Talking With: Citi's customer/digital experience chief on delivering superior customer experience (Part 1)

| by Judy Mottl
Talking With: Citi's customer/digital experience chief on delivering superior customer experience (Part 1)

Citi Global Cards and Consumer Services is continually adapting customer and digital experience strategies to serve customers and views the customer journey as crucial in designing and managing the omnichannel experience. The effort is paying off as Citi saw a 31 percent increase in its payment-specific net promoter score and a 36 percent boost relating to the check balance/activity journey.

To get greater insight on Citi's strategies, Retail Customer Experience reached out to Chief Customer and Digital Experience Officer Alice Milligan, who is responsible for driving all aspects of the customer experience and engagement for more than 50 million card accounts worldwide. Her team leverages analytics and data-driven decision making to enhance the customer experience with digital and mobile as priority channels for customer acquisition, servicing and engagement.

As Milligan explained, the digital experience is shifting at a rapid pace, and Citi is adapting to ensure that it's serving customers in ways they demand and in new ways they don't expect. Here is Part 1 of a two-part interview.


Retail Customer Experience: Can you provide some insight on retail customer experience strategies and technologies being deployed at Citi Global Cards?

Alice Milligan: Citi is increasingly focused on acquiring, engaging and serving customers via digital channels, so it's crucial we are delivering a superior customer experience that enables our customers to engage with us digitally. Some of the most critical work we've done recently (or are preparing to deploy) delivers significant enhancements to our digital targeting and servicing capabilities. For example, we are:

  • Using digital targeting capabilities and technology to more effectively reach prospects with the best product and offer when they come to

  • Continually focusing on transforming customer journeys by eliminating pain points and increasing user-friendly online and mobile functionality. Throughout this year, we are unveiling a host of technical releases that deliver enhancements to basic functionality and introduce new features for all of our top digital and mobile servicing experiences.

  • Continually building analytic capabilities to build a holistic view of our customers and monitor their interactions with us. We're taking a data-driven approach to identify what really matters to our customers and inform the actions we take to improve their experience with us.

RCE: Given the competitive market, how crucial is the customer experience and how does that compare to five years ago and a decade ago?

Milligan: The financial services industry is undergoing a significant transformation with the rapid rise of mobile as a centerpiece in consumer's lives. A recent Cisco survey projects there will be 11.6 billion mobile-connected devices by 2020 — exceeding the world’s projected population at that time. Consumers are seeking ease and simplicity like never before and it's our role to remove the friction from the payments process and deliver a heightened experience. In other words, banking is on the cusp of its "Uber moment."

In order to lead what's next, we must continually innovate, create and deliver solutions that improve their overall experience and simplify their lives.

RCE: What is the primary experience expectations of consumers at this point? Do they expect to be able to pay bills and do everything on a mobile or is it more services such as push reminders?

Milligan: It's important that we're not only surmising what our customers want and expect from us but deriving this information firsthand. So, we've spent a lot of time with our customers and distilling our insights from those conversations into a core set of customer experience principles that we consistently apply at every step of our design and development process.

We've learned customers have four key expectations — they want us to know them, value them, make it easy for them and protect them. These principles clearly manifest themselves when we speak to customers about their expectations for mobile servicing in particular, which is our fastest growing channel. From 2014 to 2015, we saw a 25 percent-plus increase in our global customer base interacting with us via mobile and certainly, this trend will continue.

With mobile playing a greater role in consumer's lives, there's a desire for greater mobile functionality — to do more than just get reminders or view their balances on an app. More and more customers are using mobile as their primary (or only) channel for transacting, including making payments, requesting a replacement card, etc. We are addressing those needs with a number of soon-to-be-released enhancements to our mobile app functionality. 

Stay tuned for Part 2 of our interview in which Milligan talks about how Citi maps the customer journey.

Companies: Citi

Judy Mottl

Judy Mottl is an experienced editor, reporter and blogger who has worked for top media including AOL, InformationWeek and InternetNews. She’s written everything from breaking news to in-depth trends. She loves a great pitch so email here, follow on Twitter and connect on LinkedIn.

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