Like many other financial institutions, banks are experiencing increased demand for their digital offerings as they’re forced to temporarily close physical branches and customers shift their preferences to online services. When adjusting to this new way of operating, it can be difficult to understand and quantify the impact of your online channels.
To help, we’ve outlined six KPIs banks should use to measure their digital efforts. These metrics will help you understand how customers are adopting your online offerings, the impact on overall banking activity, and where you can drive improvements in the customer experience.
1. New account applications and activations
Definition: how many customers request to open a new bank account, complete that application, and then “activate” their account. The definition of activation will vary from bank to bank, but it’s usually something more than just the first login.
Your number of new accounts is a good topline metric to establish “business as usual.” Are new customers able to find and navigate your digital channels, and apply to open an account? The volume of applications will give you a sense of any change in topline demand, but it’s also important to monitor the completion rate of the application process, or if there is friction that your digital team can work to smooth over.
Finally, users need to activate their accounts. Your company may have an existing definition of an “activated” account, likely including elements such as “has deposited money” or “has configured online bill pay.” This conversion metric will help you understand the efficacy of your digital channels based on whether or not customers are able to complete these key workflows.
2. Transactions by channel (in-person vs. digital)
Definition: comparative trend lines between transactions that occur in-person at a branch vs. those that happen on digital channels. You can also include breakdowns by the type of transaction (account opens, mortgage/loan applications, deposits, withdrawals, etc).
It’s important to understand how customers’ behaviors are changing and how they’re adapting as access to in-person services is restricted (and eventually, reopened). When digging into the data, consider these questions:
- Are customers switching their regular banking activity to digital channels, or are they slowing down or delaying transactions altogether?
- Given that in-branch transactions are decreasing, how much of that activity has moved online?
- Are certain types of transactions more or less likely to be done online?
- For transactions that are slower to migrate to digital, are these services available digitally and are our customers aware of these digital offerings?
It’s also useful to look at this type of data as branches start to reopen. You might see that customers are in a rush to go back to their branches, or you might see certain customer segments or types of transactions switch to digital channels more permanently.
3. Online banking logins by device
Definition: a daily or weekly count of logins to online banking services, broken out by the type of device used. A high level view should compare desktop vs. mobile devices, and more detailed views can call out the type of browser or mobile operating system (e.g. iOS and Android versions).
By knowing the most common ways users are accessing your digital services, you can make better decisions about where you need to invest and how to prioritize improvements. Are customers logging in more often from desktop or mobile devices? Do you have parity between your web and mobile processes, or do you need to add functionality to better serve customers’ needs?
4. Login frequency (daily, weekly, and monthly) and retention
Definition: a rolling count of the number of active users on a given day (daily active users or DAU), users who were active in the last seven days (weekly active users or WAU), and users who were active in the last 30 days (monthly active users or MAU). You can also use these metrics to understand retention and if users continue to use your online services over time.
These metrics help you understand how your customers are incorporating digital banking into their broader financial routines. You’re likely seeing higher volumes in online banking — as branches closed, more customers accessed your digital offerings, possibly for the first time. Are they maintaining those behaviors and changing their financial habits? Are they returning to your application in subsequent weeks or months?
You can also compare ratios to explore questions like: of our users who are active monthly (MAU), how many of them use our services weekly (WAU)? It’s important to track this over time as your online banking becomes more robust or you invest in any enhancements. As your overall user population increases, this helps you monitor if customers are becoming more or less engaged, and measure the frequency of that engagement.
5. Call center volume
Definition: the volume of calls placed to phone support each day. You can then drill down into the category or reason for the call (which should be documented using definitions that are available) to understand how many calls are specifically related to online banking.
This helps shed light on how online banking offerings are contributing to support costs and, more importantly, any changes over time. Your call centers might be seeing record-high call volume since many customers are using online banking for the first time. It’s important to track volume continuously and work to deflect calls and preempt questions with in-app interventions as much as possible.
Meet with your call center manager to find out what the most common questions are, and strategize in-app messages or tooltips that can answer those questions and prevent a customer from calling into the queue. If your online banking platform supports click-to-call or ticket creation within the app itself, you can measure how many tickets or calls are created from each page of your app and use that to explore possible solutions.
6. Customer sentiment (CSAT or NPS)
Definition: a regular summary of answers to a prompt like, “On a scale from 1-5, how satisfied are you with our online banking services?” (customer satisfaction or CSAT) or “On a scale from 0-10, how likely are you to recommend our online banking services to a friend?” (Net Promoter Score or NPS).
These metrics allow you to track perceptions of your online banking experiences over time. Unlike transactional customer satisfaction where you ask a question after a customer contacts support, product satisfaction should be delivered on a regular, rolling cadence. (We recommend starting by asking each customer once a quarter and adjusting from there.)
An influx of new users is an opportunity to evolve your banking services and retrain these customers, making it crucial to measure how satisfied they are with your new offerings. CSAT and NPS surveys provide a consistent, quantitative metric, but these numbers are even more powerful when paired with qualitative feedback (e.g. via an open text survey question). You can then look for consistent themes behind high and low scores, or even correlate specific features or usage patterns that contribute to positive or negative responses.
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