Reimagining the client


Reimagining the client

Next level customer centricity for the banking industry

Long-term sustainable growth in banking requires genuine client centricity, based on individual clients’ needs. And although client journeys and personas are a great start, a higher level of sophistication is necessary to truly reimagine your clients. A plea for the right mix of design, psychology and technology.

Struggling with true customer centricity

According to Deloitte’s 2018 Banking Industry Outlook, banks are still struggling with the concept of true customer centricity. On a global level, the industry has definitely taken some important steps from product push to client centricity. Banks are aware that customer experience is a key success factor and have therefore developed a strong focus on simplicity and user friendliness. And in many ways, banks in the Netherlands are ahead of the game, with design teams that listen to focus groups and know what services clients want and need. Customer journeys and personas have definitely become the standard within the industry.

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Moving to the next level

However, genuine customer centricity requires something extra. We need to move from pain reduction to gain creation and from one-size-fits-all to personalized experiences for millions of clients. Actually, clients expect nothing less, since they are aware of the possibilities that technologies like AR/VR, bots, voice and auto interfaces offer. It is time to move to the next level of customer centricity.

Using design, psychology and technology to create meaningful conversations

So how can banks focus on each individual client? Personal advertising has been around for a while. Now it’s time to personalise financial advice has well, based on a mix of design, psychology and technology. Sounds logical. However, it’s not that easy to create a personal conversation with millions of clients. It’s not about apps with shiny financial dashboards. It’s about the right (relevant), small message or ‘nudge’ that enables you to save or spend just a bit smarter. For instance, psychology in combination with service design can help understand the deeper needs and financial behaviour of clients. New technologies such as artificial intelligence can add extra depth by analysing behaviours of individual clients – e.g. they can find out which clients should be saving more money and how these particular clients can be convinced to do so. For instance, some people will start saving more if they receive a message that 60% of their peers are better savers than they are. It’s about creating meaningful conversations and using design, psychology and technology to deliver the right message in the right context.

Meet Sir Pence

Services like this add value to traditional services. Personalised services can really add a competitive edge. Deloitte helps banks develop these personalized services and embed them within their organisation – by picking up trends, developing a vision, and co-creating customer journeys with banks, but also by training banking professionals in user research and service design, and helping them train their co-workers (“train the trainer”). How can a bank interact with its clients in a personal way? To explore the opportunities of (chat) technology, Deloitte Digital has recently developed a proof of concept for the financial sector by the name of Sir Pence the saving bot, which is a tool based on design, psychology and technology. This saving bot actually communicates as a typical butler, including a posh tone and a slightly sarcastic sense of humour. It records how clients respond to the tone and content of its messages in order to make them more personal and effective every time. For instance, it points out to them – in a subtle but effective message – that they have exceeded a certain budget (e.g. for a wedding) so clients can cut expenses immediately.

Initiatives like this help banks to support their clients maintain a grip on their financial well-being, while offering us the chance to make an impact that matters on the financial world.

The Future of Banking

In the upcoming months we will share a range of articles with you on the future of banking, based on the ‘seven wicked problems’ we have identified. Reimagine the client is one of these ‘problems’. Our research skills and day-to-day experience in working with banks have allowed us to dive into these challenges more deeply. By sharing our insights, we strive to help you with the choices you face in your day-to-day work and with aligning your leadership, culture and organizational structure to a fully digital mindset, optimizing the use of proprietary and external data. Sign up for the email alerts to make sure you won't miss any of the articles about the latest insights and solutions on the future of banking.

More information on the future of banking?

Do you want to know more on the future of banking? Please contact Harmen Meijnen via

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