Digital transformation in financial services

Are you a leader or a laggard?

In 2009, Apple said, “There’s an app for that,” to sell that year’s latest smartphone. Today, the slogan is a simple statement of reality. There really are apps for everything—from making it more fun to brush your teeth, to dating, to finding a dinner reservation. For businesses, that means that customers no longer think an app is a cool new feature—it’s a given. And for the financial services industry, developing a mobile app is only the beginning of a bank’s digital transformation, not the finish line.

Create a new digital banking strategy.

As a tech-savvy generation gains more buying power, they’re thinking about who they want to help them handle their finances. For banks, merely making the leap to paperless banking isn’t enough to reach this demographic in meaningful ways. These customers are only impressed when banking processes are so seamless they barely have to think about them at all.

To provide the best customer experiences, banks shouldn’t develop digital touchpoints just to check off a box on their digital transformation checklist—touch points need to make sense for each stage of a customer’s banking journey. As digital banking upstarts keep coming up with innovative ways for customers to interact with their finances, understanding the customer journey is a surefire strategy to get ahead and stay ahead.

Rethink the customer journey.

The key to understanding the customer journey starts with design thinking. Design thinking can help banks understand why customers are using digital touchpoints in the first place, and how they compare with other methods—like visiting a branch, or calling a customer service line. Do customers use apps for routine transactions, but prefer chatting with a real person for financial advice? Or do they call in because they can’t figure out the website? Most importantly—how can banks make each of these steps easier and more accessible?

With design thinking, the only limit to what you can do for your customers is the reach of your imagination. The first step in the process? Observation and empathy. While you might have an idea of what your customers want from customer data and surveys, consider involving customers from the beginning—before you develop a new product or feature. Not only will customers feel like their voice matters, they’ll also provide insight into what they want before you spend valuable time and resources building it.

And when you’re brainstorming with customers and on your own team, don’t be afraid to jump outside the box—with design thinking, nothing is off limits. The trick is to prototype new ideas fast, so that if you need to improve or start over, you actually have time to do it.

Become a leader.

Once you understand your customer’s journey and start developing a strategy to make their path as seamless as possible, you’re well on your way to digital transformation success.
Need some more convincing, or interested in more?

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