Research on the banking behavior of customers in East China

Bank customers' experience journey and ecosystem description


Change in behavior of bank customers

As urban people live an increasingly fast-paced life style, such issues as traffic and environmental pollution push people to the Internet. In recent years, with the development of mobile Internet, people become more used to prompt problem-solving at any time and any place. Banks also face huge challenges due to the impact of the Internet: e-banking channels such as online banking and mobile banking are incorporated in the banks’ service systems and quickly become one of the crucial customer channels.

The contact between banks and customers has under gone significant change in just a few years, but we have little in-depth information about this change. Banks have neglected over all cognition of new channel users while quickly creating new channels, and alsolack detailed understanding about their characteristics and usage needs.

Penetration &Challenges

TANG initiated anindependent R&D project to explore the finance industry

To thoroughly understand finance-related behavior of Chinese bank users and seek accurate directions to improve banking services, TANG initiated an internal qualitative research on bank users in cities of different levels in East China in 2012. Observation and Interviews regarding the use of various banking channels were carried out amongover 60 users in Jiangsu (Xuzhou, Suzhou, Nanjing, Wujiang, Wuxi), Zhejiang(Ningbo, Hangzhou), Shanghai, Beijing, Guangdong (Guangdong, Dongguan) and Shandong(Weifang, Zaozhuang) through telephone interviews, face-to-face interviews and laboratory interviews, etc. A complete user behavior analysis was conducted on bank users under different circumstances in first-tier, second-tier and third-tier cities.

Challenge 1: How todetermine the target user group for research

We encountered a bigchallenge in the early stage of the project - how to determine the target user group of this research. As banks’user groups are widely distributed, even when we limited our respondents to bank users in East China, they still fall intomany differentiated user groups. Due to the limitation of time and various resources, we must accurately categorize and separate the existing channels and giant service systems to smooth out the complicated relations between banks and their user groups.

So, before our first close contact with users, we conducted much desk research. We collected and analyzed much data about the distribution of bank’s user groups, and Internet & mobileusers, including demographic data such as age, profession, educationalbackground and in come. We also collected user behavior data such as users’frequency of using different banking channels, main services and functions of different channels used by users and major scenarios under which users use aspecific channel. Mean while, the desk research has provided data support for user recruitment and the preparation of interview scripts during the interviews.

Challenge 2: How to comprehensively gather details related to user behavior

There were some challenges in digging outuser information both in depth and breadth as the interviews involved contents of a large scope, including users’ behavior, attitudes, needs and pain points in using different banking channels. Besides, we hoped that users could give adetailed description of their behavior in using these channels to help usvisually describe user behavior and draw a user behavior map in the later stages.

So, before the interview with users, we developed various “stimulants”, including key word cards, pictures of characters with different financial relations and consumption scenario pictures, to help users recall financial behaviors related to those words, characters and scenarios and get meaningful answers from users. Moreover, we designed some multiple-choice questions to help judge users’ideological characteristics and states such as values and consumption ideas through their choices.


User groups and classification

We discovered in theresearch that in order to improve banks'  user experience and help banks with an overall plan of cross-channel services, it requires not only identifying touch points and uses of various banking channels, but to system atically improveusers’ daily finance-related behaviors. We also need to thoroughly analyzeusers'  financial, investment and consumption values, build a user experience behavior map based on a specific user roles and consumption scenarios and to design a user-based service process and service system from the perspective of a bank’s overall system, processes and cross-channel services.

We summarized interview data and classifiedbank user groups by using an affinity diagram to find out the most typical bankuser group. Then, we reorganized the interview data to obtain information suchas behavior details, needs and pain points of various users.


Bank’s typical user experience map

We chose the six mosttypical categories of users in first-tier, second-tier and third-tier cities of Eastern China and the most common finance-related scenarios to draw the systematic user experience map. We offered a panorama of users’ life scenes and related behaviors from their perspectives and marked all contact points between users and various banking channels and the related needs and pain points to help banks with a macro understanding of current state and user experience opportunities on their channels. Meanwhile, we additionally drew an emotion curve to help explore emotion-based designs of financial products.

The complete contents of the experience map were shared with participants at the Next Bank China meeting in 2013, where we received positive domestic and overseas feedback.

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