We live in an exciting Open Banking Era. In today’s landscape, the forces influencing personalized retail banking, come from the ease with which transaction data from user end accounts is getting aggregated.
For a bank, to successfully transform digitally, depends on the ability to unlock the enormous business potential of customer experiences.
An October 2018 Mc Kinsey analysis based on the S&P global market intelligence, reports that out of 50 largest global banks, three out of four now pledge themselves to some form of a customer experience transformation.
It is hardly surprising then; digital banking teams are keen to digitize the entire customer life cycle. They want to cut costs and offer convenience by enabling customers to research, buy, and manage loans, bank accounts, savings, and investments through digital touchpoints.
What does it mean for the industry?
For innovative financial organizations – high street banks, digital-only players, specialist lenders, or non-bank brands – engineering superior customer experiences for banking leaders becomes the right step towards successful transformation.
Experience Engineering brings together the art of reimagining digital transformation by applying the rigorous science of architecting unique customer journeys.
And, experience engineering begins to make sense when canned customer journeys are of the highest quality and are available on an ongoing basis.
Canned customer journeys are the dynamic repositories of customer touchpoints and personas collated and developed across long swathes of time (often across multiple decades).
A customer’s banking relationship includes key journeys that range from on-boarding and transacting to maintenance and problem resolution. Effective transformations must not only recognize the complexity of these relationships but must also make a priority of the parts of the experience that matter most—to manage the cross-functional, end-to-end nature of customer needs rather than deferring to existing organizational structures.
Having established the primacy for companies to think of customer experience as a series of individual touchpoints, let us take the discussion deeper.
Namely shifting from touchpoints to the entire journey – or in other words, inculcating the ability to see the world as customers do.
Let us begin by asserting that, customer journeys are more than Touchpoints. They include many things that happen before, during, and after the experience of product and service. Journeys are long, stretching across multiple touchpoints and channels, and lasting days or weeks.
In today’s multi-touchpoint, multichannel, always-on, hypercompetitive consumer markets, the explosion of potential customer interaction points—across new channels, devices, applications, and more—makes the consistency of service and experience across channels almost impossible—unless you are managing the journey
Touchpoints on the other hand, are a way for organizations to maximize productivity and scale economies through functional units. They are wired for transactions, not journeys.
So for banking transformations that necessarily depend on creating (and leveraging) customer journeys, what is the way forward? What kind of ecosystem partners will successfully help banks bring an edge to their digital transformations?
For a bank, here are the multiple steps, a transformation partner, needs to be an expert on.
- Step back and identify the nature of the journeys customers take—from the customer’s point of view.
- Understand how customers navigate across the touchpoints as they move through the journey.
- Anticipate the customer’s needs, expectations, and desires during each part of the journey.
- Build an understanding of what is working and what is not.
- Set priorities for the most important gaps and opportunities to improve the journey.
- Come to grips with fixing root-cause issues and redesigning the journeys for a better end-to-end experience.
If you were to read these pointers again, there is one compelling demonstrable skill set that rises to the surface: D-O-M-A-I-N
More often than not, financial organizations are simply not naturally wired to think about the journeys their customers take. Thinking about customer journeys—instead of traditional touchpoints—requires an operational and cultural shift that engages the organization across functions and from top to bottom.
Finally, articulated simply, the ability to conceptualise and develop superior customer journeys for a banking player, hinges on a deep understanding of the banking domain – that cuts across sub-domains, products, technologies, processes, and workflows.