15 Apr, 2022

In recent months, we have seen a trend of financial institutions taking steps to improve trust in their brand and foster a more positive experience across various aspects of their organisation. 

We’ve been consulting with smaller banks to further grow consumer trust in their brands through solution architecture processes – a combination of business, technical and data strategies targeted to solve this holistic business challenge.

Our consultants know that smaller banks don’t have the same resources to commit to continuous research and development, or the same capacity internally as the larger institutions, so our consultants are always excited to partner to facilitate growth and positive change.

Here are three ways we’ve worked with smaller financial services to achieve this:

1. Improve customer experience

While smaller banks tend to rank higher in customer sentiment than the Big 4 according to a report by Finder, customers still equate a seamless technological experience with a great customer journey – and great CX with confidence in their financial institution. Especially more than two years into the pandemic, existing and prospective customers expect to be able to bank as completely by phone and online, as they can in-branch.

Not only this, but they now expect to have a seamless experience between the different platforms – they should be able to continue a conversation with customer-facing representatives on and offline without having to repeat their need again and again. 

Especially as prospective customers are no longer limited to banking with an institution that’s geographically near to them (or even banks at all, with Buy Now Pay Later services a viable alternative to credit cards for many consumers), thoughtful and painless ways to bank online are non-negotiable to them. 

Through customer journey mapping, our consultants are able to identify where prospective clients are getting lost, and where existing customers are getting frustrated – as well as finding the positives that already exist in the experience, and how they can be replicated across the journey. Our clients are then in a better position to:

  • introduce new products to their offering, in line with customer needs
  • develop systems that expedite the “time to yes” for their customers’ applications
  • balance ease of online and phone banking with sufficient security

 2. Improve employee experience

Providing a workplace that positions your staff to do their best work has always been important, but now – amidst the Great Resignation – it’s at the top of more leaders’ minds than ever. While the Australian workforce seems to be content to change organisations, rather than leave without another role lined up, it remains a prudent reminder that workers are ready to vote with their feet for positive and enriching workplaces. 

While retaining valuable staff is one side of the coin, attracting those great candidates who are actively looking for an employer of choice is the other. Especially in a values-driven smaller financial services organisation, the ability to provide a healthy employee experience is very alluring for jobseekers. 

So what are employees looking for in banks and financial services? Essentially, to be set up for success in their work. As Bruce Daisley, former VP of Twitter Europe told Forbes, “The way you treat people is a linear relationship with the way employees treat customers.” Particularly in customer-facing roles, they need to not have to bear the brunt of frustrated customers (see above) – and even more, they need to have the right tools at their disposal to be able to solve the frustrations of those customers. 

And where is that gap? A common weak link we discover is in an ecosystem of legacy technology and applications – quite possibly top of its range when it was first adopted – that no longer suits the needs of staff or customers alike. Platforms and systems that don’t fully connect, leading to cumbersome processes. We often discover bank staff are needing to duplicate data to be able to work, instead of having one central system that sets them up to succeed.  

By auditing the current state of systems, our consultants are able to work with you to create a solution for an updated and integrated alternative that fortifies both employees’ and customers’ trust in your organisation.

3. Achieve swift progress

We know that many organisations hesitate to engage consultants in strategic work because of the presumed wait for ROI. In a relatively smaller organisation particularly, we understand the pressure of finding a solution that will meet the board’s approval. 

The reality is, with experienced consultants like the team at 9Yards, we truly can hit the ground running. Being very well versed in the finance space, we already have the industry insights ready, coupled with our IP to apply to your specific organisation. 

In one recent engagement, we were able to audit the current state, define the target state and develop the business case within just six weeks. Our client was then able to utilise these outcomes to kick off one of the core components of their digital transformation.

If you’re ready to see how our solution architecture consultants can help you achieve positive change and build trust in your brand, connect with us today.