In the last decade, nearly every industry has made world-class UX a priority and financial services has been no exception.
Most financial institutions (FIs) recognize the need to offer their customers an elegant user interface (UI). They know that in nearly every case great UX marks the first opportunity to make a solid impression on consumers.
As a recent study from McKinsey & Company confirms this: 71 percent of consumers now expect companies to deliver personalized interactions.
Thinking “digital-first” has become a something of a cliché, but that doesn’t lessen its importance. In the eyes of today’s digitally savvy consumers, it’s mandatory. That’s especially true when it comes financial affairs. When a consumer logs into a banking app, they expect a seamless, friction-free UX that enables them to fully manage their money.
This was true pre-pandemic, but those expectations have only increased since Covid-19 swept the globe.
Prior to the pandemic, most FIs had already taken notice of the emphasis fintechs put on enhancing UX and that realization forced even hold-out FIs to read the writing on the wall.
As a result, FIs began moving their customers away from brick-and-mortar branches and into digital channels. Now, half of consumers use digital channels to manage their money. This surge in online transactions has driven a push for personalization, which in turn has sent most FIs on a pathway to developing technology that keeps their customers engaged.
Long story short: if FIs want to form long-lasting bonds with their customers, it begins with the digital experience.
Here are four tips for creating a UX that keeps your customers engaged.
1) Keep It Simple
One common language spans all demographics and all target segments — simplicity.
Simplicity is one of the fundamental principles of UX design. Nielsen Norman Group includes it in their definition of user experience: “The first requirement for an exemplary user experience is to meet the exact needs of the customer, without fuss or bother. Next comes simplicity and elegance that produce products that are a joy to own, a joy to use,” they write.
Sometimes this gets confused with building UIs that offer innovative bells and whistles. However, the customer journey should look beyond the design pixels and seek to better understand its users and the larger customer journey.
Consider Apple. The tech giant uses a simple, common language that cuts across all their products, services and channels, resulting in simple and easy-to-use products that drive customer loyalty for both 80-year-old grandmothers or 8-year-old school children.
2) Compliance Doesn't Mean Clutter
Not only do consumers expect a UX to be easy to navigate, they also expect a secure and compliant experience. Luckily, few industries are as regulated as financial services. Organizations that fail to comply run the twin risks of losing customer trust and incurring regulatory penalties.
Unfortunately, some FIs overcomplicate UX/UI in hopes of ensuring compliance. Often this is the result of thinking “compliance-first” regulators leading to a cluttered UI and a confused customer.
Instead, make compliance requirements part of the UX accessibility from the start. Thinking about ADA requirements, for instance, from the start builds a pathway to a better, more inclusive customer experience.
3) UX Supports the Entire Organization
In a global survey from Deloitte, 70 percent of consumers said that consistent experience across channels was either “extremely” or “very” important to them.
That’s why UX should feed into the whole of an organization. Whether it’s a customer portal, a LinkedIn page or a digital ad, the experience in each platform should look and feel like an extension of a single brand.
Rather than viewing UX as one piece of a bigger pie, it should be treated as a hub feeding multiple spokes. Consider Apple again: The tech giant has created a fully-connected experience across all touchpoints, from their brick-and-mortar stores to their digital ads to their website to their product announcements – it’s all holistically connected.
4) Break Down Silos
Lastly, a common mistake many make is digitizing their products separately. Doing so often creates departments that are siloed.
A good brand should reflect the UX, and organizations placing CX in separate functions across an enterprise miss a significant opportunity to connect all their customers.
BillGO reorganized in 2022 to ensure UX received proper focus. Now, inclusive design principles and standards, user research and best practices, product knowledge and marketing insights all sit under one umbrella, allowing for a more holistic UX that truly delights our customers.
Daniel Hawtof is BillGO’s SVP of Bill Pay Product.
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