A number of my readers have teased me this week about being so grumpy in my recent posts especially the last one (Tell me what I CAN have, not what I can’t). So, with the Rolling Stones classic ‘I can’t get no satisfaction’ ringing through my ears, I have decided to strike a more positive note in my article.
As many of you will know, I believe digital is not the only ingredient in the pie when it comes to customer experience. Having touch screens, digital walls, fancy interfaces and lots of ‘bells and whistles’ is now so ubiquitous, customers expect it as the norm. However, as many of you also know, retailers inability to deliver engaging content to this medium is something that remains a constant thorn in my side. Indeed, if one looks at digital businesses that really work, the majority of content is ‘user created’, and not created by the host. On top of that, and let’s be honest, reading about the latest football scores, who Donald Trump has offended now, what the weather is like in Timbuktu etc... is infinitely more interesting to most of us than reading about a banks new loan rate or credit card. It’s simply boring by comparison. So how do banks engage customers in digital?
I have written at length about avoiding dancing bears - digital for the sake of digital... and without wishing to seem grumpy again, there is nothing I enjoy less than walking into a bank branch and being faced with a host of blank screens or, better still, gesture controlled banking - yes I have seen it.
You can imaging my delight when I meet a bank who have stopped (some might say delayed the launch of a digital offer), thought and focussed on using the digital medium to do something really new, that has benefits for the bank and for the customer. Where content is provided by the customer and not the bank and where users are at the forefront of the experience, not the bank - and gain a real and significant benefit for being so... when I hear this, I stand up and listen. I am afraid I cannot speak about the offer in detail as it is still confidential - but I will when I can - however, I can talk about the principles and how this bank has really got to grips with:
A solution that works for the bank
Attract and retain young customers in an engaging fashion, and you’ll attract everyone
Redefining the digital model with a focus on customer gain
Don’t follow the flock, look at different business genre to see if their businesses digital model can be adapted to work for you
Building a system that has a significant upside for the bank
Remember, digital is a bottomless pit, into which you have to throw many thousands of dollars if you are to remain constant. If your users can create content and you can derive a benefit from it, the up side is huge. Not only for your business, but for your brand
Building a system that is hard to copy
Realistically, any organisation has about three months to gain an advantage before a competitor moves in on their space. If this is a bigger competitor, you will most likely burn. The holy grail is to find a solution, or package of individual products that is hard to copy - in other words something that is unique to you
Keeping it simple
Most Senior executives do not understand digital (perhaps I am wrong), but I see this as a great advantage. The reality is, normal rules apply and old fashioned business principles still stand sound. Create an offer that is easy to communicate and your customers get it in a few words - and see the benefit to them
Avoiding ‘Dancing Bears’
Avoid technology for the sake of technology. Winning solutions are all about real people using real products to gain a real benefit. Think about usability and deliver a solution which seamlessly fits into the customer journey.
So far, in all my travels, and visits to 100’s of CEO’s around the world, I have not seen anything that comes close to achieving this in the banking world... until last week when I listened to the Deputy CEO of a bank present his concept to me and I honestly thought ‘I wish I’d thought of that’... Sir, you know who you are, congratulations!