KBC Bank Ireland

Digital Experience Platform for the Customer Champion

The Customer Champion delivers enhanced digital experience 

Delivering a great digital customer experience is no easy task. Here’s how KBC Bank Ireland and its Head of Digital Channels Paul Flynn set out on a mission to ensure that their customers would get the best possible experience through their website.   

The website in place had been built quite a few years ago and Paul and his team at KBC are always looking for ways to improve on customer experience. It was his job  to find a solution to ensure they were delivering the best possible website journey for their customers. And putting customer experience at the heart of his plan was his main priority.

“Putting the customer experience at the heart of the plan was my main priority. Luckily we found the perfect partners to achieve our goals and build the perfect platform for KBC Ireland.”

Paul Flynn

Head of Digital Channels, KBC Ireland

The Customer Champions

He set out on a journey to do this by firstly finding like-minded champions of the customer across the organisation. They were all digital natives, used to online experiences that are fast and easy to  use, and would not offer anything less to their customers. They were creative people and were winning over the hearts and minds of their teams by elevating IT to be about the customer, and making their decisions based on data. People found their approaches fresh and innovative, and he knew that he needed them in his team. He brought them together from across the organisation, from marketing to the legal and data    teams – forming an extended team of customer champions.

They created a plan to replace the existing website with one that delivers a superior digital  experience for their customers. With help from the digital product practice WONDR, they collected all the information  needed for the project and converted stakeholders to collaborators by enlisting them as advisors. They created a beautiful new design language for the website and selected Liferay, a cloud-enabled digital experience platform as the foundation for the new solution.

They listened what customers wanted

The digital champions took feedback from customers on board when working on the new enhanced site. Customer feedback showed them that the site had too much jargon, used language that did not relate to the customer, calculators were hard to use and finding the information they were after was difficult. Taking this on board, KBC worked with WONDR to define 8 personas with needs and goals; and offered key insights for each. They then mapped out the steps on the journeys, and designed an experience that would maximise good   emotions, eliminate pain points and feel familiar to the customer. But they wanted more, and found ways for their brand to shine as part of the digital experience.

Armed with a powerful new technology, a detailed plan, a compelling vision and lots of excitement, the team went to work.

The Project

The customer champions approached the project in a new way . They would work in a real agile way instead to get the project off the ground. They would deal with complexity and uncertainty by working out the finer details as the project went on and rely on the talent of the team to adapt as needed. They brought in Webtown, a customer-centric software development company. 
By putting in the Liferay digital experience platform as a foundation they managed to get a more up-to-date starting point for the website development. This offered faster speed, better accessibility and mobile support out of the box.
While rebuilding the calculators on the site, the team were able to leverage the developer’s experience to reverse-engineer what was there to re-create the calculators in a way that gave the website administrators more control while making the website easier to use for customers.

The customer champions developed new, enterprise-ready ways of working for the development. They brought in cloud-based technology that enabled them to develop safely and release frequently. Then they introduced better practices for documentation, accessibility and data quality management in the team. This led to a higher quality experience and vastly improved usability, because they continued to improve and iterate on the experience while the project went on. This would also make sure the solution would stand the test of time.
The customer champions had all rallied behind the vision to make decisions based on data and give the customers what they wanted, so were able to take decisive action when needed. Webtown activated a second agile team on short notice to power through new requirements as they raced towards the finish line. When they finally put the new solution live, the team was tired – but ecstatic and proud. 

Delivered a website with enhanced customer experience 

The new solution was very well received. Customer feedback highlighted that the new experience was really easy to use and helped them make decisions. The call centre staff were saving time because customers gave them the right information. The numbers improved as well, the new solution  outperformed the old one with a 30% higher conversion rate, so the project paid itself back really quickly. The champions had delivered a great victory and a new website they were proud of. 

But Paul had also won a second victory which proved that even the most ambitious projects can be delivered when you gather the right people, and when people rally behind the customer to drive it forward. They now had the power within their teams to keep updating the experience themselves, without having to call in engineers. Their customers commented that the new solution looked like other fintech challenger apps they used. And that’s also how the team felt now. They were changing traditional ways of working, using the best technology, and were able to move quickly to work for the customer.

Looking back at it, Paul reflected on their journey. “What an adventure this project has been. It’s all about the team pulling together and we assembled a great team. We managed to work together and figure things out on the way, and that’s why it was a success. I’m really pleased with the result.  It’s a great feeling to see the new site out there, to hear the customer feedback on the experience it delivers, and to see it performing so well!”


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