With all the trouble in the banking industry nowadays you’d think your mega banking conglomerate would be willing to seek advice and differentiators from anywhere. You’d also be horribly wrong.
I’ve been a Bank of America customer for a long time and have even gotten other people to switch over because I think their online banking is the best in the business. So, today I was looking around for a particular feature and couldn’t find it. After searching through their FAQs I decided that the feature just didn’t exist. So, being the helpful customer I am, I went to go send them a suggestion. I was going to tell them where they should put it, how it could work, how useful it would be and how it would make their site better. Basically, a solid gold use case they could drop into their product backlog ASAP. The “Contact Us” link was nice and easy to find and on that page was a link to “Bank of America’s Unsolicited Idea Submission Policy”, which reads:
Bank of America and its associates do not accept or consider unsolicited ideas, including ideas for new or improved products, processes or technologies, product enhancements, advertising and marketing campaigns, promotions or new product names. Please do not send any original materials, suggestions or other items.
Ouch, well, so much for listening to your users and working with them to create a better product. I get the need to protect your IP but go have a talk with the executives at Procter & Gamble who completely changed their R&D model to get more innovation from the outside. “Today, more than 35 percent of our new products in market have elements that originated from outside P&G, up from about 15 percent in 2000″, according to a March 2006 article by The Harvard Business Review. I am sure this number has grown just look at their huge web presence for external innovations called, P&G Connect + Develop. Time to get on the Train, BofA