Temenos believes that the key to effective customer acquisition in financial services lies in delivering a frictionless experience. In other words – make it easy! Recent research from CEB (www.executiveboard.com) which resulted in the book The Effortless Experience has highlighted that organizations that focus on making customer interactions as easy as possible for the customer outperform their peers in acquiring and retaining customers (in terms of loyalty and growing share-of-wallet).
Similarly, organizations with a strong focus on customer experience, in general, have been proven to outperform the market and those that are “laggards” with regard to customer experience underperform the market as shown in this research from Watermark consulting:
We have seen evidence that this is true and have focused our product development for Temenos Infinity Journeys on minimizing friction for sales and service transactions in industries such as banking, wealth management and insurance. The following principles summarize the general themes an organization should focus on when designing a frictionless digital sales experience.
Any Device, Any Channel
Allow customers to do what they need to using whatever device (smartphone, tablet or PC) or channel (digital, branch, contact center, mobile banker) they prefer.
Temenos Infinity Journeys has a responsive design that allows cross over between devices/channels in a single transaction without having to start over each time.
Minimize Your Transaction Effort Score
The Temenos Transaction Effort Score™ (TES) measure is a patent-pending analysis of the effort for a customer to complete a transaction such as Applying For A Loan or Opening A Bank Account. Temenos’ experience has proven that every click, tap, keystroke, error message, etc. contribute to the TES and in-turn contributes to Abandonment. “Seconds matter” and banks should focus relentlessly on measuring and reducing their CES.
Two ways to reduce customer effort are:
- Minimize Fields & Key Strokes – Every keystroke, screen tap, and mouse click contributes to abandonment. So it’s important to only ask for essential information. You should relentlessly focus on reducing every single keystroke you can.
- Collect “Known” Information Up Front – Financial applications often require information that applicants don’t know off the top of their heads (like driver’s license numbers). To avoid discouraging your customers too early on in the process, start by asking them information that should be “known” (like name, email, phone number, and address). If your application requires less common information, save those questions and fields for further on in the application. By saving these questions for the end, the customer will already have invested in the application and will be more likely to see it through until the end. In addition, by serving up the most difficult questions last, you already will have some contact information to follow up with them if they do end up abandoning
Minimum Viable Product + Test & Learn
Many organizations have adopted the approach of completing extensive customer experience design work prior to launching a new experience. Whilst this approach has merit and can uncover new and innovative ways of engaging customers – Temenos’ experience has been that getting an acceptable Minimum Viable Product (MVP) in market combined with the analytics to understand how that MVP is performing and the agility to rapidly modify it based on real-world feedback yields exceptional results when looking for the optimal experience. Test & Learn when applied to the customer experience will help identify the areas that really need improvement as they are causing abandonment. Temenos Infinity Journeys provides clients with the analytics to home-in-on the problem areas of the experience and the agility to make changes one at a time (in hourly / daily releases) to improve conversion rates. Making releases one at a time (rather than grouped together in a major release) provides visibility as to whether the changes were positive or negative.
Support Save & Resume (for convenience & lead generation)
Applying for a financial product can be complex – often requiring information that the customer may not have at hand. So, particularly in product applications with over 20 fields of information to be completed (which is most!) provide an easy option to Save & Resume for new-to-bank customers. It is preferable that you don’t ask prospective customers to create an account with a User ID and Password. We have found it easier for customers (take the friction out!) to generate a unique ID for the application, allow the customer to send this to themselves in an email / SMS and use a piece of information in the application (e.g. Surname, Cell Phone Number or ask them to choose a 4 digit PIN or answer a simple question “What was the color of your first car”) as a mechanism for accessing the application.
Focus on the Customer Experience First
For many organizations, digital customer experience means “straight-through processing” (STP) and integration all the way through to core business systems…after all, why wouldn’t you? However, aging systems that need to be replaced, expensive integration projects and scarce IT resources often mean STP can’t be achieved – so nothing changes. Temenos Infinity Journeys is designed along the System Of Engagement principles with loose coupling to core systems. This means the organization can focus on the customer experience independent of what’s happening with core systems. If integration isn’t possible – the customer experience can be delivered as an omnichannel experience with manual back-office processes. If integration is possible – then STP can be achieved or migrated too once possible.
The ‘key’ is to deliver a great customer experience regardless of core system capabilities – because imposing the limitations of core systems on the customer will result in lower customer acquisition and customer retention rates. They won’t stand for a poor experience.