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Mind the gap between the customer and the platform

Customers? They’re more connected and empowered than ever. The result? Financial services providers need to focus on the creation of customer platforms that deliver a satisfying experience, as well as the services and products they need.

What do we mean by a platform? In short, a platform seeks to provide an experience that adds value to the user experience beyond a list of services and products. A good platform also increases long- term customer engagement by adding new features and experiences over time. 

Creating an experience architecture

Successful platforms, such as Amazon, deliver an experience architecture which ensures high rates of task completion, for example, buying that book, record or laptop that the platform displays in the recommended window.

Look at it another way. If you really want a customer to complete an action on your platform, make it easy for them to do just that. Often it’s hard to keep things simple, but the payback is worth it - think about how simple it is to buy an app or e-book on your mobile device.

Another way of increasing customer engagement is to take advantage of intelligent insight and predictive analytics that provide personal advice. For all its faults, Facebook provides users with a consistent platform as well as a highly relevant and constantly evolving, customized experience.

Understanding these platforms and their features means that banks can plot a journey to delivering an experience, which provides engaging customer products and services. This, in turn, drives customer loyalty and top-line growth.

Customer focus is critical. Understanding why your customers access your platform, what will delight them, and pain points they may be facing, will enable you to deliver something that the customer values.

Constant change

Evolution is everything when it comes to platforms. If you can create an intuitive experience that meets customer expectations and offers new ways of meeting their articulated and unarticulated needs, you put yourself in a very strong position. A good example is eBay. Before I first came across it, I never realized how much stuff I didn't need!

All this means that the rules are changing. Financial institutions need to reframe the question around the deployment of customer facing systems.  In short, the next time you’re considering a digital investment, consider the platform rather than the product.



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