How financial services firms are redesigning CX - and what we can learn from them

Bank customer experience
istock
Paul Laughlin
Managing Director
Laughlin Consultancy
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The third annual Customer Experience for Financial Services Conference Europe shared some important insights about how FS leaders are redesigning CX to respond to FinTech challenges. 

Last month, I was delighted to attend FinTech Network’s #CXCEU2018 event. It’s the third year running that I’ve been part of this meeting. It brings together FinTech startups & established FS firms, to focus on CX.

As I’ve shared from previous years. this often helps highlight the need for customer insight to guide innovation. Despite the media focus on FinTech or InsurTech startups being all about new technology, analytics & insight can be more important.

In line with my own advice, for getting maximum value out of attending such events, I’ve kept short notes. For each speaker, I noted at most three bullets summarising important points to remember, plus an action to take as a result.

I hope you find this overview of Day Two (I was with a client on Day One), useful. It certainly confirmed to me…

The ever-changing face of product

Bil Ahmed, head of product innovation at Investec, shared his principles for product development. Bil was a great speaker to start the day, as he used just animated gifs & headings to present. An amusing & engaging style. Here is what stayed with me…

  • Product has moved from assumption-led to customer problem solving.
  • Obsess about understanding customer problems & have empathy across disciplines.
  • Balance being insight/design-led & being agile/lean – commercial impact needs both.

Recommended action: Intentionally change mindsets, both of c-suite as to need to focus on customer problems & by not accepting technology barriers (what would it take?)

Designing cohesive experience at scale

Paolo Miani, head of design strategy at Lloyds Banking Group, shared her learning on achieving consistency in CX. Here is what stayed with me…

  • Human-centred design is helping their 75k employees empathise with customers, with a Design System as a common language between teams
  • Hired first chief design officer, used research to understand strategy in customer language & experiences – another sign of growing power of design teams
  • Being explicit about mindsets needed across teams helps (customer-centricity, experimentation, collaboration, continuous learning)

Recommended action: Change way teams work together to focus on outcomes for customers’ lives not product (e.g. new home, not mortgage).

Building a bank without a balance sheet

To give time to the FinTech perspective, Roderick Simons, CTO at Yolt shared their experience. As a venture by ING, they were created to respond to Open Banking. Here is what stayed with me…

  • In other sectors tech platforms have changed relationship between products & channels (c.f. Trivago, Uber, Deliveroo), Yolt aims to do same in Banking.
  • Focus should be on seamless effortless experience for core activities, to achieve 40% uplift in engagement & utilisation (e.g. simplifying giving consent).
  • Building an ecosystem that users & partners can develop apps to run upon – an opportunity to move beyond one platform into a marketplace

Recommended action: A number of FinTech apps use Open Banking data to provide better data visualisation & more visual interfaces (even vendor logos help customers understand their spend better. How can you improve visualisation of transactions?

The closed loop feedback model: Using data to harvest feedback

Moving on to a focus on Customer Insight, Sarah McGuire, head of products & CX analytics at RBS shared how this feedback has helped. Here is what stayed with me…

  • Seen closed loop feedback as key to achieving customer obsession. Culturally embedding staff listening, learning & acting on customers’ feedback.
  • Key to this working has been standardisation of measurement (brand & operational NPS), Now consistent across bank & used for 24 hour response.
  • But focus needs to be customer’s answers to follow-up questions. External not internal root cause analysis. Coupled with fast capture & visible reporting.

Recommended action: How can you improve motivation of service staff, through improving speed & personal focus of customer feedback and tracking action as a result?

Understanding the real needs of digital customers

We changed to an interview at this stage, with Hannah Isaacs from agency PenCX interviewing Michael Anyfantakis, head of customer journey design at Lloyds Banking Group. This conversation revealed…

  • Change to focus more on customer outcomes requires structural & process changes (using systems thinking, agile & less hierarchical decision-making).
  • Cross- functional co-located teams (labs) have been complemented by design experts & leaders accountable for customer journeys (reminded me of business process re-engineering in the 1990s).
  • Empowerment to make decisions locally, plus having engineering & IT skills within teams, has enabled changes to be tested much quicker.

Recommended action: How can you ensure any agile or design teams working within your business benefit from analytics & insight, within such teams (at pace)?

Six steps to baking an innovation cake

Wince Wong, head of innovation for supply chain service from RBS, shared her personal story of inculcating innovation within her business. Her innovative style was lots of emojis on charts, another clue that visual communication works. Here is what stayed with me…

  • FinTech take-up also shows demand for doing one thing well not everything in a mediocre way, large FS firms need to focus on CX detail & where it is appropriate to collaborate.
  • 5 step overview of innovation: identify trends, define bets, trial small solutions, analyze behaviour & commercials, scale the ones that win.
  • 6 steps to baking that also apply to innovation teams (fresh ingredients, know your market, believe, better together, the right conditions, test & learn)

Recommended action: How could you improve your teams or innovation approach? Which of the 6 steps are you missing?

Talking to the connected customer

Moving on to a section focussed on the role of technology, we heard from Gayathri Sudhakaren. She is Head of Self Service at LV=. As a client of Laughlin Consultancy, I was delighted to hear LV= share so proudly…

  • High service scores are great but also give you a higher hurdle to achieve in any changes implemented. At heart, always remember empathy & humility.
  • Principles for changing CX (participate in conversational AI economy, connectivity through data (and Robotic Process Automation), use technological capabilities to understand context, connectivity through new ecosystems)
  • She also shared the different learning from building a claims automation solution ‘in house’ (more expensive, but scalable) and outsourced (cheaper by not scalable).

Recommended action: Are you keeping sufficient eye on technology trends, for that context to spark ideas & innovations to meet customers’ need? Are you playing?

The future role of AI in customer service

Building on Tony Boobier’s recent post on his experience of being served by robots, we heard from Nordea. Anna Metsaranta, Head of Automated Remote CX at Nordea. Here is what stayed with me…

  • The need to be problem-centric, dwell on understanding this well enough before moving on to solution building. Reminded me of role of Socratic Questioning.
  • Avoid being transfixed by AI or Automation, the tech is not the point. Does it help solve a customer problem? Don’t have hobbies, use it where it helps.
  • ‘Elements of AI’ is a national education resource for all Finnish citizens (and you can go on too). We need something like this to prepare the UK.

Recommended action: Consistent reference to research during event, that customers will use AI solutions if they help but not if they are gimmicky. Have you got the CX right & is it transparent to customers, with them seeing it as appropriate?

Using customer data (even NPS) to yield insights

Pedro Martin from TransferWise closed the day by sharin the experience of another FinTech. A startup already up to 4m users, 70% of their growth has come from recommendation, so NPS matters to them. So, here’s what I learnt from them…

  • They have learnt that what cause people to recommend is if product is cheap, fast & easy. Consistent themes to CES & trust research.
  • Combining NPS with feedback has provided greater insight, as volume grew they moved to a text analytics solution to achieve this.
  • “Data rarely gives you an insight into visceral customer reactions“. So, beyond text analytics, empathy and customer research still have a role.

Recommended action: Sharing comments & themes from feedback with a team helps them achieve strong conviction about producst & what needs to be changed.

Do you have other insights from FS firms on their use of innovation?

Well you should speak at events like this then! Seriously, it would be great to hear your experience.

Many customer insight or analytics leaders are still finding the right way to innovate or work with innovation teams. So, you’ll help our profession if you share your lessons learnt.

If you personally have an interesting case study, I might even invite you onto our ongoing audio interview series.

About Paul Laughlin

Paul Laughlin

The Laughlin Consultancy helps companies generate sustainable value from their customer insight, for example by growing their bottom line, improving customer retention and demonstrating to their regulator that they treat customers fairly.

Paul Laughlin, managing director, added over £10m to the bottom line of blue chip companies each year, by removing common barriers to realising that value.

This is achieved by enabling businesses to maximise the value they can drive, from using data, analytics & research, to intelligently interact with their customers. It also means ensuring customer insight teams, especially their leaders, have the knowledge and skills they need to sustain this improvement.

Every business that we help is different and so what’s needed can vary. For that reason, the best place to start is normally for us to have a conversation, about what you are trying to achieve and your current situation. Only when we understand that, will we be in a position to suggest possible actions to maximise your returns.

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