This section discusses how to build the product or service management information.

Based on the targets set regarding sales, service and delivery, the product or service manager will define the data that will be part of the daily and weekly track of the product or service performance. Those indicators will be the main source of decision-making, adjustments, and actions needed to ensure the product or service is a success.

By setting targets that are measured and reviewed regularly, the manager knows, without question, what is required of them during that period.

Once the targets are shared with the various sales and service areas, the managers of these areas will further distribute the targets among service areas and geographies and can return granular data to the product or service manager to help them track performance. We have already discussed the importance of sharing sales targets amongst geographies and channels to maximise opportunities in the Sales Management module at Level I.

With the help of a Retail Planning Area, or a central MIS department, the product or service manager needs to build a daily and weekly performance report with key performance indicators that will deliver:

  • The sales plan;
  • The total number of products held by customers by end of the period, including new and existing product holders;
  • The expected average return per customer;
  • The margin and net return expected;
  • Required performance against the agreed service agreements;
  • Detection of issues affecting the delivery process.

The daily and weekly report will be key for the success of the proposition managed, and will be the main source for adjustments, improvements, and innovations.

The MIS report compares what was agreed and planned against the actual numbers.

Product X Monthly Report
 Monthly ActualMonthly Plan
Sales by channelUnitsUnits
Call Centre21,00020,000
Social Media5002,000
Sales Force10,00015,000
Contacts by channelQuantityQuantity
Call Centre440,000450,000
Sales Force50,00075,000
Web Chat500,000850,000
SLA waiting timesWait timeWait time
Call answering13 seconds15 seconds
Branch service3 minutes2 minutes
Teller8 minutes10 minutes
Web Chat40 seconds22 seconds

The Report is produced on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis and is colour-coded to help the product manager quickly identify deviation from plan:

  • Green – above target;
  • Red – below target;
  • Black – on or near target.

With the above table, the manager can make actionable decisions to maximise the usage of channels, improve channels, move resources from one channel or service area to another – aiming for better performance of the product, not only for sales, but from a service delivery point of view.

We can see above that despite fewer people visiting branches, the branches are delivering the plan, and it is important to understand why. The manager must investigate whether there is anything specific that can be learnt from the data from each area or geography. For example, can the bank move some additional resources to branches, as the service waiting time at branches are below target?

The manager can also see that branch tellers are being more efficient than planned. They must determine whether this a consequence of less footfall or efficiency and can consider moving tellers from behind their counters to the branch service area to reduce the waiting time.

There is also a clear issue in the Web chat channel, in terms of usage, which may be a direct correlation of the inability to deliver the planned waiting time.

The manager can continue with such analysis and move resources, targets, and change processes. But they should never forget to involve the customer in any analysis, as it is the customer ‘who pays the bill’. Managers should try to confirm any conclusions with valid samples of customers that use the product or service, channel, or process in question. That simple step will save the bank time and money.

The same analysis of SLAs must be done on a daily and weekly basis.

Service Level Agreement Report
ServiceAgreed Delivery TimeActual Delivery Time
Form filling and processing2 minutes3 minutes
Credit decision1 minute45 seconds
Product renewal process1 minute1 minute
Customer request one level fulfilment3 minutes2 minutes
Product closure2 minutes3 minutes

Some service areas are performing better than planned and are helping sales performance on some channels. Because the credit decision is faster, it will help the sales process.

On the ‘Product X Monthly Report’ above, branch sales are performing better than other channels. However, this may be affecting their SLA performance (Service Level Agreement Report) as they may be taking more time with the customer.

As explained earlier, KPIs in the MIS are a valuable source of information to understand business performance and it is no different for products and services. Based on that information the manager can reach conclusions and hypothesis that, once corroborated with customers, are very important to ensure success.

Less is more

Over time, customer behaviour changes, technology evolves and there are new rules and regulations. This results in new market dynamics and opportunities. Banks react to the above changes by creating new solutions, new products, or services.

The exercise to adjust a proposition to answer new challenges, behaviours and opportunities is important and a fundamental part of the game. The problem is that many banks forget to eliminate outdated or redundant products or services. To keep these alive has an ongoing cost in terms of systems maintenance, customer support, marketing investment, compliance, and risk tracking.

It is very important for a bank to revise its portfolio of products and services to rationalise many that offer the same answer to the customer’s need or market opportunity, and by eliminating them save time and money.

The proliferation of solutions is also a consequence of developing products or services without fully knowing and understanding customers. It is not uncommon to find products or services where financial executives who have a deep understanding of the financial market built complex and sophisticated solutions to solve their own problems.

The problem is that the customers don’t have that deep understanding, and the bank ends up with products that are difficult to sell or have few buyers. This creates unnecessary work fixing bugs, undertaking product or service management and service structures, and affects Operations, IT and Customer Management.

Products and services termination programmes must be done correctly to ensure a smooth system and process migration that causes no surprises for customers and keeps them well-informed about the reason for the demise of the product – and which solution will replace it. An efficient communication channel, to clarify any doubts that customers may have, must be open during the whole process. By taking such steps, it will ensure minimum attrition of existing customers. A well-managed product or service rationalisation programme will avoid common problems in control and management of old products or services.