In this series, we will delve into Humanizing the Customer Experience in the Financial Services sector, including key trends and questions you should be asking in consideration of how well prepared your brand is for the future of the Humanized Customer Experience.
Death and taxes. Often regarded as the only certainties in life, dismal as they may be. And yet, as we emerge from one year under the thumb of a global pandemic, we find ourselves focused on a far more positive and natural constant demanding our attention and embrace: change.
Change, in all its manifestations is vital to our work at Monigle. We are deeply connected to our central purpose of Humanizing Brands, Moving People. For us, “Humanizing” brands is about more than building brands that are approachable and fallible. It is about building brands that participate in and facilitate what makes us human—growth, progress, individual and societal evolution. Simply put, change.
As we take stock of the last year, we can’t help but acknowledge that new meanings have sprung forth from the previously mundane. Rituals evolved this year, taking hold to replace the old ways in which we shop, socialize, exercise, work, and play. It is in this spring of our reinvention that every category of commerce must grapple with new consumers, new models, new technology, new behaviors.
New. Another word at once invigorating as it is worrying. One that signals growth but requires care and consideration. One that betrays the fact that all these changes have been underway all along, only hastened by our shared global confrontation. At the center of it all sits the twin empresses of change: health and finance.
For years, we at Monigle have been studying and obsessing over the role of experience in health care. How it manifests through emotional, intellectual, sensorial, and behavioral dimensions. The unique pathways individuals travel along their journeys of change and transformation and the role health care brands can play at every moment in that journey. Our concentration in this space has unpacked the trends at play in health and wellness, the intersection of sick care and wellbeing at the individual, organizational and societal levels, all while providing a benchmark for brands to measure themselves and collaborate toward better futures. Doing so has helped us establish a model. One by which the other empress of change can be better evaluated. Our financial world.
As in health care, our extensive work in the financial services sector is broad as it is deep. From portfolio architecture challenges facing the largest global Fintech firm to helping the most established ATM operator address declining usage of cash as a form factor, on through to experience design and brand strategies in retail banking, our teams find creative ways sculpt opportunity from change. With all the noise surrounding NFC and contactless payments, NFT and crypto, open banking, privacy and personalization, blockchain and more, there is no shortage of speculation about the future of money in both personal and societal terms. And no category outside of health care is more primed for a hastening of change than financial services.
Against this backdrop and coupled with our extensive work in the financial services environment, we have embarked on a national study in partnership with American Banker to unpack the forces of change for banks, credit unions and fintech players and provide a benchmark for future evolution. More than replicating our model, our aim is to Humanize Customer Experience. This will only happen by finding tech-enabled, behaviorally driven opportunities for Financial Services organizations to lead the future of experience, create pathways or brand systems to deploy offerings and approaches that facilitate people achieving their goals and acting upon their values. Because as it’s been said, today’s consumers do not just use brands to signify something; they use brands to become someone.
Learn More: Guiding Principles to Create a Human Brand
Over the coming months we are excited to share this exploration with you. Watch this space as we dive deeper on the levers of customer experience and trends shaping the future of our financial services ecosystem, including:
- Branch Transformation: from greater physical availability to digital enablement, micro-branches, virtual branches and fully automated experiences
- Hyper-personalization: Next-best-self realities and trade-offs in the age of behavioral intelligence, data-sharing and liquid expectations
- Seamless Omni-channel Experiences: Cross-channel customer journeys, device shifting, stacking and transitioning, onboarding and cross-selling
- Decision Support Mechanisms: Money management tools, financial wellness support and simplified product portfolios
- Value Based Offering: POS lending, non-fee P2P transactions, etc.
- Relationship Shifts: Single source-to-one of many, consolidation of services, account aggregation to disaggregation
- Ethical Banking: ESG products, carbon-neutral banking, sustainable investment and savings products, corporate governance, etc.
- Inclusive Finance: Financial services and products at economical prices such as deposits, fund transfer services, loans, insurance, payment services
The financial services world is at a crossroads of incredible transformation. The questions before us shed light on the positive futures ahead. Among the questions you may be considering and we are excited to dig into:
- Are you leading the charge, fully engaged with your customers? Or are you imagining the world will return to years past, and are not fully grappling with the evolution that has happened, and will continue to happen?
- In light of the changes underway, are you appropriately positioned to take on the probable shifts in your business and with your customers? Do you have the systems and experiential tools to deliver offerings and approaches that set you apart in the market?
- Have your segments shifted or evolved?
- How are you navigating the physical and digital behavior shifts?
- Can you learn and apply from the adaptations taking place in other categories that reach your customers?
- What might strategic partnerships or co-ventures unlock?
- Do emerging approaches like perceptual scaling inspire new methods of brand management?
We could not be more excited to dive into these and other topics in our partnership with American Banker. As always, reach out to us or engage with us on social media, we’d love to have a conversation and hear your perspective.