Why Financial Services should focus on customers

The financial services industry is viewed as ‘one of the least trusted to do what is right’.

So ensuring the customer experience is optimised could mean the difference between success and failure.

And most importantly whether your customers stay loyal or go to your competitors.

Two important factors noted by customers as reasons to leave a Bank are ‘quality of service and ease of use’.

As consumers, we want more for less – we’re impatient and expect efficiency and speed. If the video we want to view is buffering on YouTube, we try another one. In a mobile world we want to fill in forms with minimal effort, without confusion. We want our experiences to be instinctive and immediate, if the experience isn’t right, we’ve lost interest.

Since June 2015, banking by smartphone and tablet has been primary way customers manage their finances. It has overtaken branches and the internet as the most popular way to bank.

  • Customers moved £2.9 billion a week using banking apps in 2015
  • There were 9.6 million log-ins to internet banking a day last year
  • Over 1.3 million text message alerts sent by banks to their customers each day

Technology is developing at light-speed, but as Steve Jobs put it so well:

“You‘ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology—not the other way around."

And there are challenges for traditional finance services organisations. IT infrastructure changes aren’t cheap so they have to think of ways to get around this as best they can. But the numbers are significant.

And the customer experience doesn’t begin and end on a digital platform. Organisations must have a consistency of great service, and the ones who are well renowned for this, flourish.

The cost of developing the wrong experience is huge.

The time and effort it takes to rework a product already out in the public domain is significant.

The lesson?

Get it right beforehand by testing with real users.

Start with a sketch, test, prototype, test, and iterate, until you are satisfied, then develop.

Release and optimise using analytics and multivariate testing, whilst continuously speaking to real users, to get their insight, and continually improve.

Asking a customer what they want is one thing, but taking that insight and developing the experience into something that positively surprises them, is another. 

Don’t give them what they want – over-deliver.

They’ll tell their friends, who tell theirs, who post it on social, who write a blog about it – you know where I’m going. 

Advocacy. 

You earn this, and reap the rewards when you get it (and keep it) right.

The more you know about the needs and goals of your customers, the better chance you have of realising and delivering the solution to ensure they reach those goals.

Strategists, UX specialists, designers and developers all have to take a step back and live the life of the end users – immerse themselves so their thinking is the same.

As a financial services business number one is to make it easy to engage with you, and take the time to simplify the complex and the rewards will be seen.

We know too well, that the customer is king, so take note, and even if it’s not what you want to hear, you better do something about it.

 “The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them.” - Paulo Coelho