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How to deliver a more engaging, compliant financial services website with Siteimprove

- By Kyra Kuik - Dec 10, 2020 Digital Certainty

Financial services have long been delivered through the physical branch. It was a way to meet the client, get to know them, and present information about products and services. Branches evolved to offer more locations, more convenient hours, and options like drive-thru and ATM banking. However, there’s one branch location that is lagging behind: the digital branch.

Few financial institutions would build a branch in an industrial part of town with bare concrete floors and walls, using outdated paper files. Why? Because the customer experience matters now more than ever before.  

Financial services have long understood that a physical branch should present a professional image and provide the customer a pleasant experience. Why then do so many institutions offer nothing but the basics if a customer chooses to use digital channels? 

Why going beyond the digital basics matters 

Customers have embraced digital services and experiences, including for their finances. The COVID-19 crisis has accelerated the adoption of digital services, moving some new customers onto digital channels. In fact, 35% of customers have increased their online banking usage during COVID-19. This presents an opportunity to improve the customer experience.

From acquisition to retention, every step of the customer experience can be integrated using customer tracking to create a better user profile. This means products customized to suit customers’ needs are within reach. Making those available 24/7 means never missing a chance to serve the customers’ needs. In a competitive world of always-on, digital-first fintechs, this helps level the playing field.

From the organization’s side, there are also benefits to having a better understanding of the client. It helps build a more accurate risk profile. This means not taking unnecessary risks but also not turning away an opportunity because of an incomplete understanding of a customer’s circumstances. Better experiences, communication, and engagement with customers drive ROI. 

How Siteimprove can make a difference

With the shift to digital being accelerated by the coronavirus crisis, forward-looking providers are benefiting from their digital investment, while others are playing catch-up to evolving customer needs and expectations. 

Websites are at the heart of optimizing customers’ digital branch experience. But website optimization brings its own challenges, however, as financial service organizations need to ensure a smooth user experience, while also adhering to industry regulations and providing an inclusive, secure experience. Siteimprove can help you tackle the main pillars of optimizing your digital branch.

Building an inclusive customer experience

Siteimprove ensures that your digital branch is usable for everyone by helping you build an accessible site.  

There are regulatory reasons to build an accessible site, including compliance with the ADA, the EU Web Accessibility Directive, and Section 508, among others. But accessibility isn’t just about meeting regulatory requirements.

Inaccessibility impacts revenue. If a customer can’t use your sitemobile app, or services, they can’t buy your products or services, nor can they investThey might even choose to leave for a company with better accessibility: 80% of people living with disabilities have taken their business elsewhere because of poor accessibility, according to the American Institutes for Research.  

That’s a significant potential loss for a business considering disposable income for working-age people with disabilities is about $490 billion in the US alone.

When it comes to your digital branch, it’s essential to provide an inclusive experience to all your customers. Siteimprove breaks down complex WCAG 2 A, AA, and AAA standards into prioritized issues and manageable tasks based on difficulty, conformance level, and severity, so you can work towards accessibility compliance. 

Understanding customer behavior in order to personalize their experience

Once you have a website that is accessible for everyone, you can start learning about them, just as you would in a branch. More specifically, Siteimprove allows you to do that by: 

  • Tracking user behavior and gaining insight into why users do what they do on your site  
  • Providing insights gained from actual use, not from less accurate methods such as surveys
  • Accessing page metrics that tell you what is resonating with customers and what is not
  • Conducting A/B testing for marketing campaigns

With Siteimprove, you own your analytics data and get a concise overview of which actions will make the biggest difference to your digital marketing efforts to drive more traffic, conversions, and ultimately, new business.

Felicia Morales, Digital Marketing Strategist at Amplify Credit Union, adds to that point, “Siteimprove helps us turn on the lights. If we can see that someone is clicking around on an empty page, all of the tools are right there to help figure out, OK, what were they looking for that they didn’t find? Without those tools, we’d just be guessing.” 

Creating a secure customer journey

Financial institutions require the trust of their clients to thrive. The reputational damage caused by one high-profile data privacy failure can shake confidence and produce ripples that affect the business for years. 

Well over half (57%) of consumers will stop doing business with a company they believe has broken their trust by using their data irresponsibly. And on top of that, 50% of consumers are willing to pay a premium for products/services that protect personal information.

Maintaining data privacy is, therefore, an essential part of the customer relationship. And, like any branch, your digital branch has to maintain high levels of data security.

Siteimprove provides an all-in-one solution that allows you to manage your website’s personal data to comply with data privacy regulations through actionable suggestions on how to best keep your content, customers, and organization safe.