How not to fail at customer experience

By : Russ Tarver

November 15, 2018 01:00 PM

Is your financial institution making any of these common customer experience mistakes when developing digital solutions?


Delivering a strong customer experience needs to be a top priority for any community financial institution (CFI) in the current environment.


With it being harder than ever to compete on price, and with larger, national banks being able to devote vast resources to developing new innovations, being able to stand out as a provider of personalized services that connect with people on a more individual level will be the key to success for smaller banks.


This, however, may be easier said than done. Inevitably, when there are periods of significant upheaval and change, not everything may go perfectly to plan first time around. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Being able to quickly identify what works and what doesn't within your platform, especially from a user experience perspective, and then adapting your plans accordingly is a key part of developing a successful, long term digital solution.


Failing the right way


This is often known as 'failing fast' and can be instrumental toward ensuring the business remains agile and flexible, in addition to funneling valuable insight into what their customers want.


For instance, you might test a new layout for your digital banking user interface, only to find the customers consider it cluttered and unintuitive. But with the right planning, you should more easily be able to make changes to undo anything that doesn't work and move on to a new idea, meanwhile considering those newly acquired learnings about your customers.


The key mistakes to avoid


While this is often seen as the 'right' way to fail, because you can take away key lessons and not overly disrupt existing operations, this won't apply to every initiative. In fact, there are a few key mistakes that may be much harder to correct, and will leave you with a system that does not offer the strong customer experience that is essential in today's environment. Here are a couple of common errors you need to avoid.


●     Not putting fluidity first


A good customer experience needs to be straightforward and easy to use. This can cover everything from the range of services that are on offer via digital platforms to how users log on to the system. For instance, biometrics are now an essential part of many people's day-to-day lives and, with more people using their smartphone as their primary banking service, they expect to be able to take advantage of tools like fingerprint scanners to confirm their identity without having to remember long, complex passwords. But ignore features like this, and you may end up inconveniencing customers.


●     Not considering security


With the volume of cyber-attacks and fraud attempts always rising, security is one area no bank can afford to overlook. Yet if CFIs don't take the time to ensure they have the most up-to-date safety and encryption protocols, they will end up facing serious problems, as it surely won't take long for any weaknesses to be identified and exploited. In such cases, any remedies will certainly be applied too late, after the damage is done.


●     Not paying attention to the integration


How the digital banking platform integrates with a bank's back-end system is an essential, yet often overlooked part of any deployment. While banks may understandably want to focus on the elements that are most visible to consumers, such as the aesthetics, if simple activities such as making deposits or paying bills aren't able to be executed easily and reliably, customers will be left with a hugely negative impression of the bank. This is one area where it can be particularly useful to have an expert partner on board, to help guide banks through the process and ensure everything is working as it should.


●     Not focusing on human customer service


There may be an assumption among CFIs that in a digital-first world, self-service will be the primary way people interact with their bank. However, while this may hold true for many day-to-day activities, there will inevitably come a time when a customer needs to connect with a human. But if your digital banking system doesn't do this effectively, agents may not have access to all the information they need, or customers will find themselves having to repeat themselves multiple times, adding to both their frustration and the time it takes to resolve their queries.


These are all mistakes that can be frequently seen in many financial institution digital operations, especially among smaller institutions that do not have large R&D budgets. However, with the right partner to assist throughout the process, they are all easily avoidable, helping you create a digital banking platform that provides the high level of experience today's consumers expect.


To see what the smartest digital banking solutions do differently – plus what one community credit union accomplished with their digital banking technology – download the latest ebook from NCR.

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Russ Tarver

Senior Marketing Manager

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Russ Tarver is a Senior Marketing Manager of NCR’s Digital Insight™ solutions. For over seven years, he’s developed marketing strategies and thought-leadership for NCR’s digital and omni-channel banking solutions. In addition to his time at NCR, Russ has held management roles with financial institutions and technology service providers, leading various marketing programs and operations.