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Erste Group redefining digital customer experience with continuous feedback

Erste Group redefining digital customer experience with continuous feedback

As ​​76% of all bank interactions are online nowadays, create remarkable digital customer experience are not just buzzwords. It is the utmost important, revenue-correlated topic in FinTech.

Luckily for Erste Group, they’ve been focusing on customer experience since the very beginning. And today we have the honour to share their journey. In particular, how they listened to the voice of customers and turned that into features and UX improvements.

The passion behind Erste Group’s customer-centric strategy

“George” is the name of Erste Bank’s web and mobile app. It is perhaps also the name of your neighbor, your cousin or your business partner. A human name was purposefully chosen to portray using the app can be just like interacting with a friend.

And George Labs is the digital banking business unit of Erste Group. The energy of the team is fueled by curiosity: how to make a banking app welcoming? What do the customers need? A customer-centric culture, conjoined with the high competence in software development, George Labs went from a team of 10 to 250+ in just a few years. Their apps currently operate in 6 countries in Europe.

A team that prioritizes digital customer experience

Using customer feedback as a startup advantage

In the early stages of building George, they only offered simple functionalities and, like any startups, resources were limited. To collect customer feedback and conduct user testing were means to uncover bugs and manage basic user expectations.

They implemented Usersnap as their customer feedback software. This allowed users to click on a feedback button in the application and launch a widget for capturing and annotating screenshots. The visual and systematic way of collecting issues helped the team to detect more bugs without stretching internal resources. 

Usersnap supports Erste Group's digital customer experience

User info and technical data are automatically attached for each ticket, which makes troubleshooting much easier for the engineers.

George is a reliable and approachable friend. The feedback channel kept George’s early adopters feel more engaged and secured.

Now George has grown from Austria to five other countries in central-east Europe. There are over 7 million users who rely on the app. Multiple teams work on different aspects of George. And while the goal of building a personal and approachable digital banking customer experience has not changed, the process of managing the voice of customers has expanded.

From 0 to 7 million users: how customer feedback’s role changed 

Naturally they are receiving more customer feedback from local operators and public review platforms. Note that these types of feedback usually represent the proactive and extreme-case customers. 

There are research teams and beta testing groups formed to facilitate product teams in designing and developing new solutions. 

As for in-app feedback via Usersnap, now it’s less about bug reports and more about requests, questions and general customer experience. This feedback usually comes from the more preserved customers, which you don’t often hear from but is the larger piece of the pie.

“When we get questions from customers, such as where to find a feature, it helps us understand their intentions and desired experience. Our goal is to make George a platform customers want to use and not have to use.” 

Dag Erik Zimen, Lead Copy & Communication

All these efforts to understand customer needs are essential for George Labs to be the trusty financial companion for their users.

Customer feedback during beta vs. production 

Technical issues are rare for an established and security-focused product like George. So during the beta stage, the testing teams and early adopters will give feedback based on real-life scenarios and actual use cases.

However, as much as it would be nice to narrow down the group of customers to ask for feedback, George Labs still insists on collecting more feedback on their production app. 

From their experiences, they have found the behaviours and needs of the audiences on beta versus production apps to be fundamentally different. Hence feedback from general users will be different. Which is why it’s important to have an easily accessible customer feedback channel.

Customer feedback from beta testing and production can be mega different. Which is more important? Find out on @usersnap’s blog post featuring Erste Group George Labs

The most useful and interesting type of customer feedback for George’s production app is not praises, nor complaints – although they happen, but questions. Customers asking about functionalities that are either not existing, or not as intuitive to use.

For example, there were a bunch of questions accumulated about printing paper statements, which was overlooked as the offering is focused on serving digital banking. Once this was brought to the attention of the team, they quickly got to work on a solution for their customers.

When customers ask questions, it’s also feedback that something was not clear! True story on @usersnap’s blog post featuring Erste Group George Labs

Continuous improvement to reach great heights 

To ensure they adapt timely to user needs and preferences, tracking customer satisfaction ratings for new features and flows is another best practice. 

Delivering good digital customer experience and UX is just as crucial as shipping features. Besides the ratings and feedback, they also measure usage and analyze patterns to stay on top of the performance of every feature.

”We are not a team where product managers pass requirements to the development teams and wish them good luck. We work closely to ensure the needs of customers are fulfilled. We actively seek to improve our features, UI and UX constantly. Because from the bottom of our hearts, we all want to provide in George seamless experience and make financial life of our users easier” 

Malgorzata Pryc-Fleischmann, Product Owner

The drive for the best experience on George means they would iterate and ship new versions. Until they no longer see questions and issues from customers. 

And how would they know they can bring out the champagne? When product usage is still high yet feedback and tickets have significantly reduced then it’s a good sign of a smooth customer experience. 

A/B testing different versions of a feature or flow is another approach. It’s funny how a seemingly intelligent solution may not turn out to be the most intuitive for users. But that’s the joy of product management, and George Labs is totally embracing it!

Erste Group's digital customer experience strategy

Sidenote, all feedback and user data going through Usersnap is highly protected. Besides being fully GDPR and CCPA compliant, we take even higher standards for data storage, transfer and encryption. And that’s how George friends feel comfortable and reliable in using our feedback solution.

There will always be new challenges in digital customer experience

Even with a comprehensive research, development and testing process, George Labs still finds it necessary to cast a feedback-welcoming net for its regular users, which is Usersnap. Because change is always happening, whether it’s customers or technology. And you don’t want to miss out on what your customers have to say. Before it’s too late to regret!

The journey of Erste Group and George Lab’s customer-centric strategy, how they prevailed in the digitalization of banking services, is an inspiring one. And it’s still thriving, they will soon go beyond retail banking to support the SME sector. They will surely continue to create amazing digital banking customer experiences.

And Usersnap will also continue to be the trusty customer feedback tool for George Labs.

If you want to become more customer-centric and try out Usersnap, enjoy a 15-day free trial. You get to experience the same features that helped George, like user screen recording, console logs and feedback menu.