Banque Saudi Fransi: Unswerving Focus on Customers, and Creating a Fresh Response to Financial Needs of the Individual

Being customer-centric has become the norm for businesses and financial institutions in a world increasingly aware of the importance of how a company is run, and what it stands for.

Head of Personal Banking Group: Mohammed Alsheikh

Head of Personal Banking Group: Mohammed Alsheikh

As well as satisfying their immediate needs and desires, consumers and customers have been made aware of the importance of their personal and financial choices. ESG (environmental, social, and governance) and CSR (corporate social responsibility) are of primary importance. So are ethical and religious considerations.

Here, the Saudi Arabian joint stock company Banque Saudi Fransi (BSF), established in 1977, stands strong. “The challenge,” says BSF’s Head of Personal Banking Group Mohammed Alsheikh, “is to set realistic customer expectations — and then exceed them.”

BSF offers a comprehensive range of financial services for corporate and retail banking. Attention has been paid to all requirements, including the demand for Islamic banking in accordance with the Islamic Shari’ah principles. BSF also provides investment banking, asset management and investment funds.

Brokerage services are also undertaken, this time via the BSF subsidiary, Saudi Fransi Capital. A good deal of thought has gone into the complete nature of the financial services on offer. To quote Mohammed Alsheikh once more: “Building an impressive customer experience does not happen by accident, it happens by design.”

Alsheikh believes that focusing on the customer is not simply a matter of doing what is expected of any financial institution. Innovation — a long-held and widely practised value at BSF — and a firm focus on creating a client-focused workforce has allowed the bank to solidly position itself on the “winning side of competitive advantage”.

If customer experience is the new battleground for businesses in general, it has become the defining characteristic of an agile and competent one in the digital world. “Customer experience, or CX, is vital to a successful relationship.”

By combining technology and innovation to meet the ever-increasing demands and requirements of a fast-paced nation, that customer experience has taken the stage front and centre at Banque Saudi Fransi. The knock-on effects and benefits have led to sustainable innovation in products, services, and business practices.

An abundance of clients and customers — in a world approaching eight billion people — has meant to some enterprises that there is no need to focus on individual satisfaction. The sheer weight of numbers will pull us through, goes the (outdated) thinking.

Wrong, says Banque Saudi Fransi. It’s not about customer turnover, it’s about customer satisfaction — at all levels.

Retaining talent has become another focus in 2022, as employers struggle to show proper respect for their staff. Again, BSF is ahead of the game. It not only retains its staff, it forges lasting relationships with its clients and customers — boosting revenue all the while. “It costs more to obtain a new customer than it does to retain an existing one,” notes Alsheikh.

Customer advocacy is, and always will be, the highest priority for BSF. “We see it as not just serving our customers better,” he adds, “but providing such great service that they are willing to become advocates for BSF products and services.”

With awards and recognition flooding in… job done!

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