We helped Lloyds design a service which would allow customers to speak with mortgage advisors face-to-face from the comfort of their own home.
Lloyds has long seen digital as the driver for delivering great customer experience and in 2015 made a commitment to leveraging telephony capability and video conferencing to expand and improve their service offering.
Lloyds wanted to understand how best to harness these technologies to connect their colleagues to their customers. They asked us to design, develop and test a proposition that would allow customers to speak to mortgage advisors remotely.
In order to begin designing a service that handles something as life-changing as a mortgage, we needed to understand customer concerns and fears about receiving financial advice remotely. We knew from previous design research that customers take the mortgage application experience very seriously and want reassurance that the bank is doing the same. We were also aware that first time buyers often didn’t know what to expect from the process and were particularly nervous.
We validated this hypothesis using a combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods including customer focus groups, Lloyds colleague interviews, depth interviews and quant surveys. We undertook over 50 hours of qualitative research with existing and prospective customers, exploring a number of key customer journeys and testing high fidelity UI designs. We also conducted a number of in-depth interviews with Lloyds mortgage advisors to get insight into their experience of the journey.
Knowing that lack of confidence was the main barrier to adoption of the service we created a set of experience design principles which centred around confidence and security. In order to execute the Remote Advisor service in accordance with these principles we needed to consider details such as the appearance of the advisor and the background of the room in which they were sitting. We also had to reassure customers that the technology would enhance the experience rather than interrupt it.
We created a service blueprint for the Remote Advisor mortgage journey, highlighting the desired customer actions and outputs at each of the service phases from booking an appointment through to leaving the branch. This blueprint displays the process functions above and below the line of visibility to the customer: all the touchpoints and the back-stage processes are documented and aligned to the user experience.
We created an operational tool that describes the nature and the characteristics of the Remote Advice service interaction in enough detail to verify, implement and maintain it.
The video service was successfully piloted throughout 2015 and has now been rolled out to Lloyds and Halifax branches nationwide; providing a convenient alternative for those who would otherwise have to travel to a branch to speak to a mortgage advisor.
David Oldfield, Group Director, Retail and Consumer Finance said: "Buying a house can be a stressful time for many people, and so for those who are unable or choose not to visit a branch but who still prefer a face-to-face conversation, this video service is a fantastic channel for them to use. It enables us to connect more customers to our mortgage experts in the way that is most convenient for them.”