If I Were a Bank CEO... Vol. 7: Digital Customer Experiences

June 25, 2024

Carey Ransom

Carey Ransom is an SaaS entrepreneur, executive, investor and advisor, and has started, grown and/or led 8 B2B and consumer SaaS companies during startup and growth phases. He is currently the Managing Director of BankTech Ventures, a venture fund focused on compelling technologies for community banks, and founded and funded by leaders in the community bank ecosystem. Carey's 25-year career spans executive roles in product, marketing, business development, strategy and corporate development.

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If I were a bank CEO,

Vol. 7: Digital Customer Experiences

If I were a bank CEO,

I’d make sure my team is well-versed and oriented around digital customer experiences. I’d want them to understand the power of first impressions, and how we could elevate ours.

It’s critically important to deliver a great digital customer experience, just like we try with our human-to-human interactions. It all begins with the first impression our potential customers get when they visit our website or mobile app. Let's use the framework of the 3 Cs—Competence, Content, and Contact—to illustrate how a small business customer evaluates us, both consciously and subconsciously.

Competence: Showcasing Our Expertise

Imagine Sarah, a small business owner looking for a bank to manage her business banking and cash flow planning. Her first touchpoint with us is probably our website. Within seconds, she subconsciously assesses whether we appear competent to her. How might she evaluate that?

  1. Visual Appeal and Professionalism: Our website must look professional and be visually appealing. If it's cluttered or feels outdated, Sarah may doubt our ability to handle her finances efficiently, whether that’s correlated to it or not.
  2. Ease of Navigation: A well-structured, easy-to-navigate site indicates that we value her time and understand her needs. If she can quickly find the information she's looking for, she'll feel more confident in our competence.
  3. Trust Signals: Relevant testimonials, case studies and awards subtly communicate our reliability and expertise. These elements can help reassure Sarah that she's in capable hands.

Content: Meeting Her Needs

If she thinks we’re competent, then Sarah will likely evaluate whether we offer the content (products and services) she needs. This is a more conscious evaluation.

  1. Relevant Services: Clear, detailed descriptions of our products and services tailored for small businesses will catch her eye. She’s probably looking for business checking accounts, loans, and financial management tools, such as the ones Monit can help a bank offer.
  2. Educational Resources: Blogs, articles, and webinars about small business finance demonstrate our commitment to helping customers like her succeed. These resources show that we understand her challenges and are here to support her.
  3. Up-to-Date Information: Regular updates and new content signal that we are current and proactive. Stale or outdated content can be a red flag, suggesting a lack of innovation or engagement.

Contact: Ensuring Easy Access

Finally, if we pass the first 2 tests, then Sarah needs to know how to contact us. This is both a conscious and subconscious evaluation. Are we giving her options that reflect a modern and relationship-oriented bank? Can we demonstrate confidence in her that we’ll be responsive and available on her schedule as well?

  1. Clear Contact Information: Phone numbers, email addresses, and live chat options should be prominently displayed. If Sarah struggles to find this information, she may question our customer service quality.
  2. Multiple Contact Channels: Offering various ways to get in touch, including social media and messaging apps, shows that we’re accessible and flexible. She needs to feel that help is available when she needs it.
  3. Responsive Design: If our site or app works seamlessly on her smartphone or tablet, she'll feel that we are considerate of her busy lifestyle and modern in our approach.

The Decision: Stay or Bounce

Based on her initial digital interaction with us, Sarah will either start to consider us seriously or bounce to another potential bank. Options abound online, so it’s important to always remember how easy it is to hit the ‘Back’ button on a web browser. If we appear competent, provide the content she needs, and make it easy for her to contact us, she will likely stay and explore further. On the other hand, if any of these elements are lacking, she may quickly move on to another option.

Conclusion: Create a Commitment to Excellence

To attract and retain customers like Sarah, our digital presence must reflect our commitment to excellence. Every team member plays a vital role in ensuring that our website and mobile app are not only functional but also exemplary showcases of our competence, comprehensive in the content we provide, and easily accessible for contact. By focusing on the 3 Cs, we can create first impressions that lead to lasting relationships.