Thought Leadership

Use Technology to Humanize the Digital Experience

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August 27, 2018
Use Technology to Humanize the Digital Experience
By Bryan Adler

When you consider activation at the point of excitement, everyone’s mind goes to Amazon. It
has redefined markets, how goods are bought and sold, and continue to rethink the customer
experience on a daily business. Forbes says Amazon is scaring retailers and changing the
market.

Think of how things have changed over the last 10 to 15 years; it’s mind boggling. Cell phones,
GPS, your online experience or watching a movie. Everything is becoming easier.

Look at cell phones. Here’s a brief history from CNN. Most people didn’t even realize cell
phones existed before the 90s, and even then we were only making calls from them. That’s all
they did. It really wasn’t until BlackBerry hit the scene in 1999 that they did anything more, but
the real game changer was in 2007 when Apple developed the first iPhone. In those 11 years
since, we have Apple and Android and apps. We started out typing instructions, and now we’re
speaking them. Smartphones have made our lives easier, and everyone (ok, 80% of everyone
according to Pew Research) is using them.

So, you’re asking “What’s your point?” If you look at Amazon, a customer-service technology
company is dominating more traditional retailers at every turn. How?

Amazon’s story has been told time and time again, but if you boil it down to the lowest common
denominator, it’s the company’s use of data. Amazon has collected copious data on its users
from its transactions as well as other data it can find or purchase and mesh that together to
come up with suggestions the customer actually wants. You go to Amazon, and sometimes they
know what you want before you do. That’s activation at the point of excitement by personalizing
the customer’s experience through data.

The digital world provides consumers instant gratification, getting them excited to do something
immediately. For example, my wife likes to shop at J Crew, and we were talking about the
difference between receiving a postcard in the mail for a free shirt that had to be redeemed in a
brick-and-mortar store and simply clicking on a link to take advantage of the same offer. She
wanted the digital experience every time.

The Financial Brand summarized customer expectations regarding digital personalization
wonderfully. You have the information on the customer. Combine that with technology and
additional data, and you can achieve the personalized, digital experience consumers are
demanding.

How do we adapt this type of personalization in banking? It’s more than collecting the data, but
also analyzing what it’s trying to tell you and the executing on the insights gained from that
analysis to create a compelling user experience. The more relevant and seamless the customer
experience, the more exciting it becomes to the user.

Banks to include an ad in their mobile app for mortgage refinancing to a customer that is already
making monthly payments to another loan company. When they do choose to apply, pre-
populate as much of their information as possible with what the bank knows about them, but
also giving them the opportunity to correct it. Make it as easy and seamless as possible to avoid
abandonment.

Making life easier through technology has revolutionized many parts of our lives today and
personalized the digital experience. Banking isn’t one of consumers’ favorite activities, so let’s
make it as quick and painless as possible.

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