In recent posts, we’ve shared a number of the banking innovations recognized during the 2014 Distribution and Marketing Innovation Awards, a joint initiative from Efma and Accenture. We’ve highlighted mobile banking innovations, and shown how big data and customer insights have the potential to benefit both banks and their customers. In this post, we’ll look at innovative ways financial institutions are driving the customer experience through digital.

Helping customers use internet banking and non-banking services

Customers who are not familiar with technology have been somewhat left behind in the digital banking era, but Barclays has introduced the Digital Eagles program to help its less technically savvy customers understand how to use the internet and mobile banking apps.

The Digital Eagles campaign leverages the Barclays branch network and in-branch employees to help customers use digital banking services as well as with non-banking activities such as Skype, Facebook, online shopping and downloading mobile apps. Working in partnership with Age UK, the program offers a range of in-branch courses. The program kicked-off in August, 2013, with Gordon Banks, the England 1966 World Cup hero and a notorious technophobe, getting online with the support of Barclays Eagle, Pat Judd.

Barclays anticipates continuing to support customers through Skype and Facebook, and expects the bank itself will benefit from a right-channeling effect.

Helping distressed borrowers find jobs

A second program that is driving customer experience through digital is an industry-first program to assist unemployed mortgage borrowers searching for a job. This program, launched by Fifth Third Bancorp, is a free service that allows unemployed mortgage borrowers to get advice from re-employment firm NextJob, to help them find employment and to avoid foreclosure.

The pilot scheme provides unemployed borrowers with one-on-one dedicated coaching, weekly webinars and online job search software, fully paid for by the bank. The service helps unemployed people:

  • Create an effective resume and cover letter that could get the attention of hiring managers.
  • Develop and carry out a detailed job search action plan.
  • Evaluate career direction and identify skills that could be transferred to another industry or field.
  • Discover jobs that are available, but never advertised.
  • Use the latest and most effective internet tools and techniques.
  • Train and prepare for successful interviews.

Fifth Third Bank is the first financial institution to offer this type of assistance to mortgage customers. In the pilot, almost 40 percent of targeted customers were fully employed after six months.

These programs show that when banks cultivate innovative partnerships and a focus on customer needs, even where needs are outside the traditional banking domain, banks can form stronger relationships with their customers and play a central role in their lives—and become an Everyday Bank.

In our final post in this series, we’ll look at how banks are taking advantage of social media to offer more value to customers.

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