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Problem Solution: Intersect Investment Services

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Essay title: Problem Solution: Intersect Investment Services

Problem Solution: Intersect Investment Services.

Intersect Investment Services is a financial firm that has found itself struggling to survive in a financial services industry that has been in a “state of flux” ever since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Customers have become very weary about placing their trust and their money in the hands of the financial services industry. As a result, Intersect Investment Services’ CEO, Frank Jeffers, has developed a “customer intimacy” plan that is designed to “Provide a broad set of products and services to consumer and small business customers using a model of customer intimacy that will build long-term relationships based on trust and value to the customer” (Jeffers, 2005).

While Frank’s plan offers a wide range of opportunities for Intersect, the plan also poses a wide range of challenges that will test the company’s leadership team’s ability to manage organizational change as well as changing market expectations. Frank has set an optimistic deadline of 12 months that will require the cooperation and determination of everyone within the company. The goals have been set, the issues and opportunities identified, and the stakeholders are in place. Now Intersect just needs to put the pieces together to make the company’s vision a reality.

Describe the Situation

In order to make his vision a reality, Frank has recently hired Janet Angelo for her knowledge and experience in implementing “customer intimacy” models for other companies. Frank is counting on Janet to turn the company around by restoring customer trust and confidence in the company. Due to both internal and external forces, Intersect has lost some of its customers trust. Franks “customer intimacy” plan is an attempt to regain this trust and put Intersect back on the top of the financial services industry.

Janet has been given the task of implementing the “customer intimacy” model within 12 months. On top of the challenges that come with implementing a “customer intimacy” model, Janet is facing issues with employee retention, employee morale, and cohesiveness at all levels within the company. Frank is hoping that with Janet’s past experience she understands the importance of having a good relationship with customers and the benefits it provides to the company and to the customer. According to Hornby, Peppers, and Rogers (2005), "A distinguishing characteristic of the customer-intimate firm is its ability to provide a complete solution to each customer's needs rather than focusing on any product's superior features and benefits.”

Issue Identification

As with any major change within a company, Intersect Investment Services has some important issues that must be addressed before the “customer intimacy” model is implemented. Identifying and eliminating the issues will help Intersect ensure the successful implementation of the new “customer intimacy” model. Some of the major issues are,

• Intersect’s leadership team members have different opinions on the vision

• Short time frame (12 months) to implement the new strategy -- the CEO has high expectations Intersect is facing uneasiness within the market since 9/11

• Frank’s new vision will require a cultural change within the company

• Intersect must develop a new brand image to promote its products and services

• 25% sales employee turnover rate

• A new sales approach is required

• Customer turnover rates are too high

• New customers are needed

• Revenue needs to grow

• Sales headcount needs to drop

• The VP of Sales does not support the customer intimacy strategy and is openly hostile to it

• Salespeople lack training on the new strategy

• Employees and middle managers have lost trust in senior management and the leadership

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