focus areas included process design, organizational design, roles and responsibilities design, etc.

Designing a Groundbreaking Debit Card

For one of Turkey's largest public banks, we designed a new debit card targeting an up-to-then untapped segment for the bank - the youth segment, with a uniquely designed value proposition aiming to rival credit card offerings.

Assessing New Financial Services Offerings Potential

For one of the world's largest financial services companies, we conducted a market specific benchmarking effort, around helping the company assess potential for a specific set of financial products for the Turkish marketplace - the assessment was presented to global headquarters, with a strategy on market entry being devised as well.

Designing a Merchant POS Churn Prediction Model

For one of Turkey's largest private banks, we designed a merchant POS churn prediction model, as well as conducted a merchant POS segmentation, with micro segment definition as well as the design of segment-specific strategies for more effectively managing the bank's more than 300,000 merchant clients.

Designing a Groundbreaking Credit Card

For one of Turkey's largest public banks, we designed a new credit card aiming to transform the perception of the bank in the marketplace, with a unique set of services and benefits thus far not offered in Turkey - the card uptake and acceptance by the market has been an overwhelming success.

Optimizing Cards-Related Operations

For one of Turkey's largest public banks, we redesigned the credit card operations, including application processes, organizational structure, roles and responsibilities, etc., to ensure alignment with and ability to handle anticipated volumes from the launch of a new credit card.

Designing Comprehensive Set of Marketing Analytical Models

For one the MENA region's largest quadruple players, we designed over 50 various marketing analytics models, building up the company's customer value management operations in the process, enabling below-the-line marketing activities to take place for the first time - models include customer segmentation, customer retention, social network analysis, next best activity, demand stimulation, roamer segmentation, competitor segmentation, etc.

Fine-Tuning Cards-Related Operations

For a major bank in Turkey, we designed the company's card-related processes, optimizing operational efforts to ensure efficiencies as well as process-related customer satisfaction levels are maximized.

Designing a Cards Churn Prediction Model

For one of the EMEA region's most recognized and lauded banks, we designed the company's cards churn prediction model, as well as relevant strategies and tactics for driving down attrition rates.

Conducting Payment and Profitability-Related Consumer Segmentation

For one of the largest financial services providers in Central and Eastern Europe, we conducted a customer segmentation effort around its cardholder base, complemented with a profitability analysis to determine ideal consumer behaviors around cards and payments; this was complemented with a strategic design of tactics for migrating consumer segments to make payments in optimal manners.

Conducting Cards-Related Consumer Segmentation

For a leading Central Asian bank, we conducted a comprehensive cards-based consumer segmentation effort; the company was thanks to this effort able to identify the gaps and lack of offerings for various critical consumer segments, which in turn led to the design and launch of new products and services.

Designing a New Credit Card Offering

For a leading Central Asian bank, we designed a new credit card offering, aligned with the bank's consumer base, tapping into unrealized potential and consumer segments, complementing existing card offerings.

Enhancing Proactive Card Sales Performance

For a leading Central Asian bank, we designed a credit card propensity model, which allowed the company to determine which customers to focus its sales-related efforts on, based on the potential to accept an offer, as well as potential future value.

Uplifting Credit Card Sales Performance

For the largest bank in a Central Asian country, we designed a model that allowed the company to determine which of its customers to target with credit card-related offers, based on propensity to accept offers as well as financial potential.

Hype or the Real Deal? The Big Data Conundrum
Big Data has become one of those terms you can’t avoid these days, all the rage in and around the business intelligence industry. The overwhelming buzz makes you wonder - is there something really there, or, is the hype the result of vendors and consultants trying to make another buck?
Loyalty Programs Gone Right – Constructing the Utopian Loyalty Program
As a follow-up to a prior article around loyalty programs gone wrong, herein we define what a utopian loyalty program would like (one which not only satisfies members, but more importantly, has a positive impact on the bottom-line), while highlighting some best-in-class programs that have got it somewhat right…
SNA’s Failures Revealed – Getting it Right With Social Ripple Analysis
If you are using one of the market leader Social Network Analysis (SNA) tools, it is very likely that you are not seeing the forest for the trees. While SNA is an effective tool for identifying subscribers who are social leaders and followers, using it for churn prediction and propensity modeling can be dead wrong. As Forte, we recommend all operators take a leap towards using Social Ripple Analysis (SRA)…
Maximizing ROI Through Customer-Level Discriminatory Pricing
While campaigns are a must for companies in B2C sectors seeking to drive up revenues, they also have an adverse affect on the bottom line, in that they partially cannibalize already guaranteed revenues (thus driving down profit margins). Price Sensitivity Analysis (PSA) is a sure-fire way to minimalize this loss…
Social Media Strategies – Twitter Follower Relationship Management
With a significant percentage of B2C companies well established at this point on Twitter, it’s due time they take steps to better understand and take actions around their followers – Follower Relationship Management (FRM) is a method for doing so…
How Much is Too Much? Getting it Right With One-to-One Communications
Overwhelmed by how often companies you have a relationship with get in touch with you? You’re not alone – companies have lost all control around how frequently they are communicating with their customers. It’s due time they take a look at their communications practices and make amends…
Effective Channel Management Strategies – Segmenting the Channels
Channel analytics, the often neglected sibling of customer analytics, presents significant opportunities for companies seeking to better their channel-related performance, especially those in industries with large distribution networks (such as financial institutions, telecoms operators, retailers, automotive distributors, etc.)…
Bridging the Chasm – The Collaboration of Consumer & Business Marketing
Rare is the company that within has its consumer & business units working hand in hand to improve the bottom line of the company. Bundling across business units is one area which holds significant potential for those companies that can pull it off…
Customer Analytics Gone Wrong – Eight Common Mistakes to Avoid When Deploying Customer Analytics Models
Designing customer analytics models is only half the battle. Equally, if not more difficult, is deploying them, such that actions triggered by the model outputs are being taken on a daily basis. In this follow-up article, we highlight some of the most commonly made mistakes that prevent companies from succeeding at deploying models…
Real-Time Customer Value Management – Sales and Churn Triggers
Traditional monthly churn prediction or sales potential models help companies identify only some of the opportunities they can take action on to grow and retain their customer base; real-time sales and churn triggers help identify the rest…
Moving Beyond One-to-One Marketing - Getting Personal with Enterprise Customers
For years, telecom operators have been adapting the “one-to-one” customer treatment concept and applying it to their enterprise customers, essentially seeking to treat each enterprise client differently. Though this treatment method is effective with consumers, it’s not the right way to manage an enterprise client – it’s time for operators to treat the same customer differently! ...
Designing Best-in-Class Loyalty Programs – Getting the Benefits Right
Possibly the most important aspect of a loyalty program is its benefits. Be it lack of vision, lack of creativity, or plain old laziness, many companies take the easy way out and offer cookie-cutter benefits through their loyalty programs. The ones that are best-in-class don’t, offering benefits that not only succeed in satisfying the customer, but in changing the company’s bottom line…
Customer Analytics Gone Wrong – Ten Common Mistakes To Avoid When Designing Customer Analytics Models
The potential that customer analytics models hold within them are extensive for the companies that choose to utilize them to better their marketing and sales activities. But even best-in-class companies get it wrong sometimes by making mistakes in how they design their models, and in how they utilize them once they have been designed. Herein we present ten mistakes to avoid in designing customer analytics models…
Five New Opportunities in Credit Card Analytics
By now, many leading banks and credit card providers have already invested in basic credit card analytics, such as value, behavior and needs/lifestyle segmentation, churn prediction, and credit risk analysis. Is this the end of road for customer insights in the field? Hardly so - this article summarizes five relatively niche ways of using credit card data, allowing banks and credit card providers to take things one step further towards separating themselves from their competitors by getting even more value out of the rich POS data at hand…
Campaign Sensitivity Analysis – Preventing Competitors From Stealing Your Customers
A simple yet effective manner in which to use analytics to prevent competitors from poaching customers in the telecommunications sector, campaign sensitivity analysis is sure to become a common practice in the field of business intelligence / data mining over the coming years…
Improving the Quality of Data Acquired from Customer Touchpoints
From telecom to retail, hospitality to finance, customer analytics will continue to be a hot topic over the coming years. Keeping in mind that customer analytics is highly correlated with data (and most importantly, with the quality of it), any improvements in data quality will take companies a step ahead in this realm. This article summarizes eight recommendations for companies around how to increase the quality of customer data acquired from customer touch points.
Channel Migration Strategies – Matching Customers to the Optimum Channels
As the number of channels which a company can service its customers through has proliferated over the years and will likely continue to, strategies need to be developed that turn into actions aimed at shifting certain customers to certain channels, in order to best optimize the cost of servicing customers vs. the level of service they receive through different channels…
Loyalty Programs Gone Wrong – Ten Common Mistakes to Avoid
While it’s not rocket science, designing an effective loyalty program is much harder than it appears. Even the most lauded companies have deficiencies in their programs, deficiencies which can make or break it…
Radically Proactive Marketing – The New Name of the Game
The old rules of the game - Advertising, shelf space, retail presence. The new rules of the game - Predictive models, one-to-one offers, outbound campaigns. 65% of product launches fail. That’s means that the millions of hours and millions of dollars in resources invested into developing two out of every three products is a complete waste...
Service Done Right - The Best of the Best
Best-in-class companies go out of their way to cater to their customer base, using service as the key differentiating factor in trying to win them over...
Crisis Management in Reverse - Capitalizing on Shocks to the System
In every sector all over the world, companies fail, collapses that are sometimes triggered by seismic events. Such moments present significant opportunities (or threats, if not seized) for the company that is prepared to capitalize on them. Crisis in the business world can take many shapes and forms...
Know Each Customer’s Share-of-Wallet? Understanding Every Customer’s True Potential
Regardless of sector, companies across the board struggle to understand the true existing potential of each of their customers. Such an understanding is the first step towards capturing more share-of-wallet of existing customers. In its most basic form, there are two general ways companies in most sectors can grow their revenues – by either selling more to their existing customers, or by acquiring new customers (taking aside such other bottom-line impacting actions like increasing retention or reducing operating costs)...
Making it Right - Problem Resolution for High-Value Customers
Nothing makes or breaks an existing relationship with a customer like a problem handled effectively or mismanaged. How high-value customers are treated during a problem resolution process is of the utmost importance in hoping to retain them…
Unique Acquisition Methods - Below the Line Customer Referral Programs
While customer referral programs are abound, few are conducted below the line, aimed at one single individual, a strategy that can uplift acquisition rates significantly vs. traditional referral programs. Referral programs are nothing new...
Improving Processes in the Service Sector – Going Beyond Efficiency and Quality Uplift
Traditionally, efforts around improving processes in the service sector have had at their core the end goal of reducing operational expenses while maintaining or improving service quality, focused on driving efficiency in certain day to day business activities...
Outlier Analytics – Learning From Those on the Fringe
While most companies focus their business intelligence efforts on the masses, those few examining outliers (consumers who don’t exhibit expected behavior) are finding hidden gems of information they are using to develop new offerings…
The Under-Tapped Banking Consumer Segments of the World – SMEs
The third and final in a series of articles aimed at identifying strategies that banks should follow for tapping into the potential value certain consumer segments hold for them…
Why Recreate the Wheel? Using Best Practices in the Workplace
Many a company aspiring to be a trendsetter or market leader like an Apple or a McDonalds doesn’t have to be as innovative as them to succeed in their respective sectors / countries – they just need to learn (and borrow liberally) from the best…
The Under-Tapped Banking Consumer Segments of the World – Ladies
The second in a series of articles aimed at identifying strategies that banks should follow for tapping into the potential value certain consumer segments hold for them…
The Under-Tapped Banking Consumer Segments of the World – The Youth
The first in a series of articles aimed at identifying strategies that banks should follow for tapping into the potential value certain consumer segments hold for them…
Aligning Employees Around Delivering Best-in-Class Customer Experience
Customer – employee interactions are the very backbone of the customer experience. Employees dedicated to serving the customer base deepen the overall company – client bond; indifferent employees providing poor service drive consumer and value loss, damaging the company in a way that is often irreversible. Companies need to align their employees around delivering the best possible customer experience possible…
Maximizing Campaign Conversion Rates Using Analytics
Finding the next best offer for customers is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to maximizing ROI from campaigns. Companies need to look into using the right channel, the right tone of communications, and even the right time to contact customers to achieve this ultimate objective...
Small Business Loyalty Programs - Giving Back to the Oft-Ignored SME Segment
For too long, the SME segment has been underserved, with companies doing little to cater to the needs of this extremely important and valuable group of customers. Some companies have begun to take heed, launching loyalty programs customized for this segment across numerous different sectors…
Wondering What Lies Ahead? The Power of Predictive Modeling
From telecoms to finance, e-commerce to government, predictive models are being utilized across various sectors to tackle all kinds of business problems. Companies that have yet to benefit from this practice need to examine the ways in which they can do so...
Ensuring Successful Business Partnerships
Partnerships with other companies in or outside of one’s own sector are often frowned upon by companies, due to their complexity, risk, and time consumption. Yet, the right partnerships can provide significant benefits for companies, helping them gain a competitive advantage against their competitors. Companies need to follow a set of guidelines in ensuring they build relationships with the right partners…
'Occasional' Customer Segmentation - Uncovering Hidden Truths About Customers
As traditional customer segmentation has become blasé, with occasion segmentation the hot trend, it’s a hybrid model of the two - 'occasional' customer segmentation – that companies seeking to “be there” for their customers need to examine...
Bundling 2.0 - Bundling Within and Across Sectors
Traditional bundling is a nice start for companies seeking to drive acquisition, generate cross-sales, and increase product & service uptake / upsell, but it’s only a start – bundling within and across sectors is the wave of the future.
The Social Media Buzz – What’s It All About?
The proliferation of online communities in the form of social media is one of the most noticeable trends on the web over the past several years. Not only has it redefined what the internet means in terms of its value offering, but has also become an indispensible element of a given person’s daily activities...
Segments of the Middle East – Small and Medium Enterprises
The last in a series around the most common and important market segments observed in the Middle East and strategies & tactics to acquire and serve them effectively…
Beyond the Customer Lifecycle – Catering to Customers When They’ll Most Appreciate It
While many a company takes into consideration the customer lifecycle when designing their customer experience strategies, few consider that they need to cater to the needs of customers during transitional lifestage moments or spontaneous events...
Consumer Segments of the Middle East – The Youth
The third in a series around the most common and important market segments observed in the Middle East and strategies & tactics to acquire and serve them effectively…
Making the Leap – From Reactive to Proactive Sales
Businesses can no longer sit back passively and hope customers come a knocking. The proactive pursuit of potential clients must be made a part of any companies’ day to day sales strategy, and reflect in its activities...
Consumer Segments of the Middle East – Leisure and Business Visitors
The second in a series around the most common and important market segments observed in the Middle East and strategies / tactics to acquire and serve them effectively…
Consumer Segments of the Middle East - The Expat Community
Market segmentation is a relatively common practice, executed over and over by most leading companies around the world, conducted in order to understand the needs of different segments and target them effectively...
Eyes Wide Open - Competitor Intelligence Practices
According to a study by the Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals, about 90% of the Fortune 500 companies in the US are conducting competitive intelligence activities...
Finding Tomorrow's Valuable Customers Today
The oft-neglected customer who represents little value today could be an important asset for your company tomorrow – the trick lies in identifying them. Companies in the telecommunications and banking sectors that have begun managing customers based on their value have taken that first important step in effectively dedicating their resources proportionately, providing a higher level of service to more valuable customers...
Optimizing the Customer Experience to Drive Customer Retention
Companies need to realize the single greatest asset they have aside from their product or service portfolio are their customer-facing employees, and, accordingly, ensure they are equipped and measured in the best manner possible to satisfy customers to the greatest extent possible...
Bundling Your Way to Success
Working hand-in–hand, Sales and Marketing teams of companies can generate significant cross-sales / up-selling by bundling products / services together...
Quintupling Your Churn Prediction Performance
As real business cases demonstrate, the performance of predictive data mining models drastically improve when information about historical customer behavior and real-time interactions are put together. Companies with traditional churn prediction models should realize the opportunities they are missing…
Matchmaking to Optimize Call Center Sales Performance
Most analytical models developed for customer acquisition, retention or growth do not take into account that it is the human that does the marketing, and miss a great opportunity to boost return on investment...
Leveraging Internal Data to Target Competitor Customers
Many companies already own the right data for targeted acquisition from their competitors, yet most aren’t aware of it. Is your company one of them? What you think you don’t know but actually likely do regarding your competitors’ customers represents a huge untapped potential that could create substantial impact to your company’s bottom-line...
The Single Easiest Way to Grow – Winning Back Lost Customers
Companies often fail to tap into and benefit from the data they possess. Possibly the single most ignored information pool is that about a company’s ex-customers. Such data, if used properly, could lead to the acquisition of a significant number of customers and the generation of significant revenues...
Effective Loyalty Programs - Keeping Costs Under Control
The third in a series around features of successful loyalty programs that have helped certain companies stand out from the rest, with program offerings that are recognized as best-in-class...
Are Your Sales Channels Crisis Ready? (Revisiting Sales Channels)
The latest economic crisis necessitates the need for companies to revisit their sales channels. Why? The drastically effected marketplace has altered factors like sales potential, competitive landscape, customer preferences, partnerships, etc...
Effective Loyalty Programs - Recognizing & Rewarding Most Valuable Customers
The second in a series around features of successful loyalty programs that have helped certain companies stand out from the rest, with program offerings that are recognized as best-in-class...
BI on a $0.99 Budget
Business Intelligence teams recognized as "best-in-class" have often spent hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars on software to garner such praise. Such investments are near impossible for budget conscious / smaller scale companies, especially in times of economic downturns...
Customer Retention During the Downturn
In light of the deepening economic crisis and its effect on churn behavior, retail banks need to revisit their retention strategies and revise their tactics so they reflect the new reality in the marketplace...
Effective Loyalty Programs - Changing Channel Usage Behavior
The first in a series around features of successful loyalty programs that have helped certain companies stand out from the rest, with program offerings that are recognized as best-in-class...
Developing Sales Battle Cards
In an environment where conditions are getting tougher (with increased number of local/global players, elevated customer expectations, new technologies which makes product and service comparison easier than ever, the economic downturn, etc.) ...
Your Customers Are Changing, Are You Following?
The economic downturn is having a substantial impact on the needs, preferences and behavior of customers. Companies need to tap into their customer intelligence to ensure they adapt as well to these changing conditions...
Cost Cutting Practices For the Financial Services Industry
As almost a matter of life and death, just to stay afloat, many financial institutions around the world are biting off big chunks of cost items from their income statements...
Are You Using Enough and the Right Facts for Decisions across Your Organization?
Organizations make tens to millions of managerial and operational decisions every single day with difference importance levels and frequencies. Such decisions range from highly strategic ones, such as decisions on entry to new markets to tactical ones, such as the next product that the sales agent will offer to a customer...
Are You Wasting Your Online Sales Potential?
eCommerce businesses and online sales channels of traditional retailers are on the rise, with a growth rate almost 6 times higher than overall retail industry, according to NFR and Forrester reports. Despite such fast growth rate and considerable investments, there still exist vast untapped opportunities in online stores across...