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Christine Gimber

Recent Posts

From ATM's to Mobile Banking: The Changing Meaning of "Great Service"

Posted by Christine Gimber

Wed, Aug 15, 2012

BayBank CardWhen I moved to Boston in 1988 for college, I was very excited to receive my first “BayBank card.” For those of you from the area, you’ll recall with a smile that BayBank was the dominant area bank; it subsequently merged with Bank Boston which then merged with Fleet. However, through all those changes everyone (at least in my circle) called their ATM card their “BayBank card.” Getting a BayBank card was really your only option if you valued the convenience of an ATM on each and every corner of the three mile stretch from Kenmore Square to Packard’s Corner in Allston. Back then I needed to get cash in $10 increments as easily as I could grab a slice at Captain Nemo’s Pizzeria on Comm Ave. or talk my way into Father’s First Bar in Allston.

Over time, however, my needs as well as my definition of convenience changed. As time marched on, I started to think about buying a home, saving, and investing. Convenience was still the most important thing to me, but convenience now meant ubiquitous ATMs, a close branch to open new accounts, as well as a host of connected financial products. I liked being able to do all my business in one place. I was an established customer, and pretty pleased with the convenience of one-stop-shopping.

However, I feel like a new definition of convenience is on my horizon having more to do with useful, practical technology solutions. I want to view my investments, credit cards, savings accounts for my kids, and checking accounts all on one screen. I want to work with my bank virtually; I have two checks in my wallet, just sitting there waiting for me to make my way to an ATM machine. There is one up the street, about a half block diversion from my train, but without exception I leave work later than I should in order to collect my children from their babysitter, so I bypass that ATM. So there they sit, my sad paper checks, uncashed in my wallet and feeling very inconvenient.

The latest Consumer Pulse study from CMB uncovers some very interesting findings regarding convenience and perceptions of value among consumers. Nearly half (48%) of bank customers believe banks can differentiate themselves with good service. But they are like me—the definition of “good service” is evolving; convenience is no longer just about more branches and ATMs, but also about innovative technologies and remote banking options.

The study also found that while larger banks have a reputation for offering the most online and mobile services, credit union customers report online banking usage that is just as high as larger bank customers, and they give their institutions higher marks on performance than they’re larger peers. I would never have associated credit unions with convenience, but technology and their smaller customer bases are leveling the playing field. I wish that I had remote deposit capture, and I hear rumors that my big-bank provider has it, but I can’t find any information about it on my online banking portal. Not very convenient.  

My brother-in-law is a 26 years old gadget-guy, and a rabid fan of USAA for both insurance and banking. He was never in the military (his grandfather was), so when I learned about his fandom, I was curious because it didn’t add up. I thought of USAA as traditional player, the epitome of an old-school company.  He cited “great service” as the reason he’s loyal. When I asked what he meant by “great service,” he mentioned that he was first among his friends to have remote capture deposit. Definitions of service and convenience are changing; it will be fascinating to see which financial institutions keep up.

Learn more about how technology is changing the definition of good service:

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 Download the full report: The New Banking Value Proposition.




Posted by Christine Gimber, Christine is an Account Executive with CMB’s Financial Services team. A few of the things keeping Christine from cashing those checks are her three little kids, and competing in triathlons.

Topics: financial services research, mobile, Consumer Pulse

Data Overload: Finding the Moment of Truth

Posted by Christine Gimber

Thu, Dec 08, 2011

Drinking from the Fire HoseLast week CMB hosted Chris Frank and Paul Magnone, authors of Drinking from the Fire Hose, at our Boston office and invited our local clients to join us. Chris, Vice President at American Express responsible for advertising, brand, and business-to-business research, and is a long-time CMB client. Paul added the internal client perspective to the discussion, having been a consumer of research at IBM for 21 years and now heading business development and alliances at Openet. As the book’s title implies, the conversation centered on how to sort through the massive amount of data we, as researchers, are confronted with to get to that moment of truth.

As it turns out, it is not about the information, but about asking the right questions. The book outlines seven “essential questions” that will keep you focused on only the information that you need. The first question is “What is the one vital piece of information needed to move forward?” That may sound obvious, but during the discussion we heard from many of our clients that identifying and focusing on what really matters isn’t easy. The challenge is to re-focus clients on the business decisions being made. As we heard from Chris, Paul, and our clients, this requires a major effort.

Focusing not only on why you need the information but what you are going to do with it is also key. One of my favorite stories of the evening was about an internal client who was faced with the question “If the results of this research dictate it, will you close the business unit?” He retorted that if research came up with that result, then they were talking to the wrong people. With no intention of closing the business unit, it was clear he was asking for answers to questions that were not actionable.

It was interesting to hear the authors talk about what we at CMB call a “business decision focus.” At CMB we spend a great deal of time helping our clients (and their internal clients) stay focused on the decisions that they are making with the story the data tells. It was exciting to hear how that simple focus can change the paradigm.  It was a great event, and if you attended we hope you enjoyed it. If you were unable to attend, stay tuned, we’ll be posting more highlights and video of the event. And of course we recommend reading the book.

Posted by Christine Gimber. Christine is an Account Executive with the Financial Services and Healthcare teams, and loves great questions, essential or otherwise. When she is not at CMB, you can find her running or biking, which also helps keep her in shape as she tries to keep up with her three small kids.

Topics: Chadwick Martin Bailey, business decisions