FXD 2019 Leadership Roundtable
Day one of Mad*Pow’s Financial Experience Design (FXD) conference is never the same. Every year, we work to create a new, powerful collaborative experience for attendees. If these fintech, banking, insurance and wealth management professionals are going to give us their valuable time, we’re going to make sure they walk away inspired, connected and ready for more on FXD Day 2.
This year, we set the following lofty goals for our leadership roundtable:
- Deepen our understanding
- Challenge our perspectives
- Inspire creative solutions
- Build connections
During the first segment, Meet Your Peers, we shared our roles and backgrounds, and we also went deeper, letting our tablemates know about our company’s business and experience goals, how our companies are structured related to experience, and our obstacles to great customer experience design. Each table was surrounded by fascinating attendees from the full range of financial products and services. We generated a list of challenges that were universally shared among our organizations:
- Difficulties with internal buy-in of externally developed projects
- Little flexibility and slow reactions to constantly changing circumstances
- Lack of infrastructure support for new initiatives
- Slow adoption of emerging technology
- Limited budgets that do not prioritize design
- Lack of a design culture
- Low customer engagement
- Balance between retaining existing customers versus acquiring new business
- Legacy systems that are noncompatible
- Offshore IT resources
- Large organizations with siloed structure
- Cumbersome legal, risk and compliance restrictions
After a quick break, we were back for the Solving Challenges segment. This time, we were able to focus on the most prevalent challenges, as each topic had been assigned to a particular table. At the Financial Wellbeing table, attendees jumped right into a discussion of the barriers to creating positive financial experiences that can contribute to people’s overall financial wellbeing. Other tables concentrated on elevating design thinking to the entire customer experience rather than transactional products, adopting design thinking at all levels to create a customer-centered culture, moving from old systems and technology to new, calculating and communicating the benefit of good design in financial services, and building design teams that overcome silos.
Back at the Financial Wellbeing table, an attendee explained how she wanted to create long-term engagement with customers as a means of supporting their financial wellbeing. Another shared the conflicts within his own company, as one department worked to help customers struggling with debt while yet another shared credit card offers with those same customers. One particularly interesting part of the conversation focused on the evolving nature of financial wellbeing throughout the lifespan of the customer. The financial wellbeing of a new college graduate looks very different than someone at retirement age. One attendee spoke about the developments of value-based money coaching to help customers visualize how their values affect their spending. We wrapped up the segment with a commitment to show senior leaders the value of experiences that support evolving customers long-term.
Finally, we wanted to end the day with a positive, forward-looking session that would inspire attendees. The Imagining the Future session tasked each attendee with creating a cover story for a future magazine that envisions a success story for a financial company (e.g., banking, investing, insurance, technology or retirement) or product at least five years from today. After creating our own stories, we then pitched them to the rest of the table. The group chose which story was most compelling and then worked together to continue developing it and then share with the entire group of attendees.
As you can imagine, the range of ideas was impressive. From “ghost banking” to an artificial intelligence persona that handles your financial life for you, attendees were able to create incredible visions of the future. As the pitches wound down, Mad*Pow cofounder and Chief Experience Officer Amy Heymans encouraged everyone to remember customers’ humanity.
“We must trust in the decision-making power of humans,” said Heymans. “We are the embedded disruptors in this industry. It’s our job to empathize with people and then synthesize what we learn into products and services that get people engaged.”
It was a great way to sum up the day’s collaborations, and prepare for a full day of information and inspiration on Day 2!