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Enhancing the customer journey in banking? Be sure to ask the right questions!

Lori Murray, |

Are you looking to adopt a new tool or system to help your bankers provide better service to your customers? Before jumping into the implementation, make sure you completely understand what it will do for your customers. Adopting new technology is a wasted effort if the customer’s overall experience isn’t improved. When enhancing the customer journey, you first need to ask three important questions:

  1. What does it do for the customer?
  2. Is that important to the customer?
  3. What metrics will be used to measure success and do they focus on the customer?

If you are simply focusing on revenue, expenses or cross-sell, you are viewing your project through the bank’s lens, not the customers’. It wasn’t until later in my career that I started measuring success of the implementation not by cost savings or revenue, but customer convenience; because ultimately, it’s customer convenience that drives revenue!

Years ago, most major industry studies stated that people were still coming into the branch. But, in my opinion, that wasn’t because they wanted to or because it was convenient for them – it was because we (the banks) made them. But as technology has evolved, people’s need to go to the branch has significantly decreased and customers now generally go to get in-person financial advice and less to complete daily transactions.

While working for a major bank, I came up with a new business idea based on small business customers. Confirming those industry reports, this customer segment was still coming in the branch in droves to run transactions. We conducted a study that showed that during a typical trip to the bank, these customers completed a familiar routine: they went to the bank, the shipping store, the supply store, the coffee shop and they often stopped for a business meeting. These customers are strapped for time, often juggling tight cash flow and usually wearing several hats within their business.

When asked what the bank could do for them, this particular customer segment would most often ask for more time. Of course, I cannot create more time but I could find ways for them to save time! What would a day be like if that same small business customer could run all those daily errands in one stop, not five? How much time would that give them to focus on other things, like their business operations or their families? I mention this example because it highlights the point that to truly understand the customer, banks have to ask the right questions. During my project, I tried to find out how customers would define convenience, not how I could simply sell them more stuff.

Today, I no longer work directly for a bank but for a technology services provider helping bankers run their businesses more efficiently. To lead them to successful project outcomes, I still always make sure they keep the customer journey front and center. Banks still have some hills to climb in improving the customer experience, but if they keep the focus on their clients and ask the right questions, they will be more likely to give them what they really want and need.

Are you asking the right questions? Need help taking the next step? Contact us today and find out how we can help you enhance your customer’s journey.