Digital transformation needs a CX advocate

Your bank may have a digital transformation plan and budget, but does anyone “own” the digital experience across your entire bank?

Think about it. Your retail team might select a digital account opening solution. Your lending department chooses a platform for online applications. But each department is going to make a decision based on their needs and not consider the overall customer experience (CX). 

Someone at your bank — either an individual or your technology team as a whole — needs to keep CX front and center.

Identify your minimum CX requirements

CX refers to how your bank engages with the customer at every point of the customer journey — from signing up for a new account to a long-term relationship. CX can include everything from a digital product that’s difficult to navigate, features that don’t meet expectations, poor customer service, and irrelevant emails/notifications.

If you’re partnering with multiple vendors for different digital transformation projects (which is common and makes a lot of sense), someone should evaluate the tool from the customer’s perspective. Otherwise, you risk falling short.

Either an individual or technology team should identify a baseline for CX. Maybe the product needs to have an intuitive mobile app or customizable notifications. But it’s important to ask yourselves, “What are our CX must-haves?” so that any department can keep those customer experiences in mind when selecting new products. 

If your bank compiles a list of requirements when evaluating new products, it would be easy to incorporate your CX must-haves into that checklist.

Evaluate new products

Ideally, the person or team responsible for CX is part of every product evaluation — if only to weigh in on CX features. There is no universal definition for “intuitive mobile app” and it could leave a lot up to interpretation.

A department may focus on how a new product helps internal bank employees, whether through automation, integration, or other means of improving efficiency. A CX evaluation focuses on only the elements that the customer sees, everything from the login to emails. After all, the customer doesn’t care what happens behind the scenes.

Ask about the level of customization that your bank can do and the level of customization that the customer can control. Notifications, for example, are a big part of CX. Can customers choose how they’re notified (in-app, push notifications, emails)?

If you talk to other banks that are using a prospective vendor’s product, ask how their customers have responded. And ask about overall product adoption: Do customers seem to be using the features available? If not, that’s a potential sign of bad CX.

Stay on trend with new products and features

CX, like digital transformation overall, is a rapidly changing landscape. “Dark mode” was barely on the radar until 2019, when large companies like Apple, Microsoft and Google began incorporating it into their platforms more. Now, many people consider it to be a must-have feature.

Keeping the customer front and center also means keeping up with the latest trends. This applies to evaluating new vendors and ensuring that your existing vendors continue to provide cutting-edge CX features. Vendors may have a shiny product today, but if they don’t maintain it, it can lose its luster. 

Part of your CX research should include looking at your own customer base. Look at product adoption and, more specifically, when your customers are not adopting one of your digital products as expected. They may need more education (a great opportunity to interact with your customers) or the product is missing a key feature that they are expecting. You can survey your customer to find out more about why they use or don’t use a feature.

You should also evaluate any new features that your vendor pushes out. If your vendor adds a new CX element, it might be worth sending an email campaign to your customers using the product, making them aware of the change. Someone internally should also test out the changes from the customer’s perspective, so that bank employees fully understand what the customer sees and can answer questions.

Your customers will always need an internal advocate, at every stage of digital transformation. The sooner you prioritize CX, the more cohesive their experiences will be.