Customer Experience – A key differentiator in the banking industry - Banking blog

  White background_BLOGFor banks to attract new clients and to forge deep  relationships with their customers, they must be prepared to deliver more than existing digitised products and services. The time has come to truly reimagine how to engage with clients to create services and products that are centered around a meaningful customer experience. Banks that embrace customer experience perspectives do not only see an immediate positive impact in their market, a customer centric approach can also be a key differentiator if the bank understands the expectations of future clients.

This is the first post of our blog series to provide insights into the opportunities and challenges of customer experience in the banking industry.

“You‘ve got to start with the client experience and work backwards to the technology” – Steve Jobs

Bank of America (BoA) solved a critical banking problem and came up with a solution which motivated clients to open new accounts called “Keep the Change”. After investing significant time in research and prototyping, BoA launched a product that was tailored to a specific target group, developed together with the target group, and brought value to both the client and BoA.

With “Keep the Change”, BoA understood an idea many banks still struggle to value; Customer Experience (CX) has become a key differentiator - and when done right can lead to greater client satisfaction and loyalty.

As financial services offerings converge over features, advertising and price, consumers increasingly struggle to differentiate between brands.  Banks must therefore reimagine how they engage with their clients to create services and products centered around an experience.

“Client experience is the next competitive battleground” – Jerry Gregoire, Dell CIO

Banks that see through the customer experience lense achieve immediate market impact 

A simple user experience can help clients increase their banking knowledge and build trust with their bank. Accessing products and services, account information and history or even opening new accounts needs to be easy and intuitive. The clients of tomorrow are both influenced by peers and by other industry digital services such as Amazon, Zalando and Uber. As clients become accustomed to fast, efficient and simple services they become more demanding, better informed, and more connected. Consumers are increasingly engaging with companies through multiple devices, and they expect companies to remember their interactions across all touchpoints.

Due to greater transparency in product availability, they are able to perform product and service comparisons, and should therefore be treated as potential "brand ambassadors" as opposed to just clients. Those requirements should guide companies in offering products and services with added value to their clients. If a client's experience is less than perfect, the client may never return and discourage peers from utilising the service. The first impression is match making, as a client’s decision is made in the blink of an eye.

Pioneering banks will need to design and deliver amazing end-to-end experiences that seamlessly integrate with the client’s life. This end-to-end experience must allow the clients to define their methods of interaction and fulfil clients’ unspoken needs. Also, a transitioning from a sales/service orientation to a solution orientation and a constant presence in the customer journey are necessary. Banks such as Umpqua bank USA and Bank of America have embraced a CX perspective and see an immediate impact in their market:


Figure 1: Impact of CX on market figures (Source: Deloitte Digital, American Banker, DNB Latvia, Forrester / Watermark, Harvard Business Review)

Customer experience summarises the interactions between customers, company and brand…

The scope of customer experience spans across the entire business  to deliver the right capabilities through a suitable channel within the customer journey. Across the path of a customer journey, each user has individual needs and behaviours. This is why all the interactions the client has with products and services have to be taken into consideration to know how clients are being served according to their needs.  


Figure 2: Customer journey and scope of customer experience (Source: Deloitte Digital)

…and it can be a key differentiator if the bank understands the expectations of future clients

A deep understanding of users and their current experience and pain points is vital to identifying what opportunities are available to improve and shape their future customer experience. Product performance alone is no longer enough to differentiate and succeed, which makes a holistic approach across all touchpoints of the user experience indispensable, framing physical and digital as a single channel. The following are vital for a successful implementation of a customer experience strategy:

Know them: Digital channels are setting new personalization expectations. Banks must understand client behaviour to be able to tailor experiences. It is expected that banks will identify patterns and leverage these tailored experiences to give clients greater control over their choices.

Earn their trust: In the era of transparency, clients want to feel confident that their financial service providers are pro-actively fulfilling their needs to build lasting relationships.

Make it simple: Clients expect digitally enabled banking experiences that serve them in a simple and frictionless way.

Exceed expectations: Clients have high expectations and are increasingly drawn to experiences that surprise them in function and appearance. The more they are surprised and delighted, the more they are likely to engage in the experience and share it with their social groups.

Customer experience cannot be considered as a onetime effort, but as an ongoing process that leads to continuous improvement, with one of the primary success factors being the ability to adapt quickly to changes in the needs of clients to create unique experiences. A holistic customer journey throughout different channels and offerings will become a key differentiator and therefore an imperative for the survival of a bank.

What is next

This blog post represents the first part in our series that is designed to provide insights into the opportunities and challenges of customer experience in the banking industry. In the next blog we will deep dive into the world of customer experience focusing on mobile banking.


Cyrill Kiefer, Partner, Banking Transformation Practice, Zurich

Cyrill is Partner in the Banking Transformation Practice. He has successfully led various «end-to-end» transformation projects from strategy to go-live in the area of trading, regulatory, sales excellence, digitalisation and organisational change management. He has more than 18 years of consulting experience in serving retail- and private banks as well as market operators. He focuses on enhancing and optimisation the experience between the bank and the customer leveraging digital solutions. He also works together with the entire Fintech industry developing agile front-end solutions.



Dr Daniel Kobler, Partner, Banking Innovation Leader, Zurich

Daniel is a partner at Monitor Deloitte and one of the leaders in Deloitte’s Switzerland banking practice where he is – amongst other roles - Deloitte’s Switzerland banking innovation leader. He has more than 17 years of experience in serving universal banks, retail & private banks, and wealth and asset management companies. Moreover, Daniel is intensively working with FinTech companies across Europe.



Bashar Qadiri, Manager, Financial Services, Zurich

Bashar is a Manager in the Swiss Deloitte Digital practice with over 12 years of industry experience in digital technology for Wealth Management and Investment Banking. He has developed digital strategies, delivered product and service innovations, and designed customer experiences for the Financial Services industry.



Ranin Marey, Consultant, Financial Services, Zurich

Ranin is a Consultant in Deloitte’s Strategy & Operations Consulting team in Zurich. She joined Deloitte in 2015 and has more than 4 years of experience across the Financial Service Industry including private banking, accident insurance and fintech start-ups. She advised clients on various topics such as Business Process Outsourcing, Target Operating Models, Cost Optimization and Procurement processes.  



Cindy Schreiber, Consultant, Financial Services, Zurich

Cindy is a Consultant and part of Deloitte’s Financial Services Transformation practice. With more than 4 years of experience within the Financial Services sector, working for different banks in Switzerland, she has served clients in the Retail- and Wealth Management industry. She has an understanding of complex issues of the banking business in combination with applied knowledge of client advisory which allows her to embrace a client centric perspective.  



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