Naked experience - the banking disruption in my pocket by Petra Mengelt [Guest post]

By Petra Mengelt, on 21 September, 2017

For all of us at Giosg, it's a true honour to host Petra Mengelt from Euroloan, a seasoned expert of customer experience in the financial industry, on our blog. We have learned a lot from Petra while working with her and listening to her in various stages and conference halls across the Europe. We are sure that her words will shake up your expectations whether you're working to push the financial industry into an era of superb (digital) customer experience, or assessing the experience as the customer.

The Banker said “No!”

Remember the times when mum and dad were getting ready for a meeting at a bank back in the day? Is dad’s tie correct and mum’s skirt long enough? Do they look goodenough to make that critical first impression on the loan officer?What will he think when they arrive, hat in hand, to get the loan for the new appliance?

Once upon a time, our parents needed to take the afternoon off work to attend a well prepared and long-planned meeting. The authority the banker had on the other side of the meeting table was incredible. A poor first impression could mean no loan, maybe based on an entirely personal impression not backed up with data.  But over time, when that banker said “yes”, a relationship was born. The customer felt valued and could call the banker to discuss the things that mattered. 

How to develop this feeling of a personal touch in a digital marketplace? 

The disruption in my pocket

The trends of today’s market, fostered by technology, have upended the business of banking. A million choices, or more, are offered to us a thousand different ways every day. Marketing is more personal and immediate than ever, tailored to our needs and desires by computers that size us up based on our digital fingerprints: our likes, our check-ins, our habits. We carry in our pockets tiny information aggregators of such power that was unheard of even 20 years ago. The power of the modern smart technology that we rely on lets us check in with friends from anywhere, answer our messages at any time… and do ever-increasing parts of our personal business, anywhere, anytime.

New studies have shown that younger consumers are more than willing to offer more information to the cloud and social media, as long as that means seamless and direct service. This new generation places less value on visiting the institutions of yesterday and treasure direct communication in an instant to create moments that matter to them. If a desire to handle a plane ticket or a purchase, strikes at midnight, they see no reason it shouldn’t be possible. 

We each carry with us the power of disruption. The disruption in our pockets.

24/7 + ROI + experience

Traditional business models which relied on vast inventories and fixed service points are finding themselves flat footed, running against a minimalist and agile enterprise whose entire user interface is digital and cloud based. Banks that develop digital and data capabilities to radically simplify their business while simultaneously dramatically improving customer experience via greater efficiency, quality and speed can see a significant  increase in revenue per customer in comparison with their traditional peers. All 24 hours a day, and 7 days a week.

Amazon and Uber have raised the bar of customer expectations regarding service, speed, and convenience.  These pioneers have created an expectation that other institutions, namely banks, can also interact seamlessly with their customers through digital channels while offering a human interaction experience in the moments that matter.  

But how can I explain the link between the modern CX experience to our ROI? How can  I explain the seemingly intangible benefit of real-time human service via chat and digital interface in euros? How are we going to blend the continued desire for personal, human service with the vast possibilities afforded by automated, digital consumer services?

Service with a (digital) smile

I believe that FinTech needs to join both personal interaction and information technology. How can we bring the feeling of going to a trusted bank and visiting with your loan officer, a relationship we used to develop over many years of customer service, to a user interface model? How can the customer feel that she is unique in a world in which we don’t see our service providers face to face? The answer is that we build a user experience that is tailored to the individual. We learn about our customer’s habits so that we know that he enjoys chatting via laptop on a Saturday afternoon over coffee, but she would like to make her financial decisions after 8 on Tuesdays, and by a mobile interface? We offer Omni-channel communication so the customer can reach out in the way he or she sees fit at any time. Service with a (digital) smile.

What we need is banking, but don’t necessarily need banks. Or at least, not the brick and mortar banks that we visited 20 years ago. Consumers want banking as a service. They don’t want to queue; they want to be able to check their finances at midnight from home and use only those services that they need. It’s our job to gladly offer them the service they want, when they want it and how they want it. This is the power of modern FinTech.


 About the Author

Petra Mengelt is the Director of Customer Experience at Euroloan Group Plc in Finland and a desired key note speaker throughout Europe. At Euroloan she is responsible for the customer experience throughout the customer journey.She is passionate about involving all organisation layers to participate in the customer experience journey. Petra believes that customer experience doesn’t function via a rigid top-down command structure; rather, greater results are achieved when one empowers employees to influence the results. 

Petra has led a fintech company Euroloan Consumer Finance’s customer experience for the past five years and finally she is willing to reveal the fundamentals of how she got the company Net Promoter Score to raise five consecutive years from negative numbers to mid 50s. Prior to entering the world of financial innovation, she has 10 years of lean management experience in the aerospace and metals industries in the US and Europe.

Being in charge of the customer service functions at Euroloan Consume Finance has given Petra a broadened perspective to understand the customer experience from a service design viewpoint. Customer experience is a fascinating function because in the end it touches on all company functions from employees, to customers and management, to investors. Effective customer experience leadership demands a dynamic voice to communicate the journey to all affected parties, Petra closes. Petra holds a Master’s degree in organizational management from Fielding University, Ca, USA

Petra lives on a little island in Eastern Helsinki just minutes away from downtown with her American husband and their nine year old daughter. At home she changes her high heels into wool socks and rubber boots and loves to garden, make great food to share with friends and family.

Topics: Personalisation, Live Chat, Financial services, Guest post