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Innovate With Your Customer in Mind: 6 Tips

30 November, 2022

In 2022 and beyond, technology in the financial services space is changing faster than ever. Banks and credit unions are finding ways to make their online tools and customer data work harder than ever, unifying both sides of the equation to create something deeply useful and personalized with the goal of an enhanced customer experience.

With this in mind, unfortunately, it’s easy for leaders to get caught in the trap of “keeping up with the Joneses” when it comes to technological innovation. Specifically, the allure and pressure of being a tech-savvy organization (and leader) can cause executives to dump large amounts of money into their technology without a specific goal or purpose.

Technology should never be an end unto itself; instead, it should drive other performance metrics and serve as a vehicle for improved customer experience and supporting your organization’s bottom line.

Consider the following when thinking about innovation in your organization:

Begin With Customer In Mind

Your customers should be at the center of your technological innovation, and hopefully, your organization is able to identify a pressing need or touchpoint a new piece of technology can address. If nothing else, ensure your organization is aligned and thinking about your customers from the very beginning of any tech initiative you take on.

Come From a Data-Driven Perspective

Beyond simply considering your customers, your team should have concrete data points around an underserved customer touchpoint or experience that technology can improve. If this data doesn’t exist, it’s a good opportunity to create a system measuring NPS and other customer interactions in order to clearly understand your strengths and weaknesses.

Drive Specific Metrics

Once you have a clear understanding of the performance of your various customer touchpoints, make sure your new technology addresses a specific, potentially underperforming, aspect of your business and improves it substantially.

Make sure you do your homework and talk to customers to truly understand their pain points and have feedback on specific aspects that can be improved, then utilize that feedback in the development of new tools, services and offerings.

Utilize Partnerships

Many leaders get intimidated and put off by the seemingly daunting financial investment new technology requires. However, by utilizing FinTech partnerships, your organization can exchange (ie, make available) customer data to trusted partners in order for them to develop useful, customer-facing tools.

Make Your Data Easily Accessible and Malleable

As mentioned above, open banking is key to your organization getting FinTech partnerships off the ground. In particular, creating an API modernizes your customer data and opens the possibilities for partners to navigate customer data.

Create a Feedback Loop

Perhaps most importantly, once you introduce a new piece of technology, keep gathering feedback about it so you can continue to improve in the future. Once you’ve made the investment, specific, customer-directed tweaks can take the tool from “good” to “great,” and prove to be a major difference-maker in customer experience.