5 Key Takeaways From Customer Experience Transformation: Financial Services

Radhika Jindal
Posted: 12/14/2016

The 6th Annual Customer Experience Transformation: Financial Services assembled CX leaders from across the financial services sector, who shared their insights on keeping up with evolving consumer demands and digitalisation of this traditional industry.

The event tackled major CX challenges and provided innovative ideas to develop and tailor a successful CX strategy.

1. Design a Personalised Experience

Atom Bank saw huge success after becoming UK’s first fully digital bank that personalised their entire banking experience.

SEE ALSO: Case study – How Digital-Only Atom Bank Has the Contact Centre Into Their App

Michael Sherwood, Head of CX at Atom Bank, gave some great examples of how the bank did this, some of which include:

  • a simpler security and verification process where users can select their own voice or facial recognition,
  • customers can easily make their own passwords and PINs,
  • they can call customer care through the app without going through the verification process again, and
  • eliminating the necessity to remember your elementary school teacher’s middle name.


Other small improvements include adapting the app to both right- and left-handed individuals, personalising the bank’s name to the user’s name (Jack’s Bank) and logo colours to the user’s preference. They even have a special Christmas version of the app which can be switched off if you’re not feeling particularly festive.

Sherwood went on to say that Atom Bank exists to redefine the relationship with customers have with their money, which is done through personalisation. Personalisation begins with a purpose, this propose is the customer. Atom Bank provides an experience that adapts to the customer and reflects their values, which is what makes banking with them the best experience.

2. Customers Are Changing

National Savings and Investments (NS&I), moved from being a traditional paper-based post office savings institute to a direct banking institute by digitalising and automating their banking process.

NS&I was able to successfully make the shift from paper to digital despite having a slightly older demographic as their target market, because of the philosophical shift of their customers’ mind-set. The average age of their customers using their online banking feature is 59. Customers today are demanding digitalisation as they judge their banking institution based on what others are doing. This shift in mind-set allowed NS&I to develop a seamless customer experience.

Alun Williams, Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications at NS&I, said that the objective should be to empower the customer using digital automation. Digitalise and automate where-ever possible to improve the process, but use people and employees to add a human touch. If you instill a digital culture within the company, make it work and work well, this will delight your customers.

He concluded by saying, for NS&I, it wasn’t about being an innovator, it was about being a fast follower, staying relevant, dynamic and providing the best customer experience.

3. Always Tell a Story

David Kohler, Director of Customer Experience at Credit Suisse, delivered an inspiring presentation on using storytelling to innovate and change your business and its affects on design and innovation.

So why is storytelling so important? He said humans are inherently wired for stories. It’s what allows us to make sense of the world. Storytelling creates empathy and provides context for design, which is what brands need to create a change in behaviour. For a successful CX strategy, brands need to collect all data points and tell a story with it.

He used the ‘Double Diamond of Design’ to illustrate how designers should use storytelling. There are four key touch points to this framework; Discover, Define, Develop and Deliver. For designers to successfully use storytelling they need to widen their thinking to discover a problem and develop a solution, but narrow their thinking to define the problem and finally deliver the solution.

He concluded by saying that design is an intuitive process – it is analogue in a digital world.

4. Use Your Community

Today customers are creating their own experience through digital and social channels. Therefore, as a brand, what role can you play in this process?

Joe Cothrel, Chief Community Officer at Lithium, spoke about leveraging the power of your customers, especially through digital communities to create a better customer experience. Digital communities include any kind of blogs or forums that are on your company’s website. Financial institutions today are particularly focusing on this strategy to improve CX.

He used successful examples of BarclayCard, ING Direct, Commonwealth Bank and FICO, to illustrate that brands should consider their biggest customer pain when designing an online community. They should guide customers with what they should talk about online and collaborate with them to deliver the best value.

5. Employee Engagement is the Key to CX Success

Hellen Gullen, Head of CX at Unum, spoke about employee engagement playing a pivotal role in CX success. This is because it ensures that employees are motivated to work towards the goals and values of the organisation.

Her presentation included tips and hints on how to improve customer engagement based on strategies that Unum has implemented. The 4 key points she suggested to improve customer engagement are:

  1. Giving employees ownership of their tasks
  2. Creating a culture of feedback within the organisation – through employee ambassadors, blogs, journey mapping, customer conversations
  3. Rewarding employees efforts and making the rewards visible throughout the organisation
  4. Giving employees full accountability for their actions
Radhika Jindal
Posted: 12/14/2016