Customer Experience Transformation: Who’s replacing the cash machine?*

Customer Experience Transformation: Who’s replacing the cash machine?*

This article was first published on – the Customer Experience Blog. It is the exclusive property of KPMG Nunwood, part of KPMG in the UK.

After having explored in this series of articles how customer experience design transformed the retail and the travel industries, let us have a look into financial services. And in specific, how customer experience transformation is finally threatening to replace the iconic ATM after half a century of existing. To provide some context, in 2014 there was a reported 2.8 billion ATM cash withdrawals in the UK alone.

A hybrid between the ATM and your branch staff

Similarly to the NextAgentTM from our last article, the ITM (Interactive Teller Machine) is the combination of the traditional ATM with an actual teller, thanks to a video-feed. This customer experience transformation brings critical benefits for banks and building societies.

They could facilitate the survival of more rural branches by having the staff at these branches support the more in-demand locations at peak times – addressing any bottleneck in the network. As a consequence, it allows them to optimally service their entire customer base while optimising resources. This will also facilitate the extension of personalised service beyond regular banking hours, making it more convenient for busy professionals (excellent for the ‘Time & Effort’ pillar of Customer Experience Excellence). The next evolution of the ITM is probably the ‘Janus’ by company Diebold. The Janus is an ITM servicing two customers at the same time (with the same electronical resources) while respecting their privacy and reducing the floor space required to serve customers in-branch.

The numerous advantages are obvious for a bank or building society. Although it is geared towards providing a better customer service, it is yet to be determined if this innovation in customer experience design will prove to be a sustainable way of redefining our banking interactions.

Bring your own device to withdraw cash

Meet Irving, one of the greatest contenders for a disruptive customer experience transformation within financial services in recent times. Created by Diebold as well, it differs from Janus (the ITM) in that instead of enhancing interactions, it strips away steps and provides a streamline service to customers. It can allow you to withdraw cash in as little time as ten seconds. With this machine, you keep your card in your pocket, everything is done through your very own device (BYOD – bring your own device): there isn’t a screen, a card reader or a pin pad, only a cash dispenser. Behind theses minimalistic appearances, security is reinforced as authentication is done through the customer’s smartphone and cash can be requested through NFC, QR or biometric technologies.

In an age where customers are more and more comfortable to do their banking on smartphones (and in the near future, smartwatches), the Irving is only a logical extension to this ever growing habit. Offering fast, seamless and secure (provided you don’t lose your device transactions), the machine presents a great potential to seduce tech-savvy and time-poor banking customers. In late 2015, it was announced that an American bank was testing the concept in New York.

Although both concepts explored here are indeed great steps forward for customers and genuinely represent a true customer experience transformation, there are still obstacles ahead that might nip it in the bud. The most critical of these factors, ironically, is about the customer: we need to ensure we bring them on board.

Along with adopting and implementing these new facilities, it is key to ensure customers are educated appropriately on harnessing the power of the new devices if adoption is to be expected. If this process is not carried out properly, there’s little reason to believe that a screen-less ATM will put our iconic and traditional ATM into retirement.

Banking the Customer Experience Dividend: The £3.7bn opportunity

Fortunately, replacing the ATM is not the only way of seizing opportunities with customer experience. [KPMG Nunwood] research clearly shows that customer experience transformation represents a massive opportunity in terms of revenue for the ‘Big 4’ banks (making abstraction of the ATM replacement).

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Reinventing travel through customer experience design*

This article was first published on – the Customer Experience Blog. It is the exclusive property of KPMG Nunwood, part of KPMG in the UK. It was also re-published on Engage Customer.

There is no contest the digital era completely changed our lives. We discussed last week its effect on retail and how retailers are now adopting digital into their strategies. Today, we’re focusing on how technology and new entrants in the industry have redefined how we travel.

The internet allowed for companies to operate without the high fixed costs of a developed brick and mortar network, increased collaboration across a territory and an easier access to their customers.

The emergence of low-cost airlines – partly driven by this evolution – gave access to travelling to a much larger population than ever before. As a consequence, the likes of EasyJet and RyanAir in Europe or Southwest Airlines and JetBlue (52nd in the 2015 US CEE Ranking) in the United States put a major pressure on the traditional carriers to justify the price premium they request for their services.

This is a great opportunity to explore two ways customer experience design innovation is redefining the way we travel, be it by rail or by plane.

American Airlines now in control of their customers’ wider journey

One of the major Achilles’ tendons of the airline industry is its dependency on third parties. The way to and from the airport, together with the journey and services within the airport is outside of the airline’s control. Therefore, there always is a risk for the experience of the traveler to go south although the airline has done everything perfectly. The performance and success of airlines lie in part in the hands of these partners. American Airlines decided to address this lack of control by launching a partnership with Uber, the ride-sharing app. This partnership will mean that there will be an extended fleet of drivers, which will be highly helpful in situations like this. American Airlines and Uber can use companies such as Lytx for fleet safety to make sure everything is done all above board and smoothly for everyone involved.

When customers receive their booking confirmation for their AA flight, a clickable link “Remind me to Uber” will be included in the email. This feature is currently available across 11 airports in 10 American cities. The partnership becomes even more interesting for AAdvantage members (their frequent flyers programme) with a certain status, as they are benefiting from a $25 off voucher for their next Uber ride (regardless of whether they are Uber customer or not). Customers owning an American Airline’s credit card will receive bonus miles for all Uber rides taken until July 31st 2016. These kinds of perks can be found on many US cards, which is why you may want to consider getting a Chase Sapphire Reserve Canada card if possible.

By encouraging its customers to use Uber to travel to and from the airport, AA can work towards offering a better journey to its customers, by making Uber directly accountable for this part of the customer journey. This can even benefit those who use a private jet card program. With Uber being accountable for you transfer from and to the airport it does mean that if you are involved in an accident whilst in the Uber then you will need to make a claim against the Uber driver and not the airline, the best way to do so is to contact an Uber and Lyft Accident Lawyer.

Plan your train journey with a video call

Flying is not part of most people’s daily commute, unlike rail travel. One of the most exciting customer experience design inventions is brought to us by Cubic Transportation Systems, the company which co-developed Transport for London’s contactless payment system in its Underground network.

The NextAgentTM is a virtual ticketing agent system. In a nutshell, this machine combines a ticketing office and a help desk with a video call. Customers can communicate in real time with a real life expert through a video link. This all-in-one machine ensures customers are serviced in a prompt and consistent manner across the rail (metro or train) network, from the busy metropolis to the secluded or underserved train station.

In terms of customer experience design, this contributes greatly to the Time & Effort, Expectations and Personalisation pillars across the rail network.

The system was first announced in 2013. Deutsche Bahn (the German railway company) was reportedly trialling it in the same year. Since 2015, the railway company Abellio Greater Anglia (in the UK) has been trialling the system which has received a positive response from customers. As a matter of fact, the system has been so successful that in February 2016 the company decided to add these terminals within the Stansted Airport rail station.

The next few years will tell if this technology will spread across the different rail networks and revolutionise rail travel for good despite its important infrastructure requirements.

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Disruptive Customer experience design in retail*

This article was first published on – the Customer Experience Blog. It is the exclusive property of KPMG Nunwood, part of KPMG in the UK. It was later re-published on Engage Customer.

Two decades ago, online retail was born. It drastically redefined the way we live and consume. Now, more people than ever are turning to online retailers to get the hottest deals and the latest products. Even eCommerce has seen a rise in its potential. With the help of SEO services, (see more here), online retailers have now been given the opportunity to drive more traffic towards their site, and more traffic means an increased number of sales. And for online businesses, this is a huge step in the right direction. Along with this fantastic growth, it also provided quite a challenge to a few traditional retailers (RadioShack’s went bankrupt in 2015, and the world’s largest music store closed in 2014). So much so that last year, Amazon became the largest retailer in the world. One might think that nothing could stop online retail – and would have good reasons to. Until recently.

The emergence of customer experience as a key competitive battleground is changing this. This change offers retailers ways to counter the challenge they were given by the extremely convenient online model while differentiating themselves. We explore here two novelties in customer experience design that are being implemented by brick-and-mortar stores.

Your home at Lowe’s with virtual reality
You probably remember the last time you were looking for a piece of furniture in a store while wondering if it would fit in nicely at your home. It does require an incredible sense of imagination for you to picture that new sofa in the middle of your living room. It did require your imagination, until Lowe’s (39th best US Customer Experience Excellence brand in 2015) came up with its Holoroom.

Within minutes, you will be able to design your dream kitchen inside the store and step in it using an Occulus Rift or Google Cardboard. In doing so, you get the opportunity to get a feel for how this would work in your own place, if colours match, if that new fridge fits in nicely or if you’d rather change models on certain items you’d want to buy. Supported by a sales associate, you can design the perfect kitchen, step inside and not even leave the store while making certain that new fridge is all you wanted.

This major customer experience design innovation represents a crucial advantage for Lowe’s against key competitor groups. It goes beyond traditional retail, as customers can directly and conveniently see on the spot how a certain element would fit in at their home, while also providing the support of a sales associate and the possibility to take away the product directly out of the store, unlike online retail (although carrying that big fridge on your own isn’t really recommended!). With this VR innovation, Lowe’s is definitively taking the lead and transforming what best practice looks like in the industry.

Don’t just buy it, stand next to Master Chief (or Santa Claus)
If you ever owned an Xbox (or have children), you probably already know that Master Chief is the iconic hero of the Halo franchise. Last November, for the launch of the 5th instalment of the franchise, Microsoft and British video game retailer GAME (UK’s 71st best customer experience brand in 2015) decided to mark history by using augmented reality to celebrate the launch. People in the store were given the opportunity to actually stand next to the legendary warrior inside the GAME store.

Needless to say, this definitively is a “brick and mortar” exclusive online retailers won’t be replicating too soon. And this is exactly what a segment like this one, who suffers a lot with online competition (you nowadays can just download the exact same game for the same price online), is needing to recapture stores visits and ultimately, sales. GAME provides its customers with a new experience and opens up new possibilities for future product launches around the world. One can only ask: how interactive and brilliant such a launch for Pokémon Go (an augmented reality game promised for this year) could be!?

Following a positive welcome to this concept, GAME gave a new twist to end of year celebrations. Shaking conventions, the retailer replaced the traditional photo on Santa’s knee for a selfie with its own character: Gamer Claus! Customers went in-store and by following signage took a selfie and shared it on social media.

Using the retail store like an experiential tool won’t shake the industry like the internet did, but it certainly contributes towards building a unique and better customer experience for GAME’s customers and achieve a loyal following. And who knows, it might well help them move further up the CEE ranking.

Virtual reality and augmented reality both come with great promises. Time will tell which one will be best received by customers and will sublime customer experiences the most.

This is the first post in a series of newest innovations in customer experience design and strategy, and how they redefine best practice. Next time we will be exploring innovations in the travel sector.

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