Best customer experience in banking blends digital with human touch

first_imgPeople frequently beef that you can order almost anything in the world on Amazon, but you can’t have a conversation with a real human being at the ecommerce giant. The inability to easily talk to a person is a flaw shared by many financial institutions’ websites, according to Alyson Clarke, Principal Analyst at Forrester.“You can’t find a phone number anywhere,” says Clarke of the typical financial institution site. “The avenue of help is hidden. It’s kind of gone away.” Too often, the push is towards self-service.This is important because for both full-service and online-only banking institutions the ability to make an emotional connection with an employee is critical for maintaining an ongoing relationship, according to a research report by Clarke and August du Pont, Researcher at Forrester.But Amazon does something many financial institutions haven’t mastered, or do at all: solid chat. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading »last_img read more

No. 1 Bulldogs bring No. 1 line, big challenge to Madison

first_imgDefenseman John Ramage and the Wisconsin defensive corps will have their hands full against a very talented Bulldogs top line.[/media-credit]Mike Eaves knows a thing or two about scoring. As the all-time leading scorer in Wisconsin men’s hockey, he’s no stranger to offensive talent.Even as a coach, talented players have fallen under his watch, including four 50-point scorers last season.So what does Eaves have to say about Minnesota-Duluth’s trio of Mike Connolly, Jack Connolly and Justin Fontaine?“Pretty slick,” he said, shaking his head a bit. “Pretty slick.”Slick, indeed.The trio makes up three of the top four point-getters in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association this season, with Jack and Mike Connolly piling up 18 and Fontaine producing 16. This is no surprise after all three totaled 33 points each during league games alone in 2009-2010.So when the No. 1 Bulldogs come to the Kohl Center this weekend, they bring arguably the No. 1 line in the country as well.“Last year they were probably the top line in the WCHA point-wise and skill-wise,” defenseman Jake Gardiner said. “They’re little guys, but they can put up big numbers and do damage on you.”That’s high praise from Gardiner, who had 2010 Hobey Baker winner Blake Geoffrion on a line with current Badgers Jordy Murray and Craig Smith in front of him last season – not to mention a line with Derek Stepan (54 points), Michael Davies (52) and Ben Street (30).But the big difference between those lines and what UMD puts out might be best explained in percentages. As in last season, Fontaine and the Connollys accounted for 135 of the Bulldogs’ 354 points scored (38 percent).No matter what the opposing team tries to do, those three score.“You think that you’ve got one thing shut off and because they play well together, their instinct, they’ve got good skills, they’re quick,” Eaves said. “We’ll have to be very good against them.”Last season, Wisconsin played just one two-game series with Minnesota-Duluth, earning a split in Duluth. UW came on top with a 5-2 win in the first game, keeping UMD’s Big Three off the score sheet. In game two, they wouldn’t be denied though, contributing a combined two goals and three assists in a 4-0 win – the first time all season the Badgers were shut out.So far, the trio is on the same track as last year, accounting for 39 percent of the Bulldogs’ points scored. And instead of succumbing to the “all your eggs in one basket” pitfall, they’ve led UMD to a 9-1-2 start this season.“They’re really offensive,” sophomore defenseman John Ramage said. “They work well with each other and they get open for each other, so it’s something you’ve got to be aware of.”“From what I saw last year, there wasn’t too much structure, just play and flow,” Smith said. “And that’s sometimes a pretty scary thing with two of the most skilled players in the league.”The chemistry the three have shown is the biggest reason Mike Connolly, Jack Connolly and Fontaine have put up such numbers, despite having targets on their backs. Jack Connolly put up a goal and four assists in Minnesota-Duluth’s tough sweep of Michigan Tech last week.It’s one thing to put skilled players on a line together; it’s another entirely for them to show such chemistry. It’s something that doesn’t go unnoticed when playing against a line like that.“Watching (the NHL’s Canucks) Vancouver play last night, Henrik and Daniel Sedin; those guys definitely have that chemistry,” Gardiner said.And as far as the UW junior is concerned, UMD’s top line has that same connection. Jack Connolly, Mike Connolly and Fontaine have combined for 32 assists; 27 of those assists came on goals scored by one of the three.Simply put, they feed each other well.“That’s the best offensive scenario, you can have three guys that have skill, that have good chemistry,” Eaves said.So, UW will need to be up to the task of beating skilled veteran forwards again. The Badgers got a lesson in playing veteran teams last weekend, getting outplayed by an experienced North Dakota team.And even last season, when Wisconsin boasted arguably the best defensive corps in the country, the Badgers’ D couldn’t keep the line off the board both nights.This season presents a taller task, as the Bulldogs are older, but the Badgers took a step back in age. In Frankie Simonelli and Joe Faust, UW starts a duo of freshmen as one defensive pair and two of UW’s most experienced defensemen are sophomores.“We just gotta stay in the passing lanes, hit them early and often, get them off their game,” Gardiner said.Eaves loves to talk about taking away time and space. As a skilled forward himself, Smith agrees that strategy works for defenses.“Taking time and space away,” Smith said of what throws him off his game. “If they’re making good gap on you and don’t give you a lot of room with the puck, forcing you one way, that’s pretty tough to counter.”Eaves wasn’t particularly happy with his team’s defense as a whole against UND and likens effective defense to a fist – playing together, rather than spread out. There were a lot of lessons to be taken away from last weekend; there’s not a lot of time to implement them either in a November that’s only getting more difficult.“What we’re working all week is covering D-zone, taking time and space away,” Ramage said. “Hopefully that will shut them down.”last_img read more