To develop a deeper and organizational level of understanding customers, a cross-functional team at Janalakshmi, a microfinance institution in India serving over a million customers in urban areas, applied a design thinking process facilitated by innovation consultants.This brochure describes the process and the tool used to create customer profiles.
Generating greater value for customers is good for business. Research from a developed market context has found that customer retention leads to a decrease in operating costs, while a decrease in customer satisfaction leads to a decrease in return on investment.
Financial services providers for low-income customers typically believe that their business case is based on expanding the number of accounts or the number of transactions made by these customers. This is only part of the equation to business success.
Most studies of microfinance programs in Bangladesh indicate that the poor, and especially poor women, have been effectively targeted, and that microfinance programs have been successful in opening up economic opportunities for their clients, increasing access to resources and contributing to their confidence and well-being.
Understanding client exit and nonparticipation can shed important light on the financial service preferences of clients and help programs learn about the limitations of their existing products and mechanisms. Such lessons can drive the development of innovative, demand-driven microfinance products and systems, benefiting both the institution and the clients.
As existing and trusted institutions with large branch networks reaching rural areas, Arab postal networks have the potential to be powerful tools in the fight for greater financial inclusion in the Arab World.