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Survey says firms are ignoring clients&#39 spouses

Financial services firms are failing to fulfil their potential by disregarding crucial information about customers&#39 spouses, according to business solutions specialist Xchange.

A survey it commissioned found that 39 per cent of marketeers working in financial services disregard or fail to collect information on the relationship between cohabiting customers.

Xchange says that by ignoring such information, companies are overlooking a key business indicator and a good way to grow business links within households. It gives an example of an unemployed 50-year-old who it says most banks would consider to be very low in terms of customer profitability. But in many cases, claims Xchange, a typical bank would ignore the customer and seek out other targets when they should look at the customer&#39s partner, who may be earning a substantial salary.

But even with this information to hand, Xchange says many financial firms still fail to consider how it could be used.

It claims this type of attitude is symptomatic of companies&#39 lack of understanding about customers and their lifestyles.

Senior vice-president (internal operations) Tony Heywood says: “If com-panies are to develop more healthy relationships they need to step back and consider the bigger picture.

“Increasing customer value is not simply about targeting the most profitable customers, it is about making the most out of the wide variety of customers within your customer base.”

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