Lean Back to Retain Customers | Digital Transformation
Digital Transformation Innovation

Lean Back to Retain Customers

Innovation - Lean Back to Retain Customers

In order to retain customers, businesses need to continually deliver new, improved and integrated experiences, both in the physical and digital realm. To that end, as part of undergoing a digital transformation, how are organizations leaning back and rethinking innovation, service delivery and integration?

 

Top 5 Learning Points

  1. While enterprises apply innovative technologies for critical operations, legacy systems need to be continuously upgraded as well.
  2. Digital transformation is critical but is ineffective without employee efficiency that ensures integrated service delivery.
  3. Data collation and mining it in a structured manner should guide the focus of this transformation.
  4. How social media can be a touchstone as well as propaganda for great banking service initiatives.
  5. Creating a culture that incentivizes employees to be better at customer service

 

Show Notes

  • For banking services, it’s time for a mobile-first mentality, getting a full suite of capabilities, remote deposit, full transaction capabilities as well as product research and sales activity coming through mobile
  • If we are to get a great branding and customer retention, is it when we consistently meet customer’s needs or offer them a periodic wow experience?
  • Banks can be monitoring what people are saying in social media, and those are all impacting and influencing what they bring to the market
  • The digital transformation of services is about consistency, it’s the occasional wow, and it’s the continuous commitment to delivering on the capabilities that customers are asking for.
  • What are the other factors undermining service delivery and how should service delivery be optimized to help with customer retention?

 

Transcript Summary

In an increasingly competitive market, customer retention can be driven by constant innovation and sustained, secure delivery of services. But an integrated experience is the most impactful tool for customer retention. Digital transformation allows a seamless, integrated and device agnostic customer experience. Faster delivery times, better DevOps and leveraging technologies that allow an agile experience- are the order of the day.

While there is enough technology out there, integrating it into the business process and company culture is what will be key to better, faster, more focused customer delight. And this business- tech integration needs to be driven bottoms up. Companies could benefit from incentives and recognition programs to drive the change – that’s when the real customer retention will happen.

 

Transcript:

Sanjog Aul: Today’s talk is on “Lean Back to Retain Customers.” I have with me Kirsten Garen, Senior Executive Vice President and CIO, Bank of the West and Jamie Armistead, Executive Vice President and Head of Digital Channels, Bank of the West. In today’s competitive environment, retaining customers is key. Businesses are trying to deliver new improved and integrated experiences both in the physical and digital work, and this requires transformation. So Jamie, what digital transformation activities are imperative to retain customers, which should be considered as a priority?

Jamie Armistead: Customer expectations are changing very, very rapidly, not only in financial services but in everyday life. We are all using our mobile devices for virtually every aspect of our lives. They are somehow impacted by the mobile devices that we’re carrying around, and those expectations are bleeding over into financial services. They expect experiences to be much easier and more fluid, and to be able to do everything on their mobile device. So, we’ve certainly had a strong bias at Bank of the West over the last several years toward mobile. We definitely have that mobile-first mentality, and I think from a customer perspective, we are looking at the full suite of capabilities, remote deposit, and full transaction capabilities. We are also seeing increased activity in product research and sales activity coming through mobile. So, definitely, those are key aspects of digital transformation.

Customers expect experiences to be that much easier and more fluid. They expect to be able to do everything on their mobile device.

From more of a company perspective, we’ve really tried to transform ourselves to recognize that digital is really forever. You’re in this game forever, I mean building up the organizational capabilities both within the business side and the technology side, and being able to deliver on this on a sustained basis. Because the competitive differentiation in digital world lasts about six months, and it takes no time at all for someone to copy you. When we look at what other FIs are doing what’s happening in the marketplace, we want to be able to copy the best ideas ourselves, and that’s more about having the organizational capabilities in place.

Kirsten Garen: In our technology groups, we spend a lot of time with not just our internal business partners, but with our customers, and also on best practices. While we know what’s happening in other industries and other banks, but there’s nothing quite like spending time with our commercial customers, our retail customers, or spending time in a branch to see what changes they’re looking for. I think they want fully crafted new services and solutions and time to get used to the new experience. So, it is valuable for our organization to really be out there with customers to understand what they’re looking for.

It is valuable for our organization to really be out there with customers to understand what they’re looking for.

Sanjog Aul: So, the very fundamental question here is, what leads to customer retention. So Kirsten, if we are to really get a great branding or, if you will, customer retention, is it when we consistently meet customer’s needs or offer them a periodic wow experience?

Kirsten Garen: As a good partnership we have with our business partners, Jamie and I talk a lot about this, and my goal is of course to provide a consistent, secure, reliable service. We’re in the banking business; our customers want to feel comfortable interacting with us regardless of channels. So obviously, consistency of experience is table stakes basically foundation. I think it’s certainly true that they’re looking for continuous improvement, new features, and services over a period of time. I think that the promise is to have a roadmap of continuous improvements that they’re looking for.

Jamie Armistead: We’ve got some good credit. We have various programs in place that monitor voice of the customer- survey mechanisms, feedback mechanisms or from our digital properties. We’re monitoring what people are saying in social media, and those are all impacting and influencing what we bring to the market. One of the most satisfying things is when we deliver what somebody has asked for or made mention of a capability in social media. It’s great when we get the positive reinforcement expressing happiness and positivity that extends to their friends and their social network. As Kirsten says, it’s consistency, it’s the occasional wow, and it’s the continuous commitment to delivering on the capabilities that customers are asking for.

Sanjog Aul: So Jamie, when we look at all that you mentioned, and you mentioned that if there’s a new technology or tool or something cool that has been offered, it has a lifecycle or lifespan of six months and something else can be brought out, or someone else can repeat or duplicate it. So, what do you think seems to have the most impact? Is it an ongoing influx of innovative products or services or would you fundamentally look at the improved service delivery or even beyond that and integrated experience throughout the customer lifecycle, because we are not talking about point problems or point solutions, it’s an experience, and the customer looks at experience across all touch points?

Jamie Armistead: I think the consistency of the delivery of your services is the table stakes. You want to make sure that you’re delivering consistency and that you have your capabilities there every day on time.

But I would say over time; the expectations are moving more toward that integrated experience throughout the customer lifecycle. I think customers are expecting us to know things, that we understand what counts and the full breadth of their relationship. They may call in with a question about something that happened on their checking account, but they fully want us to recognize that they also have a credit card with them and that they have a home equity loan with us, et cetera, and so their expectations have shifted. And I think some of it is that the integrated experiences that they’re becoming accustomed to through the rest of their lives. I think customer expectations are shifting and today it’s more about that integrated experience over time.

I would say over time; the expectations are moving more toward that integrated experience throughout the customer lifecycle.

Kirsten Garen: I want to add a perspective though because I think one of the things we often talk about is it’s the right set of products and services for the right customer at the right time. So, we spent easily over $100 million dollars just in the last few years on data analytics particularly for across channels, how we are customers using different channels, what services do they seem to use the most often. So, I don’t think a one-size-fits-all. What is the most important thing for a millennial might be quite different from for a baby boomer, and we really want to understand each customer and try and offer up a tailored customer experience?

What is the most important thing for a millennial might be quite different from for a baby boomer, and we really want to understand each customer and try and offer up a tailored customer experience?

Sanjog Aul: So Kirsten, if you needed a consistent stream of such innovation, you have to listen effectively, and you should have fresh thinking and experimentation with a small fail-fast approach, which is the mantra which most organizations are trying to follow. But in order to institutionalize innovation don’t you think this discipline must be applied to the rest of the application development supply chain, which could include infrastructure, configuration, automation, and security and compliance testing? Where do you think we are in this segment of the journey?

Kirsten Garen: DevOps obviously is a very hot area of focus for any technology organization in any industry. We have the closest true DevOps model where we are doing continuous integration and testing, very frequent releases, smaller set of changes, iterating with getting customer feedback. We have a different approach for different businesses depending on what their strategic roadmaps look like. Everybody is focused on how we can create much, much faster cycle times from idea to launch. However, no one does pure waterfall anymore. As I talk to other CIOs, across industries or in financial services, we’re trying to use the best practices for iterative development, methodologies if we can across every single big project. So, it might be something simple like we i... Read Full Transcript v  

Contributors

Kirsten Garen, SEVP and CIO, Bank of the West

As Bank of the West’s Chief Information officer and Senior Executive Vice President, Kirsten Garen is a financial services industry veteran. She has been with Bank of the West since 2011 in the role of Chief Information Officer where she ... More   View all posts

Jamie Armistead, EVP and Head of Digital Channels, Bank of the West

Since joining Bank of the West, Jamie Armistead has led the transformation of the bank's digital channels. Under his leadership, Bank of the West has transformed its mobile and online capabilities. In 2015, he was named one of American Bank... More   View all posts
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