Ranking the user experience checklist: 7 winning strategies
User experience (UX) in banking cannot be described by a single word, it is a combination of thoughts and emotions experienced by a client after using a service or product, or during any other interaction with the bank, whether it is at a branch, online or over phone. Even a long-term client’s relationship with a bank can be ruined by a single bad experience, such as a mobile app malfunctioning or an unsatisfactory answer from customer support.
The primary reasons customers become unhappy with their banking experience include:
- Lack of awareness: Banks do not have enough data-driven insights into what customers expect from their banking experiences.
- Absence of a personal approach: A one-size-fits-all approach does not work today. Most customers are aware about what is available and do not appreciate being treated as faceless entities. Customers want banks to be aware of their financial needs and preferences.
- Not enough information: If banks do not know what their customers need, they cannot provide them with relevant information in a timely manner.
- Not enough time to respond: Banks often require documents or signatures immediately and that can be an inconvenience for customers.
Designing a banking UX is a customer-focussed process. The goal is to build an experience that will make customers happy and encourage them to build an emotional connection with the bank brand. Designing a positive banking UX requires an understanding of customer emotions, expectations and a passion to improve the existing offerings.
- Keep processes simple: Opening an account should be a process that is quick and free of hassles and in fact, banks with simple account opening processes attract more customers. Many banks do not allow customers to complete the process online and require customers to visit the branch. To make the process short and simple, banks must make an effort to create a hassle-free experience for the customer, enable account opening by online means, keep the process quick, and minimise data collection. Document verification should be done virtually too.
- Make the online experience quick and pleasant: More and more people are becoming accustomed to transacting virtually by either using mobile apps or net banking. To compete with mobile-only financial organisations, banks must ensure fast and secure payment processing and build a well-designed user interface (UI); use gamification to make it interesting and announce attractive offers; provide notifications quickly and perhaps most importantly, handle errors well.
- Enable customers to block cards and accounts easily: The risk of fraud during digital transactions is real. Banks must be proactive and have fraud-prevention plans in place. Part of that involves educating customers on when to block a card or freeze an account, making the process simple and easy to follow and keeping customers well-informed about how to spot fraudulent actions and messages. Certain customers such as senior citizens and those who are not digital natives must be educated with more care and thoroughness.
- Allow customers to provide employee feedback after transactions: Customer feedback is one of the most powerful ways for organisations to improve their customer experience. Allowing customers to reach support staff more easily is a primary need of effective customer support. Instead of taking customers through endless loops, banks must enable more personalised support to build trust and to gain points in its favour.
- Develop an omnichannel customer experience: An omnichannel banking experience is one where customers receive a consistent experience across channels and can move seamlessly from one channel to another. This enables customers to access bank products and services from anywhere at any time. Offering this requires significant investment in advanced analytics, data collection, data-driven personalisation across channels and motivated sales teams capable of working in omnichannel environments. Most banks are operating on multiple channels already but not many have made the leap to omnichannel solutions. It is an opportunity missed.
- Understand customer journeys and provide personalised banking experiences: To offer customers personalised services, each customer’s journey must first be monitored and understood. Customer touchpoints across branches, ATMs, call centres and online channels can all be monitored and banking behaviour can be understood from this data. Banks must review their digital channels regularly, take customer feedback seriously and focus on customer needs. By comparing customer experience indices against industry benchmarks, banks can get a clear idea about where they stand. Customer experience improvements must be identified and implemented.
- Be flexible: To enhance customer experience, banks must be flexible and open to change. For example, open banking technologies allow banks to offer their customers greater power over their financial decisions. This is again an opportunity offered by technology. Open banking APIs allow customers to access third party products and services seamlessly. Unless banks adopt the latest technological offerings, they are likely to lose customers to other banks. By keeping customer interests and security at the top of their priority list, banks can transform themselves into industry leaders when it comes to customer experience.
For a long time, building a positive customer experience was considered to be expensive and something that was achieved at the cost of efficiency. However, the last decade has shown that better customer experience leads to better revenue in terms of more customers, less friction and fewer complaints about services and customer support. Building a better customer experience is a win-win situation for all parties involved.
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