Customers stopped hating banking. They don’t love it, don’t expect any major improvements, big changes. But they don’t hate banking anymore. Occupy Wall Street has disappeared. The next Wells Fargo disaster barely registers anymore. And nobody really demands new products and services, digital onboarding, real Open Banking applications – all the stuff that each FinTech conference talks about. And talks about next year. And never really delivers.
Like a long marriage, both parties have settled into their expectations, experience and disappointments. It is what it is, and it won’t really change. Only two options remain: Divorce or death.
This apathy is staggering because customers are very fickle. And they experience infinitely more valuable, useful and faster experiences 99.9% of their digital time compared to the sad reality of banking apps. Banks deliver what they can, and customers shake their collective heads and meh on.
It’s the Post Office.
It’s the DMV.
It’s my bank.
Customers are no longer upset because their expectations have dropped to zero.
The big technology companies (with all their ethical and moral flaws) are constantly working on their relationship with customers. They want to delight and surprise them. Yes, it gets creepy once in a while, but customers keep on having strong relationships with technology companies because of their constant work on improving the experience. Like a husband surprising his wife with flowers, a quick hug or a movie night. Digital banking experiences on the other hand are like the husband with the dirty bathrobe, barely mumbling a “Good Morning” while complaining about cold coffee.
Because customers have given up, they don’t even report their atrocious experiences anymore: 57 clicks to find their routing number. The lost time finding a phone number. Crazy ways they have to get value out of a banking app, designed by somebody that translated ‘customer-centric’ into ‘customer torture’. Customers have been battered by these experiences into silence and apathy.
The majority of digital relationships are well-defined: we are married to some apps, in love with others, and divorced from some. With digital banking experiences, customers are in a dark room waiting for a miracle. It’ll better come, or it will end in divorce or death.