Accenture Banking Blog

In my previous post, I started the conversation about the Business of Experience (BX). I encouraged Canadian banks to look beyond the Customer Experience (CX) to not only retain their current customers but also acquire new customers at a time when so many are willing to move banks for more meaningful experiences.

Previously, I recommended embracing the employee experience as a part of the customer experience through listening systems, and cultivating a culture of innovation by looking beyond direct competitors.

As I continue this conversation below, I will reiterate now: a CX focus is no longer enough for banks to remain relevant. We must explore the opportunities to harness meaningful customer information to enhance the moments in their lives that matter most.

Below I’ll explore three final recommendations for Canadian banks looking to move beyond CX.

Differentiate with data

A bank should be one of the organizations that knows its customers best. Think about it: it knows what customers do, where they are, their interests, daily habits, upcoming milestones, etc. Canadian banks have opportunities to gain meaningful behavioural insights from this data, allowing them to improve how their customers prepare for the future. They should focus on each customer and their intent in the moment.

I shared in the first post that I recently switched banks myself, after a missed opportunity to offer me personalized, contextual advice when I sold my home. I was frustrated and looking for more. I’m not alone.

Accenture’s Purpose-Driven Banking 2021 report found only 54% of the customers surveyed said they trusted their banks with their data, and just 45% trusted their bank with their long-term financial wellbeing. These are important findings as they highlight the opportunity for more meaningful relationships between the bank and its customers.

When we see customers start to develop trust and long-term loyalty with their banks, it increases the opportunity to cultivate a “data-value exchange”. This occurs when a customer shares personal information in exchange for a bank providing more relevant advice—connecting with the customer when they need them.

Today, capitalizing on data to proactively generate advice on digital channels is considered table stakes. We have seen more product launches and marketing efforts across Canadian banks in different ways, including CIBC’s Insights, RBC NOMI and, most recently, BMO advertising to cancel subscription/streaming services. They’re all aimed at providing proactive advice based on spending behaviours.

While the digital advice experimentation by Canadian banks has been trending for years, taking it a step further requires the ability to be radically transparent with digital advice. For inspiration, London-based Monzo has helped customers in the way it offers budgeting-focused insights that go beyond Monzo products. Through discounts on public transit and better rates for utility providers, Monzo prioritizes the needs and savings of its customers to develop trust.

Let’s work to anticipate needs and match them with advice before the customer is aware they need it. Let’s also remember customer conversations over time and channels for intentional future use.

Measure what matters

Cultivating a culture of obsession around experience and innovation is important. I’m going a step beyond this cultural mandate to say it’s the metrics that track how the BX focus is progressing and enable operational actionability. I encourage you to set up experience-driven goals, such as KPIs and CPIs, to empower the entire bank.

This goes beyond basic customer satisfaction surveys. It’s about determining how customers and employees feel across every interaction in a holistic strategy and measuring the outcomes your customers care about. This includes channel preference, external sentiment analysis (NPS) and purchase behaviours while incorporating listening posts for measurement.

We have seen some North American banks with formalized listening posts taking sentiment and analysis and actioning them into “CX wins”. This accountability and tracking addresses experience enhancements while having a direct impact on business outcomes. Additionally, there are banks using goal setting to empower employees with a sense of ownership of the customer experience, and linking customer metrics to performance reviews, career progression, all-hands and training.

According to our research, organizations that designate accountability for resolving systemic issues are 24 pp more likely to improve CX and 21 pp more likely to innovate successfully. Furthermore, those that efficiently and continually learn from their customers and employees reignite business growth.

We see this evidence and understand its importance. To start shifting your mindset from CX to BX and to ensure you’re going beyond traditional surveys to measure what matters, I encourage you to answer these questions:

  • Have you identified the outcomes your customers value?
  • How are you measuring customer engagement today? Is it truly holistic given the dynamic nature of experiences in banking, or is it a list of specific questions (surveys)?
  • How are you actioning metrics and being accountable for the outputs?
  • What technology is in place to enable this capability?

Organize the entire bank around delivery of exceptional experiences

For banks, the core of this BX conversation is an operating model that is clearly defined to ensure persistency across all channels, offers, capabilities, platforms and products within the bank and ultimately enable differentiated experiences with speed and simplicity.

Organizing an operating model that allows for these persistent experiences and the functions required to support them is an ongoing discussion with my banking clients. I know it’s easier said than done, especially when we consider large, complex and siloed product lines.

USAA, referenced in my previous post as a CX leader, has been successful in organizing for more persistent customer experiences by breaking down internal silos and bringing together all parties that impact the experience across IT, business and design for quick CX enhancements.

To help move you in this direction across the entire bank, here are the questions I’m asking my banking clients as they evaluate their current operating models. Is your operating model set up to achieve the following:

  • Promote collaboration and exchange of information between EX and CX owners, marketing, IT, market segments and channels?
  • Identify a clear owner of CX across functions and channels?
  • Empower employees with proximity to customers to make decisions and identify CX improvement opportunities?
  • Structure teams to capture and close feedback loops and accelerate the velocity of the outer loop process?
  • Include an integrated experience strategy function focused on prioritizing and defining the end-to-end experiences across platforms, channels and segments?

The bottom line: Banks today have an unprecedented opportunity to help their customers navigate in more meaningful ways. To deliver these experiences, banks must change how they deliver them, drawing on the entirety of their business to achieve the highest levels of sustained growth.

And that’s the Business of Experience.

Special thanks to Abhit Sahota, Accenture Song Financial Services Consultant, for contributing to this blog.

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