Online Customer Experience Management in the Financial Sector

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1 Online Customer Experience Management in the Financial Sector 1

2 Contents Introduction Chapter One An Online Transformation Chapter Two The Challenges of Online Financial Services Chapter Three UserReplay & Managing the Customer Experience Contact Details 2

3 Introduction From day-to-day banking through to business lending and foreign exchange trading, the financial services sector is increasingly addressing customers online via PCs and mobile devices. It s a virtuous circle that sees business reducing costs by migrating services online, while customers benefit from the convenience and autonomy of self-service. Financial services customers have been quick to adopt online channels. For instance, in the UK, the British Bankers Association noted a 40% growth in online banking uptake between 2009 and (Fig. 1) But as customers migrate online, providers face challenges, not least in terms of maintaining and enhancing customer experience. The financial services sector has traditionally been a people industry where advice is dispensed face-to-face and transactions are concluded on a handshake. Now a complex array of functions are being offered on a self-service basis. Amid this complexity, customer experience problems can remain undetected. No site is perfect. Badly designed navigation can take a customer down the wrong path, information may be in the wrong place and important tools may be hard to use or faulty. Faults of this type can have a real impact on financial performance and customer trust. In this white paper we ll be looking at how UserReplay can help financial services companies address these issues. (Fig. 2) UserReplay records every customer s online journey and can replay the journey in precise detail. As such the system enables teams to rapidly identify, quantify and resolve usability, design and functionality problems, ensuring that customers have the best possible experience. Equally important, UserReplay provides a means to detect fraud and settle disputes. Beginning with an overview of a rapidly evolving sector, this paper will look at the key challenges and how UserReplay can solve pressing problems. FSI vs All Sectors Internet Activities, 2007 and 2014 Playing or downloading games, images, films or music Internet banking Using services related to travel or travel accommodation Reading/downloading online news, newspapers or magazines Finding information about goods and services Sending/receiving s % Thinking about how digital technology has disrupted your industry, which statement best describes your organization today? We are leading the way and are part of the digital disruption in our sector Fig. 1 - Source: Office for National Statistics Fig. 2 - Source: Econsultancy We are fast followers. We track the innovators, adjust to demands and deploy once a concept has proven its potential We are threatened by disruptive forces in our industry and are under pressure to seek ways to meet these challenges We don t see much change in our sector, either from established or emerging competitors % FSI All Sectors 3

4 Chapter One An Online Transformation The self-service revolution The relationship between financial service businesses and their customers is being progressively redefined by digitization and a proliferation of online services. This trend is most visible in the banking industry. According to the British Bankers Association (BBA), there are currently 7 million logins to online banking services every day. This feeds through to $10bn worth of transactions every week. Usage of online banking services grew by 40% between 2009 and The shift to online banking is global trend. Within Europe and Scandinavia, online banking has the greatest reach in Iceland (91% of the banked population), Norway (89%) and Finland (86%). Over the EU as a whole, the reach is 49% with Britain coming in at 57%. (Fig. 3) The same transformation (to a greater or lesser degree) has affected other traditional financial service providers such as stockbrokers and foreign exchange firms, with online platforms allowing customers to buy, sell and manage their investment portfolios. Service innovation Digital technologies are also driving the introduction of new services that could only really exist in the era of internet platforms. Alternative finance is a case in point. According to figures published by Cambridge University, the alt finance sector, as typified by peer-to-peer lending platforms grew 144% to a value of $7bn between 2014 and (Fig. 4) The internet is also fuelling new payment systems, such as the now venerable PayPal, a range of smart phone e-wallet solutions and, more tentatively, consumerfriendly bitcoin payment solutions. % of internet users who have used online banking 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0 18% 30% 32% 44% 44% 53% 55% 57% 58% 61% June 2000 May 2002 Sept 2002 Nov 2004 Jan 2005 Sept 2007 Dec 2008 April 2009 May 2010 May 2011 European alternative finance market size and growth rate $M All of Europe AVERAGE GROWTH RATE 144% 146% 3363m UK vs Rest of Europe AVERAGE GROWTH RATE 115% AVERAGE GROWTH RATE 168% 61% May % 2658m Fig. 3 - Source: Pew Research Centre Fig % 1377m 554m % 147% 705m 156m 384m Europe exluding the UK 150% 993m 398m UK 4

5 The mobile explosion Across the entire gamut of e-commerce, PCs and laptops are just one option when transacting online. Bigger screens on smart phones and rising tablet sales have given rise to an anytime, any place, anywhere Martini generation of internet users who will transact on whatever device is most appropriate. (Fig. 5) A BANKING REVOLUTION 14.7 million banking apps downloaded so far $10 billion amount customers transfer per week using internet banking - up from $9.1 billion last year 77% of bank customers use online or mobile banking at least once a month (YouGov, June 2014) Daily log-ins to internet banking services 7 million 2,274 bank branches have been refurbished in the past two years 93% proportion of UK population living within a mile of a Post Office branch, which provides many traditional counter srvices for customers of most banks Every 7.5 Seconds a bank customer signed up for payment by text services in the first month payment Fig. 5 Source: BBA Mobile banking is a growth area. In the US, the Federal Reserve says that in 2015, 31% of Americans are using cellphone banking. As things stand, the majority of users restrict themselves to checking their accounts but 17% have made payments, and a generational change is underway with under 30s more likely to bank on cellphones or tablets. (Fig. 6) A primary channel the importance of customer experience Customers prefer to access financial services online. As far back as 2011, an Accenture survey found 80% of bank users saw the internet as the primary means to access their bank accounts and usage has increased since then. In the future, the quality of digital service will be key to customer retention and brand differentiation. As such, it is vital to create the optimal customer experience. (Fig. 7) (In Millions) US Mobile Banking Active Users ( ) Which one area represents the single best opportunity for your company to deliver on its priorties for 2015? Customer experience Cross-channel marketing Data-driven marketing Fig. 6 - Source: TowerGroup Fig. 7 - Source: Econsultancy Personalization Mobile Marketing automation Social Video 0 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% Europe North America 5

6 Chapter Two The Challenges of Online Financial Services Creating a satisfying customer experience in a complex environment Financial services sites typically offer complex functionality on both the consumer-facing and back office sides. At an operational level, the software must work. No financial services organization can afford to expose consumers to a system where transactions fail because of a fault in the system. Equally important, the software must work for the customer. If an insurance application form is confusing or the processes involved in setting up, a direct debit or payment are non-intuitive, the customer may be deterred from completing the form. The site must deliver on its objectives. Site owners want customers to take a certain path, guided by navigation aids. If customers are getting lost, sidetracked or if they are failing to find the information they need, the site isn t working. Financial services sites are rigorously tested. Nonetheless, undetected errors or poorly designed processes do occur. Also, with each subsequent upgrade there is a possibility that new and undetected usability, functionality and performance problems will be introduced. Ensuring that problems are rapidly identified and rectified is an ongoing and time-consuming process. Migrating to mobile The extension of services across a range of devices and browsers increases the possibility of usability, functionality and performance errors or inconsistencies creeping in. For instance, a web page rendered on a PC screen might combine information with a series of links that funnel the user to the next stage. When rendered on a small smart cellphone screen those links may be hard to find, creating a barrier for the user. As the number of devices used by customers proliferates, inconsistencies of this kind become a bigger problem. (Fig. 8) Barriers to conversion in non-secure areas A poor experience undoubtedly has an impact on customers. Financial services platforms tend to have secure and non-secure areas, with the former being open to those who have yet to sign up and the latter providing account management functionality. Activities conducted by mobile banking customers Checked balance/transactions Downloaded mobile banking app Transferred money Received alert Made a bill payment Received a text alert Located an ATM Deposited a check using a camera Person to person payment % Fig. 8 - Source: US Federal Reserve For customers who have yet to sign up, poor usability, performance and functionality are barriers to conversion. These barriers will mean fewer people completing the journey to check out and purchase, thus having a direct effect on the bottom line. Financial services websites (unlike those in retail or travel) typically see a lower number of visitors, however the long term return for each new customer acquisition is usually many times that of the aforementioned, thus making each initial interaction and experience that much more critical. 6

7 Poor experience in secure areas The impact of a less than optimal experience on customers carrying out transactions in secure areas will largely depend on the nature of the business. In the case of major banks (where customer churn is low), a problem may not lead to customers switching suppliers. However, it could well undermine faith in the cost-effective online channel and drive traffic to the branch or the telephone. For a challenger bank or an online share-trading platform, a poor experience will quite conceivably trigger a decision to try out a rival s services. Repeated problems will certainly have a negative impact on trust. The compliance question Banks and other financial services institutions are working in a much tighter regulatory environment. Following the financial crisis, regulators initially focused on ensuring that banks had sufficient capital to trade. Since then, scandals such as the inappropriate sale of sub prime mortgages in the US and insurance mis-selling in the UK, have led to a much tighter emphasis on conduct. In the UK, the Financial Conduct Authority has introduced new conduct risk principles, designed to ensure that financial services companies put the needs of their customers first. Organizations must demonstrate that their sales strategies and targets are driven by an imperative to sell appropriate products. Crucially, they must be able to provide evidence when asked by the regulator. Tackling fraud Institutions must also be compliant with data laws requiring them to protect customer information and the integrity of customer accounts. Again, this can be challenging. Fraudsters who have access to account holder user names may repeatedly try to illegally access accounts using a range of passwords. Institutions have a duty to monitor suspicious activity and take action when required. Why disputes arise Disputes are inevitable in all sectors of e-commerce, and they usually occur because a claim made by a customer doesn t tally with the website owner s perception of events. For instance, let s say a customer misses a credit card deadline. He claims he tried to make a credit card payment ahead of the deadline but was prevented by repeated software crashes. The site owner denies this and insists on imposing a penalty charge. The result is a dispute that may drag on and ultimately cost the provider a good customer. 7

8 Chapter Three UserReplay & Managing the Customer Experience The website as your customer sees it The financial services industry is built on confidence and as customers move online it is vital that the trust they have in providers is maintained in the self-service environment. One way to maintain that trust is to ensure there is a rigorous focus on the quality of the customer experience. There are various ways to do this, ranging from comprehensive testing through to customer surveys, but not every negative experience issue is detected. On a day-to-day basis, customers encounter usability, performance and functionality problems that are often not apparent to managers. (Fig. 9) That s where UserReplay can help. What is UserReplay? UserReplay records every single customers journey taking place on a site. Selected journeys can then be replayed either in full or in part by managers, marketers, customer service agents and technical support teams, enabling them to see where customers have gone, what they ve done and what sort of experience they ve had. Crucially the replay will show customer interactions and how the software responded. A customer s experience is shaped by:»» The design and usability of the site in question»» The performance of the site (for instance, page load speeds and reliability)»» The functionality of software components and tools. By replaying individual customer journeys, site managers can see in precise detail just how the design and functionality of the site affected the outcome of the visit. But what does that mean in practice? Bringing down the barriers Let s take the example of a non-secure area of a financial services site. Typically the aim of this part of the site will be to educate and convert potential customers. For instance, the goal may be signing customers up to buy a simple life policy, an ISA or a more lucrative pension. (Fig. 10) What are the greatest barriers preventing the ability to deliver more personalized experiences? IT challenges Compying with government/industry regulations Data too fragmented Incompatible digital marketing point solutions Lack of human/financial resources Data security and privacy issues Organizational structure Lack of strategy Biggest Barriers to Success Search engine rankings Website design Mobile device compatibility Slow loading times Purchasing/checkout functionality Poor international capabilities 0 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% Europe North America Fig. 9 - Source: Econsultancy Fig Morweb Inadequate hosting provider 0 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% Total North America UK 8

9 But the chances are there will be barriers to conversion. Perhaps the information isn t clear or some of the questions in an online application form are ambiguous. By tracking the journeys of individual customers and analyzing their behavior page-by-page you can:»» See where those barriers to conversion are often highlighted by thrashing (multiple attempts at a single task)»» Quantify the consequences of those barriers. That second point is important. A poorly written form may cause customers to stumble over certain questions and take longer than necessary to complete. Nevertheless you may find that most will persevere. On the other hand, a software error that rejects 50% of addresses or that doesn t recognize certain ZIP codes will stop significant numbers of customers in their tracks. All barriers to conversion should be rectified, but it is important to prioritize the most serious. The secure site The same principles apply on the secure side of the site. This will typically offer customers a range of quite complex tools some of these may not function properly, others will be non-intuitive. By replaying individual journeys you can fully understand the points at which customers are struggling and why. Crucially, UserReplay provides evidence of what the real problems are. Let s say fewer than expected people are using a bill payment tool, resulting in higher usage of telephone banking. Managers may recognize there is a problem but don t know what it is. By replaying journeys they can see exactly where customers are encountering obstacles and take appropriate action. The customer journey can be tracked in different types of devices and browsers. This is important, as a problem may be general or specific to a certain type of device or browser. Rapid dispute resolution In section two we cited the example of a customer who attempted to pay a credit card bill by the agreed monthly deadline, only to be faced with a series of page crashes that prevented completion. On phoning the call center the following morning, he talked to an agent who had no way to check whether the software problems had occurred or if the customer was at fault. As a result, the issue was unresolved. UserReplay provides a simple solution. With the system installed, service agents can simply re-run the relevant section of the journey. If the customer s version of events is true, the struggle with malfunctioning software will be apparent. The result is a rapid and cost effective resolution. 9

10 Detecting fraud UserReplay comes with advanced analytics tools and a real time dashboard, allowing managers to monitor what is happening across all the customer journeys taking place at any one time. The system can be configured to notify managers of unusual events, such as multiple login attempts or changes to personal details during an online application, that may denote fraud. This allows swift action to be taken. For instance, the account can be blocked until the customer s identify has been authenticated. If a fraudster does gain access, replays of his or her activities within an account can be analyzed and used as evidence. (Fig. 11) Conduct risk Fraud losses on UK-issued cards (gross) Financial services companies are increasingly being 700-1% +20% -13% -3% +25% +14% -28% -17% -7% +13% +16% asked to provide evidence that their conduct towards customers is in compliance with the requirements of regulators. For instance, in the UK, the Personal 400 Protection Insurance (PPI) mis-selling scandal has 300 resulted in the newly established Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), taking a close interest in the sale practices of all financial services companies levying significant fines where malpractice is evident or where good practice has not been followed. In practice that means banks and other institutions must provide evidence that customers were fully informed about the nature of a particular product, and that terms and conditions were not only presented but also read. By deploying UserReplay, companies can prove that sales guidelines were followed. millions Fig Source: Financial Fraud Action A secure solution UserReplay s functionality can be delivered in a Software as a service (Saas) format, requiring little or no integration. However, in the financial service sector, we often recommend using a version that will be installed locally and thus sit within the institutions own security infrastructure. Digitization continues to revolutionize the financial service industry but in the rush to provide advanced services while also cutting costs. Companies must not forget that long-term success depends on creating a great customer experience, whether in the branch, over the telephone or online. UserReplay provides a key tool for ensuring the online experience lives up to expectations. 10

11 About UserReplay UserReplay s session replay technology lets users record, re-run and analyze every visitor s journey through a website. For ecommerce companies this is invaluable as it enables them to improve conversion rates, monetize online struggle, find and fix site bugs, resolve customer disputes, recover abandoned baskets and prevent fraudulent transactions online. Aimed at medium to large enterprises with ecommerce channels, UserReplay enables users to improve the quality of their websites, enhance customer s shopping experience, and reduce dramatically the time required to resolve any problems and disputes consumers may have while shopping. For more information go to: or UK Merlin House, Brunel Road, Theale, Reading, Berkshire, RG7 4AB, United Kingdom Telephone +44 (0) USA 425 Market Street, Suite 2200, San Francisco, CA 94105, United States of America Telephone +1 (415)

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