There is so much talk about digital being the new frontier in banking, and to a large extent, it is. However, far too many banks that I visit are focussing purely on their digital offer and not looking at the experiences they are choreographing holistically.
Digital, digital, digital is the mantra I am hearing from every client I visit. Often, we have this or that new technology, we have invested in it and we need to make it work for our customers… Stepping back from this statement, it is clear to see the folly in such decision making. Why?
Technology is not the only hero. Buying technology and making your customers use it, is not putting customers at the heart of your business. Whilst there are plenty of examples I can give where banks have to invest in improving their digital backbone, I am struggling to understand why, by investing in technology first, they believe they have the solution to poor customer engagement.
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Experiences are holistic. This means they combine a number of so-called ‘channels’, including real people, physical environments, formats, locations… and digital. When building experiences, organizations have to start by understanding what makes them different, their products, their brand and their business plan. Then, with careful choreography, experiences can be built. Notice, I did not mention technology in isolation.
Experiences to surprise and delight customers. Putting the customer at the heart of what you do will ensure that your organization finds new ways of serving customers in ways that are unique to your brand… and say something about you, your story, what you do, and the people that work at your company.
How do you develop experiences that are holistic?
There is no simple answer to this questions, but I suggest you do the following. Here are my ten tips:
Spending may not always the answer. Do not reach the cheque-book and try to spend your way out of a problem
Focus on your brand. Ask what is the unique territory your brand occupies in the mind of customers, what do you want to be associated with, what do you deliver and why do you deliver it (avoid the words profit or creating value for shareholders - customers don’t care about this)
Focus on your people. Understand how do they behave in your organization. Are there behaviours aligned with your brand values. If not, help your people understand what you want your organization to represent and why. Help them to understand their role and the part they play in its success
Focus on your business plan. Build a realistic strategy that plots the path to growth and sets realistic, audacious goals for your business
Understand what you can do and what you can’t. It is no good promising to be the ‘best digital bank in the world/region/country’ if you do not have the technology, brand and people to deliver to that goal
Understand what you can deliver and focus on that. Build a roadmap they help you move towards your goals and achieve them
Understand customers. Build personas that represent the customers you have and the customers you want. Use these to develop your business offer
Story. Customers are looking for experiences and want to associate themselves with brands that share their outlook and values. It is critical that your organization has a story that is in harmony with the customers you have and the customer you wish to have. Every organization had a special story to tell. This needs to be crafted in a sophisticated way they are meaningful to customers
Customer Journey. The key to success is choreography. Develop end-to-end customer journeys that help you to choreograph customers experiences throughout your organization. This means in every experience.
Technology. Technology needs to serve a purpose and not be used for the sake of technology or to mask poor customer experience choreography. Remember that not every organization needs a ‘Ferrari’ and be sure to understand how technology can be used to deliver any time, anywhere experiences that are aligned with your brand.
Measurement. I have written extensively about how important measurement is in creating customer experiences that surprise and delight customers. There are two buckets into which measurement fall:
Collection. Using data to understand your customers better will help you in so many ways not least, it will reduce the ‘hit-and-miss’ nature of creating products, services and experiences. You will be able to base your decisions on facts and not on guesswork. Use data collection to drive every aspect of your customer experience… but remember, logic is not the only answer to creating experiences that work, art is also involved. Ensure that your designers are given the freedom to innovate with the data you provide. Push them to think and interpret differently.
Impact. Nothing stays still for long and experiences should constantly be evolving. Put in place ways to measure the impact your experiences are having on your brand, on customers and on achieving your business goals. Use this information to adapt and evolve how you do business and never be afraid to rip up the rule book and innovate.
About the Author
Nicholas Griffin is Managing Director at Principle Global (www.principleglobal.com)