By Rob Commons

Today’s banks are in the customer experience business as much as they’re in the financial services business. After all, customers not only expect convenience and personalization from the apps they use to conduct much of their banking, they still need guidance when it comes to financial decisions surrounding important moments, like leaving home and starting their first job or saving for a mortgage.

As customer interactions increasingly happen through apps and web sites, banks are focused on designing better customer experiences for their digital channels.

TD, one of Canada’s leading banks, with a strong presence also in the U.S., has long sought to differentiate its brand by stressing superior customer experience through superb convenience and high-quality service.

TD, aware of the highly competitive environment on both sides of the border, is designing meaningful experiences to help its millions of customers across North America build financial confidence while banking with ease.

A wealth of design talent
TD has created an in-house design team known as DCX (Digital Customer Experience) where designers work on new ways to delight employees and customers. The team focuses on delivering consistent, high-quality products and services, including new kinds of customer experiences that put a human touch on banking, from internal employee online portals and chatbots to voice-based interfaces.

Immersed in TD’s strategy, people and processes, the DCX team spans across North America and relies on industry-leading creative tools to bring their ideas to life.

For example, the TD MySpend app gives customers real-time visibility into their spending, making it simple for them to monitor and track their spending. TD MySpend makes it easy for customers to understand their spending habits and to celebrate
their victories, without requiring them to enter cumbersome data.

Investing in design
Good design has played a big role in the evolution of TD’s customer experiences. When developing new applications, the design team researches customer challenges, immersing themselves in the field to observe how customer experiences play out. From there, a diverse team, including product owners, designers, copywriters, subject matter experts and customers come together. Design thinking workshops also help the teams identify customer challenges and find new ways to address them.

“Design thinking is fuelling new ideas and solutions,” says Imran Khan, TD’s vice president of Digital Customer Experience. “By identifying the root of customer problems, we can put ourselves in our customers’ shoes and explore new ways to reimagine how we engage with them.”

Taking a new approach
The key lesson TD has embraced is that meeting customer needs requires new ways of working, which is why the DCX team is increasingly embracing new ways of designing and prototyping customer experiences. To achieve their goals, the team is using new tools, including Adobe Creative Cloud and Adobe XD, to respond to customer needs and expectations rapidly.

Rather than forcing designers and developers to work with a static file or wireframe, Adobe XD allows designers and developers to share a single, dynamic prototype. It captures specs, comments and changes, thereby improving collaboration and streamlining hand-offs by ensuring everyone is always working on the latest version.

The workflow enabled by Adobe XD proved especially helpful on a project the DCX team considers as one of its greatest successes: redesigning TD’s U.S. web and mobile platforms to make the experience and design more consistent across the platforms.

More importantly, given the company’s Canadian roots, Adobe XD has helped designers align their work across the border. As DCX service design director Eric Kaiser says, “We have an enterprise design standard and our strategy is to align our digital properties in the U.S. and Canada. Adobe XD helps us share designs and foster a one-TD Bank approach.”

Creating real experiences, for real people
TD’s success isn’t merely the result of great design or data-driven decision making. Empathy plays a critical role too. In identifying and evaluating experiences and opportunities for new digital experiences, TD’s DCX team focuses on developing features that will make a difference in customers’ lives and help them feel good about their financial decisions.

“What makes TD unique is that we start with design,” says Khan. “We’re willing to try new things, experiment and explore to get to the right experience for our customers. We want to empower them to be confident about their financial future, and TD has the reach and the talent to do that.”

Rob Commons is vice president, strategic relationships, Adobe Canada.

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