These 5 Customer Journey Improvements Increase Bank Customer Loyalty

Posted by AnswerLab Research on Aug 23, 2017

Good UX is good business for banks.

Consumers rely on digital channels for almost everything these days, including managing their financial accounts and researching and applying for new financial services. Delighting visitors with frictionless digital interactions is a sure path to building trust and loyalty with bank customers. And loyal bank customers buy more products, refer friends, and cost less to support. Financial services companies can improve their business results by improving key points along the digital banking journey that increase user satisfaction and trust.

Focus on these 5 digital customer journey improvements to increase bank customer loyalty

Make it quick  

Consumers are in a hurry when conducting routine banking tasks. They want to access account balances and perform routine tasks within seconds. Support their need to get in and out by providing clear, quick access to these functions: checking balances, transferring money, and making payments.

To support quick interactions:

  • Minimize the number of steps needed for account access. Use of alternative log-in methods such as thumbprints for mobile app access is table stakes for customers who demand speed with routine tasks.
  • Allow customizations that speed up routine interactions. For example, meaningful account nicknames speed up the process of recognizing accounts for users, which makes checking balances and making transfers quick and easy.
  • Clearly label these frequently used functions and place them in plain view for quick access. If space allows, such as in a tablet app, place links in context with each account so initiating common account management tasks becomes a no brainer for users.

Simplify account opening

Simplifying account research and application steps helps site visitors make decisions faster without leaving them feeling rushed through the account opening process.

To simplify bank account creation:

  • Provide product comparison information in table format. Display comparable facts – like APR or mortgage rate – prominently.
  • Remove mobile friction. Consumers are increasingly more comfortable providing financial information on mobile devices. If they’re already researching an account offer from their mobile device, why not get them through the application form there as well? Optimize forms for mobile with features such as number pads for entering digits and auto-advance for going from one field to the next.  
  • Orient consumers throughout the application process. Show the steps or provide visual cues, like a progress meter, to set expectations and minimize fatigue.
  • Allow visitors to save an application and return to it later. People get interrupted while applying for accounts online or they realize they need to track down the necessary information for this occasional task.

Fine-tune your communication

Timing is everything, especially when it comes to managing finances. Build trust with consumers by providing transparency through notifications that empower them to take control of their finances and make decisions they feel good about. Keep in mind, communications need to strike a balance between providing information customers need and providing so much information that they can’t separate the noise from the necessary.

To build trust through communication:

  • Offer alerts for situations likely to end in negative outcomes (e.g. low balance, dropped credit score). Giving customers a chance to respond in time to make a difference (e.g avoid a fee, reach a goal) builds trust and wins loyalty.  
  • Mind security and privacy concerns. Keep primary alert content high level (e.g. “withdrawal exceeding $100”) and display the exact information less prominently, potentially behind a log-in.
  • Give customers control. Allow them to customize preferences such as frequency and platform in which alerts are delivered.

Make payments painless

Consumers know their creditworthiness is tied to how fully, promptly, and reliably they can make good on their promises to pay. Loan, mortgage, and credit card payments are top financial concerns for many consumers. As are regular household bills. Empowering customers to be up-to-date with these payment obligations builds trust.

To make payments (relatively) painless:

  • Provide payment reminders in context. Many consumers struggle with cash flow so they don’t automate all of their household bills. Since they make a lot of one-time payments, it’s easy for consumers to forget one. Give visual cues (e.g. alert icons) advising consumers when to take necessary action. Provide upcoming bills and due dates in a convenient location.
  • Differentiate payment messaging. Use splash screens instead of embedded messaging to draw immediate attention. Although easier to implement, important messaging is not as discoverable when inserted into a familiar UI because users focus on the form fields they use. 

Aggregate to add value

Consumers want less hassle, fast access to information, and tools to help them make better financial decisions. Banks are uniquely positioned to respond to this need because customers log in to their bank accounts more often than any other financial account. Help consumers see their entire financial picture.

To add value with aggregation:

  • Make each customer’s primary banking experience a one-stop-shop for their finances. You are their primary bank, so they already trust you.
  • Provide the option to consolidate account information across financial institutions. Allow full or partial aggregation for customers so that they can design their own financial dashboard.
  • Provide financial management tools and visualizations that educate customers and increase their comprehension of financial data. For example, by providing visibility into where money is being spent and doing the math for them and by displaying progress against goals with simple graphs and charts.
  • Integrate credit scores into customer accounts. A credit score is a financial metric most consumers understand with minimal explanation. But to many, getting that score can be a mysterious and confusing process. Giving customers the ability to conveniently keep tabs on a credit score drives frequent account access and usage.

Want AnswerLab’s latest UX best practices delivered straight to your inbox? Subscribe below to get our monthly Insights newsletter.

Written by

AnswerLab Research

The AnswerLab research team collaborates on articles to bring you the latest UX trends and best practices.

related insights

stay connected with AnswerLab

Keep up with the latest in UX research. Our monthly newsletter offers useful UX insights and tips, relevant research, and news from our team.