How Big Tech is shaping the financial services’ customer journey
A quick recap
In our previous blog post, we learned that Big Tech has a lot in common with seagulls: “they fly in, make a lot of noise, crap everywhere and then fly out.” Looking at the financial sector, we claimed that Big Tech doesn’t have the ambition to actually become the next bank in town.
However, the common playground between the two is expanding. Banks heavily rely on Big Tech's infrastructure and technologies, while Big Tech increasingly incorporates financial services to their own offerings.
Steal with your eyes
And why shouldn’t they? Amazon & co are simply better at understanding the customer journey than most companies do. They made it their mission to improve, extend or radically reimagine those customer experiences. Don’t just stare at their superiority, but take action.
So let’s take a look at how banks & financial service providers can learn from Big Tech to improve their digital relationships with customers. It’s time to truly understand the customer journey and take it seriously. What should you, as a financial service player, take away from Big Tech companies?
We need to talk about customer journeys
Before we start talking about how you can truly understand your customers, we first need to talk about customer journeys. Let’s be honest: they have a bad reputation. All too often these journeys are based on pure assumptions instead of objective, qualitative or quantitative data coming from users themselves and their digital products. It's tempting to form this idea of imaginary personae with a lot of (fictional) irrelevant information.
Take a look at this example:
This is Eric, our fictional character. His favourite colour is blue. He loves to ride his motorcycle on the weekend and now that the children are out of the house, he has some money to spare.
Sounds familiar? It’s a perfect example of a practically non-existent user, based on broad assumptions. How will this ‘fictional customer’ assist you in making the right strategic product decisions? Apart from the fact that you might sell Eric insurance for his bike, it doesn’t line up with reality.
This kind of thinking results in long and expensive roadmaps, leading to products and features that nobody - except the business owner - cares for. Now we got that off our chest, we can talk about doing it right…
Set your sights on really understanding your users
To really understand your user, simply start by looking at the available data. How are users navigating through your product? Can you see a drop-off on certain screens or flows? Do they struggle to find your products or services? Once you see these kinds of abnormalities in your data, you want to know why this is happening and how to stop the trend.
The best way to face these challenges is talking to users about that specific feature. And we mean actual conversation. It may seem like a daunting task, but it’s less complicated than you might imagine. Why? You don’t need to talk to everyone. Simply talking to 5 or 10 users will give you enough ‘sanity check’ to discover 80% of their underlying obstacles. Low effort, high results.
Take Uber, for instance. While going through their data, they noticed a big drop in the onboarding process of new drivers, especially in more remote areas. Puzzled by the possible explanation, Uber decided to involve actual users who dropped out of the onboarding process.
They discovered that it was a huge pain for new drivers without a banking account to go to a bank and open an account. Without a banking account, Uber naturally can’t pay its drivers. Uber’s solution? The Uber debit card. A Banking-as-a-Service solution that allows drivers to create their own Uber bank account, straight from the Uber app.
From insights to better products & services
What does the Uber story teach us? Specific problems require specific solutions that only reveal themselves by inquiring your users. There’s no magic solution to enhance your complete customer journey at once. It’s a process of tackling small issues in order to create a flawless user experience.
Looking at your customer journey as a sum of isolated parts, each based on objective data, is key. It is crucial to identify the relevant users, along with their pains and gains, and figure out the tasks at hand.
These insights will help you to deliver real value and build the perfect customer journey, step by step. Not based on general assumptions or wishful thinking, but rather on real and objective data.