Sharing Insights: Bringing a Customer-centric Focus to the Financial Inclusion Community

Nov 29, 2017 8:35 AM ET
Campaign: MetLife Foundation

Customer centricity is a win-win strategy no matter who your clients are; but for institutions looking to serve financially vulnerable populations around the world, such wins can have a tremendous positive impact on the economic livelihoods and future prosperity of their customers.  

To help these organizations overcome the challenges of modernizing strategies to be more customer-focused, The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) – an initiative of the World Bank, and MetLife Foundation partner – looks to thought leaders in the field, like MetLife, to share their expertise. 

In October, Claire Burns, SVP, Global Marketing Strategy, was invited to share insights from MetLife’s experience implementing a customer-centric strategy and enhancing business outcomes with leaders from the international financial inclusion community at CGAP’s Leadership Event in Washington, D.C.

Attendees were so impressed after hearing how MetLife, a 150-year-old company, could make changes to better understand customers and use those insights to deliver more meaningful products and experiences, that they are optimistic that their own complex organizational challenges can also be overcome.

While much of the guidance revolved around organizational challenges and opportunities, Burns reminded financial inclusion leaders that they must think about customers as more than sales and numbers. “The business wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the customers,” she said. 

The event also served as the launch of CGAP’s Customer Centricity guide, a web-based collection of toolkits and experiments to help financial service providers deliver products and services that better meet the needs of low-income customers.

Burns has been working with CGAP on its customer centricity efforts for several years. In this video from a previous CGAP event, she and Ramesh Ramanathan, founder and CEO of Janalakshmi, a microfinance institution in India, share some of the successful ways they have put the customer at the forefront of their work.