Creating Journey Maps For A 200 Year Old Bank

Knowledge / Inspiration

Creating Journey Maps For A 200 Year Old Bank

Continuous Discovery
UXDX APAC 2021
Slides

Going into a large and historical financial institution, Anthea has had many learnings about the strength and intertwining relationship of research and design when it comes to product development. She has recognised that by using the insights from research teams, designers can gain better understanding of the problems they are looking to solve and work towards helping people in moments that matter.
In this talk, Anthea will share her journey of how she has interpreted the insights from their customers, how it has affected the way she approaches design and overall how it has improved designs for products she has been involved with.

It's really nice to be here today. Before I begin, I would like to start by acknowledging the traditional custodians of the land on which we gather today and paying my respects to their elders past and present. I extend that respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples here today. So, my name is Anthea blends and I'm a strategic design lead at Westpac. And it's really nice to be here and have the opportunity to speak and share my experience about a topic that I'm really passionate about. My role at Westpac amongst other things has me focusing primarily on developing ethnographic research and contextual design investigations to understand people's behaviors and pain points around financial services. And those insights help guide conceptual development of products and services with other specialists that we have across the organisation. So, today, I'm going to speak about why research is critical and driving organisational change, the opportunity that we have to help people work together towards aligned purpose and outcomes and how to evolve with people's expectations. So, let me start by telling you a story. And this is a story of one of the approximately 14 million customers that Westpac has, and it's about Michelle and she's 23 years old. She got in trouble with credit early on in her life. She was always, already feeling a little bit terrible with money. And that was the sentiment coming from how she sees her mother handling finances. And she got a car loan when she was very young with the assistance of her mother, of course, and then got another learn to pay for some medical expenses. And then over time she saw like all of those expenses actually bubbling up and she was feeling pressure of high interest rates and thought that it would be a great idea to kind of consolidate those two loans into one. So, to give herself a pay rise, but things that didn't really work out for her that way when she was declined for the loan. And what happened was that she had actually recently applied online for five credit cards to just see what would happen. And so, at that point, Michelle had no understanding of what credit scores were and she didn't realize what making a bunch of applications would do to her and so it wasn't until she asked for help in a branch and she learned what had happened. And then tried to set about a way to remediate her score, that she could try again to consolidate her loans at a later date. So, she felt that she had to learn a lot in a short space of time and she learned it the hard way. That was her words. In that interview, Michelle was almost bursting into tears. And so, each time we speak to our customers, each of them has their own story their own unique needs. And the way that they think about finances is always connected with something that's happening in their life. And so, as a designer privileged to this information, it fundamentally changed me. And I realised at that point in time that how I was thinking about finances was very transactional. And the reality is, is that even though banking is transactional, finances are emotional and they've evolved over time. Just like people do. And so, as the time passed, the more and more we listened to the stories of people what we found was that for most of them, money is a tool. It enables you to do the things that you want to do, protect yourself, build yourself and your family for a better life. And so, the challenge then with my team was how do we share this understanding more broadly within their organisation to enable the change that we want to see? So, that was not an easy task at all. As an organisation, this size, we're talking about a company that is 200 years old. It has complex relationships, influencers goals, in most cases businesses as a whole are simply not wired naturally to think about the journeys that customers actually take, they're wired for transactions. They're not wired for journeys and they're not certainly wide for the emotions that people have. They have multiple departments and people, every single one of these people, their intent is to actually create a positive customer interaction. Marketers, digital teams, frontline employees, service employees and they directly or indirectly impact the customer experience. But because of the traditional ways of working and how targets are set, it's hard to change the culture and the structure to respond to those customer needs. So, Westpac has realised that financial services are no longer compelling enough on their own and that our experiences need to be anchored in those customer needs and that's why essentially the business is currently undergoing a service revolution transformation, and it's transitioning from to an end-to-end customer journey approach. And this requires a lot of changes to address the complex ecosystem that we're operating in. And the three core changes are a change, essentially, an approach. From finding the right customers to suit our products, to creating experiences that respond to our customer's needs a change in culture from siloed and misaligned objectives. So, people, processes and technology that are anchored to common understanding of customer needs and the change in structure, which is going from a hierarchical and functional structure to a cross functional and empowered journey teams that span across all the products, channels, and touch points. And phase zero - This is how I'm calling it - of that transformation started some years ago. And it was the first step towards this approach and it was implemented on a smaller scale with cross-collaborative teams of specialists. Essentially, we started with orienting around journeys and journeys are not a new concept. They've been around for quite a while and have been used in very different ways, from different practitioners around the globe. And a quick search on Google can show you the different variations that exist. But essentially the problem with this was that journeys were so flexible in terms of content, the elements and what they were trying to achieve, we didn't know how to use them in the beginning and what would be the most beneficial for the business? So, essentially, we started by using these maps within the organisation as a tool for collaboration, and to see them kind of evolve over time, not to have them as a deliverable that would just sit and then once a project finishes ends. And so, you can see a little bit in the background. This is before COVID all of actual activities that the team can kind of undertook in this phase zero approach. And so, the first step that we actually did to solve that problem was to differentiate and define the different types of journeys. So, we have customer journeys and service journeys, and I'm not going to go into too much detail, but essentially customer journeys are a visual framework that helps us see through the eyes of our customers and gain a deeper understanding of how people use their finances. Their behaviors, their needs and wants from financial services agnostic to any product or service and they can include many things like what's happening before, during, and after the experience of a product or service. And they can be long stretching across touchpoints or short versus we have service journeys that are against the visual framework. Again, that helps us deconstruct and make sense of how customers go through a specific path of how current products and services work for them. So, it separates essentially what's happening on the front end in front of the customer and versus where all of the support processes live that produced that front stage. And those things are usually invisible to the customer. The backstage is assets, the organisation and everything that's happening behind the scenes. So, to give you more specific example we have the customer journey of buying a home versus a service journey that's applying for a Homeland. To give a little bit more context, according to a recent report from domain, it takes an average of six years for first home buyer couples to save for a deposit for an entry level home house in Sydney. So, if you're by yourself, basically goes up to 13 years, which is a lot of time and that's a lot of times actually get a foot in the market. And so, the considerations at that level of that customer journey is how do I save for that deposit? Where do I want to live? Will this be a stepping stone for me or is this my forever home? What type of home do I need now? And for five years in the future, and you kind of have that, all of that decision-making process of what happens from a customer perspective versus if you look at applying for a home loan, that's basically like after you've actually kind of make the decision of what you actually want to do and you're thinking about questions about what loan can I afford? What are the repayments? Is there a way to pay it faster? What documents do I need to submit? What if something changes and I can't afford those repayments. So, very simply this is kind of a difference between those two things and we needed to separate those within the business to have a common language. So, journeys are a flexible concept. And they can be relatively short and simple, like making a payment. They can be long and complex, like buying a home, or they can spend across an entire arch of a relationship over potentially many years like a customer life cycle. And I guess I just pause here for a moment to really emphasise the importance that that lifecycle has. For us and for a business that has been operating over 200 years, as we have so many customers that have been with us for a very long time from when they got their first job, getting their first car, first home had a family. Now they're close to retirement and some families actually have been with the bank for generations and others have been selecting only the bank for a specific service. And the interviews that we take of people are basically at various stages of their life. And the more we do that, the more we understand what really matters. Then we kind of take all of those learnings and reflect on what we can do better to set our customers up for success. Very complex because life is complex, but for us, we need to embrace that complexity because the decisions that we make affect the lives of other people and possibly entire communities. So, I really want to give you an analogy because I love this video about the geospatial world. It provides a great analogy of how to move between that flexibility of journey. So, I'm just going to play it for a moment. Great. I hope you enjoy that. But I guess in an effort to kind of grasp that complexity, what I needed to learn to do so that I could help others do it within their organisation is to move fluidly between the layers of abstraction and understand how they are connected. And so, these journeys within journeys, we think of them as a map that you can choose to zoom in and out of, depending on what your focus is. And again, this is very high level. There's a lot more detail that actually goes into this map. But the reason we needed to further clarify the sub journeys was that as an organisation of this size, there's so many projects happening. At the same time and they all in some way or another are actually interlinked and we needed to understand the impact of changes on multiple levels so that we can understand how one piece of work is influencing the whole system or if one piece of work is actually influencing another piece of work and maybe we needed to bridge those two things together. And so, to explain this diagram a little bit further me moving from the top, we have people who are going in their everyday lives and that's like your day to day, everything that you're doing at some point something happens in your life and you're basically causing you to kind of reevaluate where you are and for example, this example is like getting married. So, you're evaluate your finances. You need to do budgeting. Then after that, that actually becomes back to your new reality. So, you go back to your day-to-day life with that new kind of journey inherited in your day-to-day life. And Then you might have another goal down the track, which is actually owning the home, which we talked about earlier, but all of these customer journeys, which are on the top slide actually are underpinned by service journeys that are on the bottom. And this is what actually helps people move through their life. And it could be only one or multiple services depending on what their goals are. So, drilling down a little bit further another consideration on how we've used these maps when designing services. And this might sound obvious, but sometimes the obvious can be missed is that people going through the same customer journey go about it financially in a very different way. So, that's why we consider behavioral cohorts in the work that we do, because we know that the same services that we have can be used in a different way by different people. So, in this example, Margaret changed her everyday behavior to save money and go on a holiday, got a credit card just for a backup in case of an emergency and also purchase travel insurance. Because she's a little bit like what she, she wants to have that safety versus Emma and she is a little bit more spontaneous. She lives for the day she purchased the tickets. She went on a holiday. She used her credit card splurged on the trip, had a fantastic time. And then she came back to a huge bill and she didn't know what to do with it. And need to decide how to pay it back over time. So, I guess both of these examples are just illustrative at this point in time, but it shows you how people can use the same products in a different way, have different outcomes. And all of that is incredibly complex, but we need to understand that so that we can understand the impacts of how we design our products and services. And when you see things under that lens, it really forces you to stop and think about what problems you're solving for whom and how much of an impact these changes are going to make and so by having these linkages we can see how the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. And depending on what part of the journey you're working on. You can reveal different layers of detail. So, going from user interface design questions such as is the text in a readable size for different age groups. We have so many people across all of their life stages. We need to be focusing on that. In a UX design sense will people be easily able to make repayments using this app? As service design, since what is the loan application process that employees facilitate for a customer, and then at the final end of it, it's basically looking at a complex system of the person that actually needs to make decision. Am I really making the best financial decision for me and my family? And if we can basically align ourselves to understand what it is that customers are actually looking to get out of the services. We can actually trickle down and see how that actually applies to the work that we're doing in the moment. However, I just want to reinforce that the richness of the insights that comes through the research is what fuels great design artifacts that actually changes the thinking, the culture and the results in a company, delivering services that people need. So, if you don't have yourself grounded in research, these documents can be not effective, they can be dangerous. This takes me to my next point because of all of the research that we've done what we realised is that people's needs don't change over time. What does change is their expectations on how we service those needs? And so, to give you an example, a customer need is actually accessing my money. That specific need has existed for a very long time. And so, 60 years ago, people could only access their money if they physically went into a branch and requested it from a teller access was limited to weekday working hours, only. In the seventies, the first computerised ATM was introduced, which could identify the customer using the card's magnetic strip and a pin number. Initially the machines only operated from 7:00 AM to 11:00 PM. And then the number of ATM's exploded during the 1980s and 1990s, as the banks moved to electronic banking. And by 2017, the numbers were declining with ATM's because tap and go cards were increasingly replacing cash, even for small transactions. And over the last decade, digital wallets have grown from a niche payment option to a global phenomenon. So, the fundamental need for accessing money, when you need to pay for things has not changed. What has changed is our expectations, our behaviors and how we fulfill that need. So, the above example though, illustrates how companies have focused on upgrading customer touch points. And these are the individual transactions which customers interact with the business over time to meet a specific need. And by doing that for many years, it led to an explosion of customer interaction points across new channels, devices, applications. But that created a siloed focus on individual touch points and that missed the bigger picture, because what happened is when we interviewed people that were not happy with our service, most of them were not too fussy about an issue with a specific touch point. So, a payment not going through or experiencing a delay in receiving approval for a loan. What was making people leave was something that we were not measuring at the time and it's basically the customer's cumulative experience across multiple channels, multiple interactions and over time. And that was the key of actually building stronger and deeper relationships. So, looking at that a little bit in more detail we looked at a study done in 2015 and it looked at basically transformational relationship events and how some of these events contribute to incremental relationship development as predicted by lifecycle theories, whereas others kind of spark turning points, where there are dramatic impacts on the relationship and such events can basically disconfirm relationship expectations positively or negatively or they can basically just change the trajectory of the relationship itself. So, you can see in the diagram that the same positive event over time. Basically, it might be from a very positive one to something that you've gotten used to, and it doesn't matter anymore versus a negative event that has happened early on in the relationship. If you do that again over time, then that might be something that could change the relationship completely. And so, that dimension of time and how it unfolds to form relationships is something new. We added it as a consideration in our work. As typical journey frameworks don't involve that. And it shouldn't be confused with traditional retention or cross selling methods. And being part of an organisation with this history and the focus at the moment is to help extremely succeed. The only way that we can actually succeed is building stronger relationships. So, it all comes down to people, helping people in moments that matter. So, how do we put this all together? We need to basically focus on stories. We need to focus on listening to people, understanding people of different ages, different cultures, different financial and relationships situations and all of that insight made me realise how important it is to do exactly that - understand how people make or are reluctant to make financial decisions and why it's important to them. And by doing that, we can define opportunity areas. We can craft experience principles. We can experiment with ideas; these stories build empathy and are the key source of moving to solving real problems for people. The second point is basically layering journeys to connect your everyday decisions with strategically aligned outcomes. And you can zoom in and zoom out depending on the level of detail that you're actually working on. This is where we need to include the customer outcomes and emotions jobs to be done framework. Services that we're creating capability mapping from a tech perspective, systems and processes that are happening in the business and any metrics that we want to put in place to actually measure those outcomes. And the last piece is factor in how you can build relationships over time. So, it's really important to understand that there are life events that actually change the course of how people actually view their finances. They're moments that actually matter in people's life. And we need to be able to identify those and adapt to those unforeseen circumstances. So, I know that we've basically talked about really great scenarios today, like positive ones owning a home and getting married, but there are unforeseen circumstances, like losing a job in a pandemic that wasn't something that people actually thought that would ever happen and how do we adapt as a business to basically solve for those needs in a matter that is showing genuine care for people and also looking at influential relationships. So, in the beginning of your life, you're by yourself, you make decisions possibly by yourself, but over time you have other people in your life that you actually are joining finances together, and how you've managed your money might not be the same as how other people manage their money. And those are kind of considerations that change the outlook of your financial situation. So, the work that I've been doing in the bank did not happen overnight, and it is a collective effort across multiple teams. This work really is aiming to shift the culture and mindsets because we need to activate people to see the change actually become a reality. It's an ongoing continuous challenge and it requires vision, persistence, tenacity. So, any methods or deliverables our short-lived
without the people championing and shepherding key influences within the organisation. So, I'll leave you with a question of what could you do today to adopt this approach within your organisation? Thank you.