Everyone thinks they know the definition of a "great customer experience"—Google it and you’ll see over 57.3 million results. Whoa. Just how many of those do you think are aligned with your definition of a great customer experience?
Banks may have regulations, legacy systems, and other barriers to work with when designing a digital banking platform, but that doesn't have to stop them from creating a user experience that their customers will love. The first step is to design a user experience that’s seamless and intuitive for your customers and have everything else work around that—not the other way around!
Think of it this way: if I’m making a handmade suit, I gather everything my customer wants beforehand. This includes the measurements, the fabric, the style, the colour, and the list goes on.
Every decision I make as I create this suit is centred around what my customer wants. If I have a sewing machine that’s not going to help fulfill my customer’s needs, I get a new sewing machine. What if I don't? I might produce a suit that my customer doesn’t fully want, and they leave me to find a new tailor that will create something that they love.
This is a simplified example of a much bigger opportunity.
The Opportunity: How do I find out what experience my customers want?
There’s “no one size fits all” approach when it comes to a well-designed user experience. You need to know what issues your customers are facing before you know what user experience works for them. Don’t assume you know what they want because oftentimes, they don’t even know what they're looking for.
Here's the good news about being a bank that’s established in the space: you already have access to a large customer base. Don't take that for granted. Through surveys and focus groups, find out what barriers exist in their customer journey. Maybe it’ll be as simple as discovering that it’s difficult for them to find the sign-in button for their online banking account. Or, maybe it’s a bigger issue and they dislike their online experience. Once you find out, keep the conversation going. However big or small the issues, don’t let your fear of knowing what your customers want you to fix stop you from listening to them.
Great—you know the problem. Now what?
Now that you know what issues your customers are facing with their user experience, you’ll know what barriers you need to address to make changes that matter. Now's the time to get the appropriate teams involved and start building a prototype. You're probably thinking that's a big move, and it's hard to commit. Well, think about it this way:
The earlier you start building something, the faster you can test it out with a group of customers, gather feedback on what’s working and what’s not, and iterate to get the best product out to market.
Break down silos in your organization and get people talking. Include developers, IT and securities, marketing, and project managers from the beginning so that you have the right input coming from different viewpoints.
Hey, chances are you won’t get it right from the start and you’ll need to make changes. But, that's okay. At least you're seeing progress and you're further along than you were before.
This is great stuff, but why should you care?
A well-designed user experience has a domino effect on many areas of your business. If your customers are happy, your employees are happy (surprised?) and they have a sense of purpose for what they’re doing. You’ll also attract customers who are frustrated with their user experience at other institutions (no surprise here).
Here’s a number for you—according to CIBC, 67% of Canadians prefer to have an in-person interaction at a bank when it comes to dealing with more complicated issues. Customers already have trust in their banks and see you as an expert. If you can create a seamless online and in-person user experience for them, you’ll stay competitive in an industry where more viable options for your customers are popping up every day.
Failing is learning. Failing fast is winning.
At Aequilibrium, we do just that. We’re not afraid to iterate, test, and fail quickly. We know that this process gives us the insight into our customers' expectations. Finding out what customers don’t want is as important as knowing what they do want.
For financial institutions to build simple and enjoyable user experiences for their customers, they first need to address the barriers that get in the way of making change possible. It’s easier said than done, but if you talk to your customers, you’ll find what you need to overcome. Then, you’ll have more room to experiment, fail quickly, and learn to build the best product that provides a simple and seamless user experience.
I’ll be speaking at the Payments Canada Summit next week about innovative digital solutions and what Aequilibrium is doing in the space to help you stay ahead. If you’ll also be in Toronto, I’d love to connect over a coffee!
Aequilibrium is a digital design and software development studio. Speed, craftsmanship, and user experience are at the helm of our creations. Get in touch to work with us or to say hello—new friends are always welcome!
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