Banking on Digital Growth
Banking on Digital Growth

Episode · 5 months ago

152) #ExponentialInsights: Humanize Banking by Humanizing Experience

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Digital alone is not a panacea.

In fact, without the human element, digital growth is near-impossible.

And the only way to humanize your banking is by delivering better, more-human experiences.

Today, I’m joined by Katherine Regnier, CEO and President at Coconut Software, who is all-in on humanizing banking.

Join us as we discuss:

- How to deliver a more human experience for your customers

- The shifting expectations of today’s consumer

- The importance of offering your customers options in how they engage your financial brand

You can find this interview and many more by subscribing to Banking on Digital Growth on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or here.

Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for Banking on Digital Growth in your favorite podcast player.

...there is a place for digital only, and those are great and those systems exist. But when you have high value transactions were thinking about wealth. If we're thinking about servicing for alone, whatever that might be and we need to have that conversation, that's where you need to have the connection. Mhm, yeah, mhm. You're listening to Banking on Digital Growth with James Robert Lay, a podcast that empowers financial brand marketing, sales and leadership teams to maximize their digital growth potential by generating 10 times more loans and deposits. Today's episode is part of the Exponential Insight series, where James Robert interviews the industry's top marketing sales and fintech leaders, sharing practical wisdom to exponentially elevate you and your team. Let's get into the show Greetings and hello, I am James Robert Ley and welcome to the 152nd episode of the Banking on Digital Growth podcast. Today's episode is part of the Exponential Insight series, and I'm excited to welcome Catherine Rainier to the show. Catherine is the CEO and president at Coconut Software Ballistic Solution for Financial Brands to manage appointment scheduling as well as lobby management with clients including Capital one Royal Bank of Canada are Vist Bank and Van City credit just to name a few. Welcome to the show. Catherine is so good to have you on today. Thank you for having me. I really appreciate it. I'm excited to get into this idea of experience with you. I know it's something that you think a lot about. You write a lot about before we go there. I always want to start off on a positive note. What is one good thing for you right now? What are you excited about? Personally or professionally, It is always your pick to begin. Well, I am really excited about us just raising our series B, which was $28 million. Congratulations. Yeah, that just happened. So lots of growth and new challenges coming quickly. Yes, and I like the way you frame that, its growth and challenges because growth would not be growth if it didn't welcome challenges along the way. That's one of the things that we teach here at the Digital Growth Institute. One of the most important questions that we can ask ourselves ask our teams ask our organizations, is how do you want to grow? And there's a ton of acronyms and digital growth topia because it's the only way that this a D d mind remembers things. The G is what are your goals for growth? The R is one of the roadblocks that stand in the way of achieving those goals. And then the oh is what are the opportunities available to create, capture or capitalize on as you work to overcome those roadblocks and then ultimately achieve those goals for growth. So I really like where your thinking and your mind is with this. And one of things I want to talk about is when it comes to humanizing banking,...

...another similar perspective that we both share. I wrote about this idea in baking on digital growth and really put a simple equation behind it that a lot have latched onto its H X plus DX equals growth. Put another way, it's the human experience, plus the digital experience that leads to growth. And I know you and the team at Coconut Software are also thinking about humanizing banking as well. What does that actually mean to you? I think at the end of the day, everyone deserves to feel valued, and when you think about how important people's time is, how hard they work for their money. You know, there's always going to be that relationship that you're going to want to access somebody, and I think when we make it really difficult to get ahold of somebody, what that brand is telling me as a customer or a member is that I'm not valued. I'm not important enough for you to be responsive. And that's really where the thought for a company coconut came to be. Is there a bit of a paradox here? Because, as we've all experienced to the covid experience, uh, the world has gone more digital. But is it more important now than ever before to make it easier to use technology to connect people with people? When you know historically in this vertical, it has been a bit of a challenge. Is it more important now, or was it more important before? Where are we on the spectrum here? I think it's super important, and I think we're just the industry is just catching up to this importance. Digital is the vehicle, but it's not the end all and be all. So you see so many companies going in and digital strategy. Digital strategy. Well, that's great. But there's like a human component. We are still humans at the end of the day, and it's about what I had. You have probably said this, James, and I'm not coming up with anything new here. It's providing a holistic approach. If I want to go old school into that branch to talk to somebody, let me do it. If I want to do a zoom online and conduct meeting, let me do it. So this isn't about 100% digital or 100% old school. It's about the new World and how we need to just make things accessible anytime, anywhere. Anyhow, I was just having this conversation with Joel Schwartz, an episode 1 49 and we were talking about this idea of giving people choice, giving them a sense of control, giving them a sense of agency. You know, one of the things I referenced in that and I'm curious. Choose your own adventure. Remember those books as a kid? Yes, they're awesome. Yes, yes, because you, as the reader, were in control of how the story played out. And that's the thing. Like We're all authors of our own lives, getting to write our own stories. And when we have that choice when we have that control, whatever the experience might be, it tends to end...

...better in the end and around this idea of experience bridging the human digital divide. Where, in your mind are the biggest opportunities for financial brands to use digital and physical engagements to power future growth, not one or the other, but both unified. I really love this question, and I think it's about being very intentional of what is what is a big investment for banks. It's their people, and it can be their branches, of course. So there is a place for digital only, and those are great and those systems exist. But when you have high value transactions, we're thinking about wealth. If we're thinking about servicing for alone, whatever that might be and we need to have that conversation, that's where you need to have the connection. It can't be one way or the other, so I think it's the high value piece is where that hybrid needs to belong. That's a great point about high valued conversations, because if you think about historically banking, I think, has been incorrectly viewed as transactional. I'm hoping to transform the narrative to where banking becomes transformational, transformational for people, their lives, yes, their future and why money is stressful. It's confusing, it's overwhelming, and that stress takes a toll on people and their well being. I'm curious to get your take on this. Why might combating this financial stress be a common? We'll call it a villain that inspires financial brands, banks, credit unions, even fin techs to use this villain of financial stress as as a catalyst to maximize future growth. If we can identify this and really rally around this here, where might there be some opportunities to dive deeper into that thought? Well, I think there's a few things here that you're actually hitting on. And if we look at banks and credit unions and they're really a sales organization, at the end of the day, we have to think not wholly. How can we get the member to be speaking with us so we can close that? But how do we also keep that relationship going and create that connection? And if they don't move on that we're starting to see some of these other players come in and do it. So I think it's really customer driven and pushing it hard, and we're having to catch up on that. That's what I call heart centered thinking that is a that is a key element of human centered growth. And I know that's been a big area of focus for you over the last 10 years, since you and Romeo founded coconut software, the world was it was a different place going back just a decade, right? Nobody knew what I was talking about. Nobody had a clue. Yes, yeah, And when we came up with the idea, it was all about creating an experience that was...

...intentional and effortless. And we hear friction list. And what's really fascinating is we went out to the market with that message, and no one cared. Nobody cared. What they cared about was, how do I better optimize my workforce at this bank because lunch hour has lines out the door? How do I understand my capacity? How many how many services are we having booked at these different places? And it was all about the insights. It had nothing to do with the member experience yet that's why we created the company. So it was really fascinating. I want to touch on that because I can go back in my mind, you know, 89, 10 years ago and advising around some of this thinking here and it would fall flat like people weren't really connecting to it. And where a lot of my thinking is inspired from is looking outside of the industry at others experiences other retail experiences. And, you know, I always back in the day I would say, Well, I can go and schedule an appointment with my barber to get my head shaved And I don't have to wait 30 or 45 minutes because my time is valuable You matter, like write your time is valuable. Everyone's time is valuable visors. Time is valuable. Should they be sitting there for four hours, not speaking to anybody, right or now there's multiple ways to make that connection. It might not be in person. It might be through video. I mean, there's so many ways to make this human connection, and I'm glad that you stuck through you saw it through one of the quotes I shared with you before you hit record I want to share with the dear listener here was from Elon Musk and I just text it to my wife the other day. I said, If something is important enough Or you believe something is important enough, even if you are scared, you will keep going. And so what I want to do is I want to go back. I want to hop into the time DeLorean of your mind. I want to. I want to take a trip back 10 years ago. What transformations have you seen? Because you've looked at the world through a lens of how will this help our customers solve the challenges that keep you up at night? What have you seen transformational wise in this vertical over the last 10 years? I think what we're seeing is that the leaders of banks and credit unions are becoming really open minded and realizing they need to flip the model over and say, Okay, we need to make the member or the client the priority. We need to give them a better experience. They're more demanding. They're more digitally savvy. And let's not forget they have the most options they've ever had the day of banking at your corner. Bank is no longer necessary. We can take our money anywhere, and that money is their hopes, their dreams, their future and they need to be accessible to them. And I think that's I think that's the biggest thing is that...

...they've started to embrace this and they're open minded to it. That's a great point. I love the way you frame that. Their money, that's their hopes. That's their dream. That's their future, and people buy with their heart. And I'm curious to get your take. What? What practical steps can a financial brand take to truly put people at the heart of all of their thinking? To really live out this perspective of what we've been talking about here, human centered growth or even we'll dive deeper human centered experiences. You know, it's interesting when I speak with customers because we're talking about digital transformation and we've said the word to death over and over again. But I think where the light goes on is that this isn't leaving a certain customer behind. This isn't saying I'm only going to cater to millennials. We're going to go fully digital. We're going to do everything there and then they have this fear because let's let's think about this. Are high Network members could perhaps be individuals that don't necessarily engage with the digital approach. So I go back to this holistic piece that is the key. It's not going one way completely independent in one way it's how do we centralize the experience? And I hate to use this word but the Omni Channel experience because even though I'm very digitally savvy, I care about connection. I care about trusting the person who's going to be taking my money. I care that they're going to be proactive and yet again that I matter to them. And so I think it's creating the ability to connect on any channel they wish to and providing an immediate response that says Yes, Catherine, you do matter. We do value you. Let's help you. We find through the digital secret shopping studies that we conduct for financial brands in the banking on digital growth program, the faster a brand can get a prospect, a lead in contact, make a connection with a human being at the financial brand. There's a higher propensity results for conversion Yes, its responsiveness. We are in this, like, immediate mode right now And whoever gets there first because people are members, we can be lazy. You just know we need to do something. And I don't want to call 20 people so ever gets to me first, is probably going to have that opportunity, and I don't have the data off the top of my head. But I was doing a keynote for the mortgage vertical. Mm. And a very high percentage of MLS mortgage loan officers do not follow up with digital leads. They're leaving opportunity on the table. And I know...

...one of the things that you have thought about is how to measure success, how to measure progress going even beyond r. O I, which in this world I few r o I is almost a lagging indicator when compared to R. O X, which is what is known as return on experience. I want to go deep here in our conversation to educate the deer listener because I'm a big believer in empowering financial brands to optimize experiences that can help them maximize their future growth potential. So what that said, what is experience? How would you define experience in your own mind. I think it's giving me the tools, whether it's eight in the morning or two in the morning, when I'm thinking about like, What am I having those conversations about a mortgage? It might be at 10 o'clock at night with my spouse and we are on our phones, and it's not saying that the person has to immediately be there, although I do believe that we're going to enter this on demand generation where I push a button, someone shows up on the other side. But until until we get there, I think it's allowed me to commit to something. Let me commit to something so that I know I am going to speak with somebody at certain point in time. So I talk. We talk about leads. I fill out a form Well, that's not really a commitment. It's not a commitment. And guess what it sounds like. The Malones aren't really committed either. We lose business every day because of this, so I think it's the experience is committing, engaging and then we have that follow up piece. That's a great perspective because a lead is not a commitment and It's almost like it's like the life cycle of a relationship. I need to know you before I like you like you before I can trust you, trust you before I commit to you, commit to you. And then that's when I began to fall in love with you. And from there I can tell the world how great you are. Digital growth is a journey from good to great, but sometimes this journey can feel confusing, frustrating and overwhelming. The good news is you don't have to take this journey alone because now you can join a community of growth minded marketing and sales leaders from financial brands and fin techs who are all learning, collaborating and growing together. Visit digital growth dot com slash insider to learn more about how you can join the digital growth insider community to maximize your future digital growth potential. Now back to the show on this topic of experience. What is a commonly held belief about experience that others in the banking and the financial services space have that you disagree with them? Where might you be able to transform hearts...

...and minds for some who might not be in alignment with what you and I are talking about right here, because I believe we're in complete alignment. Where? Where could we provide some? Some. Some education. You know, I think the hardest pieces that there feels like there needs to be this that massive transformation that boils the ocean. Yes. And so it just feels, I think internally, just another thing we need to do. We need to upgrade our core banking platform. We need to do this, and I am being a little light on this. But I believe that coconut the experiences like the hair and makeup. We can go on top of all of those old rickety pieces and provide a great experience without boiling the ocean. And so it's just overwhelming because back to what you said. If it's unknown and it's a new challenge, it can be scary. And not only that, a social and coconut, you're impacting the member and you're impacting the advisor. So I think it's very overwhelming. Great point on that, because I want to come back to the formulaic approach to growth that I had shared before H X plus DX equals growth. I define that in May of 2019 when I started writing Banking on Digital Growth, which was published in May of 2020 not knowing that we have a pandemic at the time, but my one of my biggest lessons that I learned through conversations through observation, through coaching with financial brands, your human experience, your digital experience do not matter one bit if you do not have a positive E X or a positive employee experience, because a positive employee experience plus a positive human experience can be multiplied by a positive digital experience. But it all comes down to the internal here around people. What are your thoughts on that about? Like we got to take care of our people internally so that they can take care of our members account holders externally, James, I cannot agree with you board and the exciting thing that I have now talking with their customers as their advisors are closing an application within 15 minutes instead of 45 minutes. So one I know exactly why James is coming to me to I can prepare three. You show up and guess what. I get the next 30 minutes with you to talk about strategy to talk about other things not fumbling through papers. And did you do this? And did we do that? I'm organized, I'm prepared and we are actually finding that they're feeling more confident and empowered themselves and that that's what gets me everybody. I think that is so exciting. We're more impactful. We're creating connections with the customer and we're not being administrative. We can be strategic. Yes, we move beyond the transaction to...

...focus on the transformation of the person we go beyond the administration to then get into the diagnostic work. To really ask that question to the person that you're working with. How do you want to grow? What are your goals? What are the roadblocks are, stand in your way. What are the opportunities that you see and then craft a plan and really provide some coaching around this? But this all comes back to this idea of experience. Positive employee experience, plus a positive human experience can be multiplied by a positive digital experience. I mentioned R O X before return on experience. What is R O X, and how might it be able to be measured by by the deer listener because they might be listening, thinking I get r O I. I get r oe. What's R o X, and how can it be measured? Yeah, I think there's different ways in each organization probably values this differently. I think there's some traditional metrics that we have going on, and they're maybe not. Not quite at the level you're talking about, James. But you know what is what is the satisfaction score after the appointment? You know, that's something that we bring in, and the great news about that is we can actually benchmark it and say, Okay, what was it before? Coconut and what is it after coconut and we can see that we have a huge impact. We didn't waste the members time they enjoyed their experience. It was a combination of digital and in person. And the business has a ton of insights. No shows, you know. That's a big piece increased by 13%. So we had a commitment not just to lead. We know that sometimes the weather impacts of people cancel or not, and so we have to be helping them get committed and get in front of the advisor says. I think we have a ways to go on the metrics, but I think there's some traditional ones that we can provide a lot of insight to. What are you seeing? Because there's a lot of like in person that we've talked about today. What are you seeing in regards to leap ahead, you know, three years out into the future, you touched on it before and it might not be that 10 o'clock at night experience. But that's like that's what people deal with money. That's when people have those conversations where my other means and mediums of connection of conversation, maybe even of community, facilitate what we're talking about here to provide a positive experience that makes people feel good. Yeah, so a short term, we're bringing something to the market called Coconut Connect. So even though we can have a conversation on June, how do we actually go through those documents together? And we do a signature together? Um, it's interesting because I just had a meeting and I'm like flipping through papers on my desk. I had to sign them them deliver them in person. And so we're saying, How do we not only get...

...the member in front of you, but how do we facilitate the whole experience, if it is decided to be online, just like we would if you were across from my desk. So that's that's part one. The next part, maybe we're looking at that three year mark is completely on demand. It's so funny. I created an appointment company, but I honestly would just like to push a button and talk to somebody right now, because that's how we are. And so I think the whole workforce and capacity planning and that model, especially with Covid, has made the workforce is go more digital. So we're going to have more opportunity with advice centers, and these people are going to be able to help you versus transfer you over somewhere and lose you. So I think more on demand, more knowledgeable, more connections available through different mediums. I can think like, in my mind, a the equivalent of staples. Easy button baked in baked into mobile banking to where I need to talk to someone. Boom! I connect, they hop on, Life is great, you know, and and it is a journey, and I think I like where you've taken this so far, and I'm so excited for the future that you're going to continue to create because you are putting people at the center of your thinking. And if you're doing and that is then getting transferred into these financial brands and its collaboration, you're working together to guide people, to help people, to empower people. Let's look ahead. Let's do a little more future thinking here. And there has been a great conversation, and I appreciate that The knowledge of the perspective that you shared, what do you feel are some of the biggest opportunities that financial brands have to make r o X a part of this human centered, this heart thinking when it comes to maximizing their growth, that just goes beyond traditional Ri, where some of the big opportunities in your mind I think some of the this is a very tactical answer, but I think it's great anyone listening could really take this and implement it quickly is why are we burying connection points on the contact page? Why are we not having this on? You can have it right on Google. You can have it on your website. You can have it on your feet. You can have it on your app. You can allow access points for your customer to connect with you. And yet we feel like we only have one door to the house, and that's on page 10 over here, and I'm going to get this incorrect, James. But there was something about if you place an item in a grocery store and a spot that's not intuitive, and then we look at the till tapes and say, Well, nobody bought the butter. Maybe that's because it was in the candy section and nobody found it. That's a bad experience. That doesn't mean they didn't want it. They just couldn't find it. So let's open up our...

...minds and understand as consumers, where are they trying to find your service? And it isn't necessarily that they go to your website correct. Those days are over. You know, that's just one stop on this journey that has multiple access points to where someone can hop on and off the train. I think about like, you know, I used to fly into Toronto and fly into Pearson and then take the up express downtown and it's like you stop at each one of these little train stations along the way. People get on, people get off. But everyone's on a different destination. Everyone has a different access point, a different exit point. So I really like that even like Google, because in my mind, I almost think you know, this this future thinking that we're doing together here, which is always exciting voice, right? I can't say it right now because I'll turn it on. But hey, so and so connect me with, you know, an expert. Yes, and we have. We are partners with Google, actually. So if you were to Google, you could actually book an appointment and you could do it through voice. Now I'm not sure everybody is there just yet. Not yet, but that's my point about we might not even make it to your website. I might just look for the branch. I can hit book an appointment or phone or whatever it might be, but just make it accessible. It's interesting, I think, about my own behaviors where I would use to get a mobile device and search a contact or search a location. And now I'm to the point where I'm asking, What are the hours? Are they open? Call them and it's just my own neural networks are getting reprogrammed to where I didn't think that I would use voice just because it's like you have these habits. But then slowly, over time, the behavior begins to transform. The behavior begins to change, thinking about where you've been, where you're at, what the value that you've been creating for financial brands. What are some of the biggest roadblocks that the dear listener needs to be aware of their in marketing their in cells there in leadership? What are the roadblocks they need to be aware of as they continue to move forward along their own journey of growth? When it comes to what we've been discussing here today around experience? Mm. I think the biggest roadblock that that we're seeing is just the competing priorities of having to feel like they need to completely dismantle what they have to be competitive in the market. When I'm speaking, they have so many things on their list. I just I feel empathy for them. I'm like, Wow, there's so much here and then dot, dot dot Your customer doesn't have to suffer because of that. Something like coconut, like I said, can be that face while you're fixing what's under the hood. And that's the hardest part is they have so much because it sat for a long time. Sure, that's and and that's a great point in really a great way. We can wrap up this conversation together,...

...getting really practical here at the end, because all growth begins with a small, simple step forward. Uh, it's not massive change. It's not massive transformation, but it's a compilation of small winds that get added together to make progress. And so what would one thing Something small, something practical that you would recommend the dear listener commit to do? Let's just say over the next 30 days to humanize the banking experience, to be even better but not having to worry about transforming everything. But just to get that win, it could be observation. It could be research. It could be conversations. What would you recommend in your mind? I would tell them to buy your book, but they should. They should research coconut as they should buy your book. You know what? We should do it, but we can talk of Let's but let's bundle something together. That would be me. I mean, this is very tactical, but I would say whatever solution it is that you're working on a problem you're trying to solve. Not only are we entering the digital transformation stage, but banks themselves are having to operate different. And gone are the days of having to build things yourself. And as much as that seemed to say, we can build a, we can build appointment scheduling like we've spent $40 million 10 years doing this. You can. But it's complicated, it's complicated. And there are so many providers now and the technology era that can partner together and work together. We can integrate to create a C most experience, and that's that can be any product, not cope in it. So I think just you can move faster by finding these products that you can bring together And they can deal with the problems because that's why you're paying them. Catherine, mark my words, I theme every year 2022 is going to be the year of collaboration. It's going to be the year that we put who before how the problem is, and we think we have a problem that we want to solve our brain goes to think, How are we going to do that? And limitations tend to bubble up to the top of why we can't. We don't have the time, resources, whatever it might be. But I want to add upon your thought. Here, Listen to episode # 69. There's a conversation that I had with Dan Sullivan, and he wrote a book with Dr Benjamin Hardy called Who? Not How. And it's this idea to where, when we put who do we need as our first part of problem solving. The how tends to take...

...care of itself and the world that we're all in now is full of abundance. It is full of opportunity, and it's full of who's that are typically a Google search away who can be the how to some of your biggest problems. You know, James, I couldn't agree with you more, and going back to the question about the obstacles that they face is I find that the financial services space is so fragmented with offerings it's so fragmented, and I agree with you. They either have to consolidate or collaborate. I think those are the two options we're going to have and We're also seeing software transform from a one size fits all two Very niche products or saying we're here to cater to you and your problems, and we're going to get you there faster. And then again, that whole collaboration or consolidation needs to happen. Connection, collaboration, community, all working to solve the problem. That money is stressful. Money is confusing. And through that connection, through that collaboration, we can guide people. We can work together to get people to a bigger, better, brighter future. Catherine This has been such a fantastic conversation. I appreciate the knowledge, the wisdom that you have shared. If someone is listening and they want to continue the conversation that we started to connect with you to collaborate with you, what's the best way for them to reach out, to say hello? I would suggest LinkedIn because I like to connect with people. So if your business professional LinkedIn is absolutely great and it's Catherine Renier, hopefully that shared as well as obviously our website coconut software dot com, and I'm on all of the social media app. So if you search me, you should find me connect with Catherine, collaborate with Catherine, learned from Katherine. Katherine. I appreciate your knowledge, your passion, your perspective. Thank you for joining me for another episode of banking on digital growth. Thank you so much, James. It's been a blast. This has been fun and, as always, and until next time be well, do good and make your bed. Thank you for listening to another episode of Banking on Digital Growth with James Robert Ley To get even more practical and proven insights. Along with coaching and guidance, visit Digital growth dot com slash insider to join a community of growth minded marketing and sales leaders from financial brands and fin techs until next time be well and do good. Mm.

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