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Wells Fargo exec: Drive mobile value through simplicity

NEW YORK – A Wells Fargo executive at Forrester’s CXNYC 2016 explained how the bank was able to shift its focus to simplicity by retooling the company’s mindset and bringing convenience through mobile and digital offerings.

During the session, Part One: The CX Mindset, the executive stressed the importance of simplicity when it comes to the customer journey and by offering streamlined banking experiences, its experience can be much more valuable. Wells Fargo found that users dealing with customer service issues can be overwhelmed by the amount of options available to them, which adds complexity to the journey and by slimming down the options, everyone wins.

“Simple is hard,” said Mark McCormick, head of wholesale, user experience at Wells Fargo. “But simple, I believe, is noble.

“Complexity robs our customers of their time and their confidence,” he said. “If something is hard, you blame yourself. It robs them of their self of well-being.

“If we make something simple and give it back to them, we treat them with respect.”

Simplicity comes from within
While many companies focus on creating as many options for customer service communication as possible, Wells Fargo determined that this only added to the complexity of the journey. For instance, when customers have the option of live chat through their mobile devices, as well as desktop email, customer service, etc., the more the user thought about which way was best to complete what they needed to accomplish.

The more thought process it takes for a customer to decide how to complete their banking needs, the more complex the experience is. Customers are much more likely to stick with a retailer or bank whose services are streamlined and simple.

Mission to simplify
Wells Fargo discovered these complexity issues during its mission to make simplicity as part of its core values. The first thing it discovered was that its fraud claims department was one of the most complex of the company, as well as one of the biggest concerns for customers.

Customers communicating with fraud specialists were frustrated, and the specialists were dealing with a large amount of systems to determine users’ claims. The company streamlined these systems in a few that accomplished many different goals.

Other retailers looking to adopt this strategy need to focus on empathizing with the customer and determine what experience works best for them in helping them accomplish what they want to accomplish.

“We have to figure out how to operationalize empathy in our organizations,” Mr. McCormick said. “Commit to the essentials, get to the bottom of things.

“Determine the most strategically important element and take out or reduce everything else to make sure,” he said.