For the majority of financials, the current digital channel is simply not good enough. This, according to Forrester Research VP and principle analyst, Brad Strothkamp. What’s more, banks should be striving for the very best experience for their customers not just one that is good enough.

In our most recent Next Generation Digital Finance Webinar, Strothkamp presented his view of the financial industry and pointed out some interesting and practical ways that banks can adapt to the current challenges they face.

Strothkamp puts forth that the digital channel should be SUPER: Simple, Ubiquitous, Personal, Empowering and Reassuring. It should be simple meaning that customers shouldn’t have to spend time looking for information. Information should be clearly presented withing a friendly, User Experience (UX) design. The human element of the digital channel must also play a part, providing human comfort (in the form of direct telephone calls, chat, email or branch visits) in situations where customers might become digitally frustrated.

Customers also expect to be able to access information anywhere and anytime and have that information be presented in the most straight-forward and consistent manner possible.  Consistency is very important. Customers want to be able to see what they expect to see, not an entirely different layout per device. Strothkamp emphasized that customers aren’t abandoning old channels or devices, they are simply adding new ones to the mix.

Similarly, personalization is another must-have for financials. Customers don’t have time to deal with information that is irrelevant. Finding ways to interact with customers and provide them with truly useful tools and products based on this personalization will lead the way forward.

Overall, Strothkamp’s advice supports Backbase’s ‘outside-in’ philosophy, where keeping the customer’s online journey front and center is the main impetus behind creating our software.  Within most companies it’s easy to get trapped in an inside-out perspective, where it becomes impossible to know what the customer wants or needs.

Strothkamp points to ABN Amro, Bank Simple (now Simple) and Bankinter as good examples of how to get portions of the digital customer journey right.