At a time when digital is bringing about a transformation of the customer experience, more and more companies are adopting a UX (user experience) approach to attract and retain increasingly demanding and targeted consumers.
At the Banque Postale, the banking division of the French post office, Héloïse Beldico-Pachot, Director of Digital Customer Experience, reports to Alice Holzman, Digital and Communications Director, who is in charge of ensuring a more streamlined, secure customer experience. But what sort of resources do they have? What methods do they use? How are their teams made up? We found out from Héloïse Beldico-Pachot.
thinking UX means thinking MULTI-ChanneL and Multi-device
What does your job entail?
The digital customer experience concerns all our targets: mainly individuals, but also businesses. We also work on home banking services, as well as security issues to make the customer experience as simple as possible and limit the risk of fraud. The user experience isn’t just online: we also work with the operational department which manages the financial centres where our customer care experts work. We really try to have a multi-channel vision from start to finish.
As a bank, our philosophy is to work on a positive experience, because we want our clients to use our services as often as possible. In an age when we always have our mobile on us and are constantly connected, there’s much more recurring use than when there was just the Internet. Our aim is to increase this even further and ensure that more and more services are used. To do this, we need to match users’ expectations and align with their patterns of use: how to make our services useful? How to maximise performance?
We are working very hard to make the user experience more attractive, make sure customers go beyond the first click and build a more effective conversion funnel. To help us with this, we’ve been working with a specialist consulting firm for about three and a half years. The first step involved giving our portal and our information site an overhaul to make them 100% responsive
“UX is about thinking multi-device, both in a web rationale, with a browser, and in an app rationale with downloading and subsequently using the app.”
With the help of these UX experts, we aim to create a consistent set of apps that offer the best possible user experience. We’ve already harmonised part of the customer pathway, switching from the smallest monitor to the biggest. The idea is that customers can access as many features as possible, whatever the device they use: information searches, contact, etc.
We’re gradually managing all these projects. We started with the non-secure web part then moved onto apps. Now we’re working on the secure web part, i.e. everything to do with the client area.
These are major changes we’re making based on feedback from the experts who work with the operational teams. They’re in touch with customers by telephone or email and can report any complaints or requests to us during our monthly reviews. We see if these tie in with the changes we’re making or if we need to plan other projects. We also follow all the comments that are posted on the social networks and the feedback from internal clients, because a lot of our employees also use our services. We take all these things into account in order to focus on clients and address their needs.
KEEPING PACE WITH CHANGING USES
We also try to align with changing patterns of use of the web. We use a lot of media that we can draw inspiration from: social networks, webmail, e-commerce services, etc. When we find something that works well, even if it’s not our field, we look at how we can apply it to the bank. This could be anything from a hamburger button for the menu to creating profiles which is more for e-commerce or the social networks.
“As digital experts, we have our own beliefs, and they also contribute to coordinating the way we work in order to offer the best solutions for our clients and improve all our services in order to achieve our objectives in terms of attracting and retaining clients.”
How are your teams made up?
There are three divisions: the first is in charge of online services and ensuring security for them. The second handles media and digital communications (social networks, editorial, brand content, etc.). The third one is in charge of performance and quality of service.
Digital is a big business driver: we look at all the qualified data and contacts we collect and try to analyse what it generates in terms of transformation. It’s also the performance team’s job to leverage digital and measure its actual contribution in terms of the bank’s business.
Our approach is geared towards getting clients to be able to master the most basic, common uses (consulting and managing information and content).
“It’s difficult to monitor and measure the actual value generated by the services. But we have observed that customers who use our online services use our products and services more and are more loyal.”
BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS BETWEEN ROles TO BOOST collective intelligence
What type of methods do you use?
We rely heavily on the UX consultants from the agency we work with. We also involve the business line experts because, when we work on matters to do with savings or loans, their input is important to help us understand the process for signing up for and managing these services.
The UX experts act as a sort of reality check for us: they put themselves in the average customers’ shoes which gives them a bit of perspective and a vision that’s not purely a banking one but focuses more on the logic of use. We often do 3 or 4 workshops to fine-tune things and begin outlining a project, adjust it and draw up a website mock-up or wireframe. We then quickly move on to an interactive prototype so we can run user pre-tests and see if the information is presented fluently enough
We get the technical teams involved from the outset so that they can understand the design approach and the reasoning behind the specifications drawn up. We really try to decompartmentalise the various roles, based on the idea that true collective intelligence comes from each person’s expertise. It also enables us to be more efficient and reduces production lead-times.
DON’T BE AFRAid OF USING external SKILLS
Why did you choose to outsource UX?
When we started the first overhaul projects, we launched a call for tender to get the right ideas and find an external partner we could work with.
Generally speaking, we work partly with our in-house skills (strategy, coordination, etc.), but we also work with service providers with specific skills (e-CRM, natural referencing, social networks, etc.) who can bring their expertise. As these are professions that change very quickly, it means we’re always at the cutting edge of the latest trends and can get input from other sectors. And that’s really gratifying for us!
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