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PCBB Banc Investment Daily October 25, 2018
Banc Investment Daily
October 25, 2018

Walking Through Web Forms For Success

Summary: As more people are using bank websites or mobile apps to open accounts or apply for other services, bankers need to continue to improve their web forms. We have some considerations to include.
Have you heard about the eco-friendly sneakers, Allbirds? They are made of wool, eucalyptus and even sugar. This company started online over 2Ys ago and has now opened a 4,800 sq. ft. flagship store in NYC with a "service bar" and plans to open 8 more stores. Given the number of retail closures these days, this sure is interesting and positive to hear - even if small.
No doubt, Allbirds has a smooth online process for its customers, which helped its success. This is something that banks are working on as well to attract and keep customers in this rapidly changing world.
For years, customers have been completing account opening applications and other bank forms at branches. The laws and legacy ideas made that process long, tedious and often cumbersome. Roll forward to today and more people than ever before are using websites or mobile apps to open accounts or apply for other services. That means banks must continue to find ways to make filling out web forms more pleasant, or at least as streamlined as possible - particularly for younger customers. Here are some things to think about when reviewing your web forms:
Quick: First and foremost, make sure every step of a web form is quick, easy and intuitive - the fewer screen taps or mouse clicks the better. Leverage the customer information you already have in your CRM system or other databases to pre-populate as much of the information needed in any form to help the customer.
Skip: Use conditional logic that enables people to automatically skip entire sections of the web form if they answer "no" to any question that requires additional information. This is most likely already a part of your website functionality, but if not, you will want to include it pretty quickly for an enhanced user experience. When the process is shortened and people are happier, this could even be a good time to suggest additional offerings that would augment the product or service that the customer just purchased.
Pleasant: Customers not only appreciate speed, they also like it when banks make the process less boring. This could be achieved when web forms are designed in a way that feels like people completing the form are having an engaging conversation with their banker. Although this may sound a little far-fetched for most bankers, it could be worthwhile to look into including some interactive graphics and visuals, where appropriate. That will help make the process more interesting and possibly boost process completion success rates.
Emotions: Other things to consider are a customer's emotions. The most frequent emotion experienced during a buying process is the need for people to feel validated that they are making the right choice. Knowing that, your bank may want to include accolades such as customer satisfaction ratings alongside an account opening application. The second-most common emotion is decision anxiety by offering too many choices. Banks can lessen this anxiety by putting product descriptions in easy-to-digest language, which increases the chances for online completion and high satisfaction.