Another week, another event, this time a FinTech meets CX conference.

We’ve shared before that growth hacking, or your future growth plans, need insight & CX leaders, as well as technologists. This event provides an opportunity to bring together all three communities.

For the first time in 2016, FinTechNetwork brought together start-ups & incumbents, to focus on Customer Experience.

This year, again this is a gathering of those interested in not just technology, but also customers. Discussing ways to innovate and transform experiences for customers, whilst generating a profit.

As I found last year, this event prompts productive conversations and includes compelling case studies. There were a number of themes, including design-thinking, humanising digital CX and the importance of data. For an event focussed on FS and technical innovation, I was encouraged how much customer insight was mentioned.

Learning from #CXC2017

However, as we all have busy lives, I am going to continue the approach I recommended at Data Insight Leaders Summit. That is, to capture one insight per speaker. In this post I will share those for key speakers over the two days. This misses a lot of good ideas that also surfaced in panel debates, but if you want that, come along next year.

I’ve listed below one insight that struck me, from the speakers whom I found most useful. I hope it gives you a flavour of this event. These ‘lessons learnt’ are relevant to both established corporations and innovate start-ups. So, if you are an insight leader working within FS, then this overview should help you keep up-to-date.

Here is who was speaking this year…

An insight per session from #CXC2017

Robin Peters (Aviva)

Robin was our first speaker. Leading Aviva’s digital innovation (from their ‘garage’ in trendy Shoreditch), Robin shared a useful case study. Two of the key challenges in the world of life insurance are lack of tangibility & rarity of contact. Robin shared how pulling the data together & developing a segmentation has created a more personalised digital CX. Key to this is the MyAviva hub.

Having a simple to use complete view of your insurance & investments with a provider sounds basic. But, due to legacy systems challenges, few life insurers can provide it. Aviva now has a complete view for nearly 15m customers. I’m not surprised that has improved their NPS by 40 points, for digital customers.

Insight: You can still make a big difference to bottom-line & CX score, just by achieving a Single Customer View.

It might be out of fashion, but achieving an SCV can still produce significant benefits (as well as preparing you better for GDPR).

Martin Dowson (Lloyds Banking Group)

Martin has the enviable job of planning the future, whilst being protected from concerns about next 2 years. With a strong design background, he has been brought in to help Lloyds design their future 3-10 years hence. He was the first of a number of speakers to stress the importance of design-thinking.

Martin provided a number of good examples to show how better design can improve CX and generate profit. These ranged from the experience for children needing an MRI scan, to control of energy consumption in your home. He also usefully referenced a number of helpful resources. These included Fjord’s model of Liquid Expectations and Frog’s benefit measurement model.

Insight: You have a responsibility to ensure your design generates a profit, as well as better CX, so improvements are sustainable.

As well as lots of beautiful slides and best practice from the Design Council, it was good to hear commerciality. Martin rightly stressed that insight & CX leaders need to care about profit. It’s not less noble. To achieve sustainable improvements for people, customer-centric leaders need to care as much about making a profit.

Craig McVoy (BeyondBrand working with John Lewis)

Craig presented on behalf of his client, John Lewis. Through a presentation peppered with emotionally impactful John Lewis adverts, he moved us. His message was also about the importance of design, but including the emotional element of CX.

The challenge that Craig faced, was to help John Lewis enter the murky world of FS without brand damage. When you have the most trusted brand in the UK, a plan to deliver FS products via a third-party is risky. Brand reputation is a constant threat. Craig shared how supplier selection and proposition design helped mitigate risks.

Insight: Find a way to deliver new services that fits your brand, so it’s still the experience customers expect (even via 3rd parties).

For John Lewis this included more use of face to face & even card issuing in store (same day). Plus, their customers enjoy getting printed rewards through the post, so offline media still works for them. Through several elements of proposition, their new card proposition integrates into existing service. Their customer insight enabled John Lewis to stay clear on target market throughout proposition development.

John Oswald (Futurice)

One of the sponsors of this event, John provided an agency/supplier perspective. He had a compelling case to make that “we’ve got CX all wrong“. Sharing five useful ways to avoid being technology-led:

  1. Remember the human (so customer insight);
  2. Space probes (scanning new ways to meet needs & experimentation);
  3. We’re all in this together (focus on employees as well as customers);
  4. It’s a cultural thing (need to break out of silos & leadership role);
  5. Playbooks not metrics (empowerment not control, within limits).

Insight: We have let CX become a technology thing & actually tech companies aren’t customer-centric.

Ruth Mojentale-Baumann (Credit Suisse)

Getting back to client-side ‘real world’ learning, Ruth shared the story of how & why they developed DigiPig. These are cute electronic piggy banks that help children with financial literacy. Linked to an app for parental control & so kids can see real or digital money add up, they teach how to save. Via the app kids can set saving goals & even agree money to be paid for completing chores.

It’s an interesting innovation. Very human-centric and bringing tangibility & fun to the key issue of needing to improve financial literacy. It was interesting to note the many different digital facial expressions & responses of DigiPig. These are designed to achieve emotional engagement, another reminder of the need to humanise tech.

Insight: To achieve financial education, use gamification, interaction & emotional responses to make it tangible and human.

It appears to have worked well for them with customer engagement and brand reputation. I’m not surprised to hear that adults want them too. We need a concept like this in the UK to help improve financial literacy.

Markus Hohl (Hellon working with Bank of Ireland)

Markus works with Lesley Tully at Bank of Ireland.Unfortunately she was unable to join us this year. A shame as her presentation last year was excellent. Still, Markus shared interesting thoughts & lessons learnt on improving creative thinking in corporations.

Through a video and taking us through the process, he explained how workshops helped staff engage. Coming together from across silos, they worked together on improving the experience for bereaved customers. A very emotional & sensitive moment of truth for the Bank. Careful use of customer insight and empathic workshops did help generate creative thinking. Revealing where existing processes had to be fixed, once you saw them from customers’ perspective.

Insight: There is still a big gap between the 90% of companies who think they are customer-centric and the 11% who achieve high CX scores. Creative thinking is needed to spot & fix the barriers.

Christine Loft Hunderup (Nordea Life & Pensions)

Christine returned us to the theme of design-thinking, but in a very practical way. She shared how it is applied at Nordea, achieving more co-creation with customers. This has achieved faster delivery of better digital CX and earlier identification of ideas that will work.

Key to these achievements has been their adoption of Google Ventures‘ 5-Day Design Sprint. She explained this compellingly simple methodology, with what action you complete on each working day. Her recommended book might well be worth investing in: “Sprint” by Jake Knapp. The co-creation element of this was having an active customer panel to feedback on all iterations of designs.

Insight: Even basic research tools like customer panels & surveys can be used to achieve rapid co-creation results.

Peter Korcara (Method)

Peter continued the theme of designers sharing their perspectives on the FS industry. Peter has expertise in application of AI, so shared a number of examples of how to generate insights and apply analytics intelligently.

One of his most interesting case studies was the use of analytics by Spotify. As well as using behavioural & predictive analytics, they complement these with context. This is provided by a combination of audio analysis (is it a sound you might enjoy) & cultural sentiment (your musical tribe). A useful reminder of considering wider context before applying a simplistic recommendations engine.

Insight: Be clear on the purpose of your AI deployments, what sort of relationship does customer want with you?

Silvia Carlassara (Intesa SanPaolo)

Silvia leads CX and CRM for Intesa. Their work in this area has been recognised by Forrester and was a useful reminder that CRM still matters for improved CX.

Their deployment, which has uplifted NPS scores, included improvements to data, analytics & CRM systems. They even made the business case for investing in real-time decisioning (based on pre-scored models & new data).

Insight: Improved CX does also normally require IT investment, ensure you identify where infrastructure needs to be improved (from data stores to front-end).

Panel on Data, Analytics & Insight

I chaired this panel, with the help of able panelists Gwilym Morrison, Sharifah Amirah and Lawrence Brown. They shared some useful insights on the continued importance of data quality, SCVs, GDPR and use of analytics.

Insight: You may not need real-time analytics, nor perfect data quality, know when it is good enough to work & deploy to learn.

It was also interesting to hear from Gwilym on the commercial impact of the new predictive underwriting product launched by Royal London. Not only is this a real world example of a machine learning model being deployed but it changed the commercials. Simplifying the underwriting process means taking more risk, but automation offsets this with lower costs.

Oke Eleazu (Bought By Many)

Experienced CX director & author, Oke was an amusing & effective presenter. As well as sharing his new book (“The cult of service excellence“), he shared the evidence for investment in improving CX. This included the investment success of Clas Fornell’s fund (selecting CX focussed companies to massively outperform S&P500). I’d like to see this repeated for FTSE100.

Insight: You need 3 steps for better CX: (1) clear purpose; (2) know your customers; (3) effective metrics of how you’re doing.

To his credit, Oke has now gone from preaching his CX message to putting it into practice in FinTech start-up BoughtByMany. This travel insurer has zero excess policies, emotional touches (like pet birthdays & deaths) & very active social media engagement. Lots of use of crowd sourcing through social media to decide how to improve their propositions. This has enabled them to charge a large premium to the market to provide what people want.

Interactive survey of delegates

A panel on future design also took the approach of engaging the audience with live voting app. As well as the amusing running gag of some delegates always voting for “pizza” as the answer, it revealed some interesting perspectives.

This mix of corporates & start-ups, working on innovating FS digital CX, voted for:

Most important trends for future of CX in FS:

  • AI
  • Blockchain
  • Design
  • Talent

Commercial drivers for making a Business Case:

  • Customer Retention/Loyalty (far outscored other answers)

Your FS customers want:

  • Simplicity
  • Transparency
  • Easy to use service/app

Do you have same view of how FinTech meets CX?

I hope those learnings from #CXC2017 are useful. It was interesting to see that, since last year, the focus was even more on design thinking & customer insight.

What about your work as a customer insight leader? Do you agree with the messages shared at this event? Are you focussing on other key improvements?