Good guidance: using customer experience to strengthen the brand

A good customer experience strengthens a bank’s brand more than any image campaign. The management and design of the customer journey is therefore increasingly becoming the focus of marketing. Here, the UX (user experience) needs to be permanently readjusted to the customer’s requirements.

Anyone wanting to experience the effects of the digital disruption up close should meet up with a group of millennials for dinner, recommends Dillon Baker from the marketing consultancy Contently. “Just Venmo me your portion,” they will say, referring to the payment sharing app of the same name. The dinner guests discuss how much cheaper an account with an online-only bank is. They can view their current financial status at any time via a mobile application of their choice.

The strongest marketing message: customer experience

All these examples show that the customer experience is crucial for the success of a banking service which is based on the UX for digital applications. For instance, Walker Research forecast as early as 2013 that the customer experience will have replaced the price and product as a brand’s key selling points in 2020. What is more, the customer experience is also becoming more significant in marketing itself. It outperforms advertising clips and campaigns when it comes to convincing customers.

A MCKinsey study even comes to the conclusion that an increase in customer satisfaction by ten percent results in all sectors, including banking, in sales growth of two to three percent. Customers who like to use an application not only tell their friends about it, they also pass on their reviews on social media such as Facebook and on platforms like Amazon. The more useful content they are provided with by the bank, fintech or another organization, the more they engage with these marketing channels to the benefit of a company. Courtney McGrory, Managing Editor, Financial Content, Time Inc., calls this being “oriented by the customer”.

Understanding customers with artificial intelligence

To be oriented around the customer in marketing and application design, it is first necessary to find out what makes an application user-friendly and what obstacles may dampen the user experience. A detailed analysis of user data is essential for this. Only with the help of big data analyses and AI (artificial intelligence) is it possible to understand how and why customers interact on digital platforms. The analysis will show that customer requirements are permanently changing – interface design never comes to an end. In particular, the age of experience promises to provide benefits which customers did not even know they wanted.

To ensure at least a good customer experience, a specialist profession has even been created. The Customer Journey Manager should ensure that the customer gets their money’s worth at the relevant company. Bertrand Duperrin, Managing Director at the international digital agency Emakina, specifies the criteria that make up an outstanding customer journey: individuation, continuity and coherence. Without a journey manager, says Bertrand Duperrin, it will be difficult to manage the internal coherence of an individualised customer journey. However, he is at a loss without a Journey Designer, because even the best concept for the individual customer experience is hardly any use if it cannot be reasonably modelled technically.

Flexible technological basis

A multi-layer technology platform creates the necessary flexibility in digital banking. Applications of all kind can be easily and securely integrated in the horizontal solution. Services embedded via software interfaces (APIs) are connected in an UXP (user experience platform) to create a homogeneous view in a standardised design. Beneath the interface, applications can be added, modified and replaced at any time. This technological basis allows banks to initiate a positive cycle, as Alex Francis, founder of CEO of Loveholidays describes: “A good UX means more conversions – and more conversions means the ability to invest more money in customer acquisition.”