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Customers seek trust, tech & legacy

Azmat Habibulla, Chief Marketing Officer at South Indian Bank shares the initiatives adopted by the bank to smoothen CX:

Customers seek trust, tech & legacy

Ravi Lalwani: To maximize CX, what design elements are usually the most difficult or demanding? How are you tackling that challenge?

Azmat Habibulla: To provide the best customer experience we should understand the audience, their purpose of visit, and the possible touch points in the journey. Online, the design elements that affect the customer experience mostly remain the same across the mediums. While visiting a website the first thing that creates the impression before the aesthetics will be the loading speed. Once the visitor hits your homepage the visual design, colors, menu positions, page placement of CTA, etc, will influence their action.

The page content and smooth navigation will decide the duration they are going to stay on your site. Creating an appealing design with balanced aesthetics, relevant content highlighted action points and page responsiveness on all devices is the most challenging to achieve. Wherever possible, we follow a minimalistic design to keep it simple for the customer, especially for mailers. The customer should be able to quickly understand the communication and the action that needs to be taken. Detailed information is always hosted separately which can be accessed as a next step.

Give some examples of how you have enhanced the CX impact by fine-tuning words, colors, sounds, tone, etc.

Enhancing CX is an ongoing process for us, and we believe in having a customer-first strategy. Our approach is to keep it simple and minimalistic, focusing on our set targeted personas and design to solve their challenges. At present we are focusing on new client acquisition through online channels, and this is where we bring constant improvement to enhance customer experience.

For instance, following our multiple surveys and testing among the newly on-boarded clients about the entire CX journey, we realized our brand resonates more with ‘trust’, tech, and legacy. Even with subtle changes in our content and tone, we saw a huge growth in the average time spent on our website. It was remarkable to see growing numbers with just minor incorporations such as jargon-free phases, easy-going words, non-authoritative tone, and relaxed- peaceful-happy chimes. With such insights, we are further developing tone, sound, and words and aiming to set a unique voice for our customers.

How extensively do you use A/B testing to improve CX? Is the use of A/B testing going up or down?

We often use A/B testing to find our winning experience. For us, it’s one of the critical pieces of CX strategy that links optimization with personalization. We begin by investing time in defining our hypotheses and funnel them through multiple variables. A/B testing is a confidence booster as it minimizes the risk of making sweeping changes at UX. Having a wide range of permutations and a combination of variables boosts confidence while strategizing our communication.

These variations are prepared for elements such as CTA text, creative tone, content copy, subject line, and even the leading page. The responses are analyzed after the defined time and considered to further optimize the experience in customer touch points. The insights from the testing are considered while planning further campaigns for the same segment. A/B testing is always needed as it helps to understand the various elements that affect the user experience.

Personalization has emerged as a very powerful customer relationship approach. Give 2 or 3 examples of personalization that have been efficient and effective for the customer and the organization?

Personalization helped us both in terms of increased engagement and better results for our campaigns. Personalization is done at the communication level and the product offering level. To make personalization more effective we try to understand the customer requirements and at what stage they are in the lifecycle. Online surveys on our various customer segments help us to better understand their requirements. We recommend RD & SIP to those who have shown interest in small regular investments.

For clients who have shown interest in loan products, we prepare exclusive festival loan offers, etc. These communications are mostly personalized with names. In the next step of the customer journey, we lead them to our app which makes the approval and disbursement easier. A client can also create a profile about them in our app which helps us to further recommend the mutual funds suitable as per their risk appetite and financial goals.

Have there been differences of opinion between technology experts and business experts as to the roadmap for CX improvement? How were the differences resolved?

As an organization we always want to give a superior experience to our customers. Especially on the digital front, we always try to bring positive changes that enhance the customer’s experience with us. On a month-on-month basis, we are seeing incremental growth in our app downloads and active user base. We try to bring regular feature additions in our app mirror+ and today through our app a client can fulfill his banking needs as well as enjoy more than 100 services and. The app also facilitates onboarding for account opening. A SIB client can check their pre-approved loan offers in the app and can apply within the application. Such technological advancement is possible only because our tech team and business team understand how a seamless customer experience can benefit the brand.

Are you using design thinking to improve CX? If yes, give 1 or 2 examples.

Design thinking and customer experience work together especially online. While developing any online assets, our tech, marketing, sales & customer experience team analyse the various stages involved in the customer journey of the respective product or platform. While following a design thinking approach, we first create a persona about the visitor to under their psychology and perspective. We try to understand the user in a real scenario. In the next stage, we define the problem statement the client or visitor is facing. We try to better understand what is lacking in our process or system or what we need to develop to address the problem.

We involve all the stakeholders in the ideation process to get a broader idea from everyone on all the possible solutions we can arrive upon to solve the defined problem. Developing a wireframe helps us to evaluate the feasibility of the idea and how it is going to improve the overall customer experience. Multiple levels of testing by various departments are done here to ensure the development is workable and serves the objective. Before the final release to the end user, an internal release among friends and family is done to collect early feedback and resolve issues if any. These stages were considered during the development of our app and also during our online customer onboarding platform.

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