Beta users: Fostering the adoption mindset with customers

We’ve talked about fostering an adoption mindset at ATB for our internal teams, but our commitment to growth and innovation doesn’t stop there. We’re also eagerly sharing new tools and technologies with ATB customers through MVP launches, beta tests, and new business lines. And, lucky for us, many of our customers just can’t get enough!

The core changes in how we do business differently came from a shift in our internal mindset. Adopting a customer obsession and talking to customers about their needs and wants and how they currently use banking tools. For financial institutions, this is a different way of thinking.

More than just a few new rules, we’re now playing a fundamentally different game.

With our customer obsession, we gathered the team of innovative thinkers and the technology stack to enable us to design and prototype tools to meet those customer needs. Our shift to the cloud and integration of APIs are one of the changes that has allowed us to bring new products to customers with speed and agility.

We are building for customer needs, but that doesn’t mean that change isn’t hard. We know we have to work constantly to create a state of comfort for our customers and to maintain confidence in our systems and the changes that we make. That means allowing customers to consume just enough to understand. Giving customers control over their experience and assuring them that what they do everyday will still work.

In the past, updating a customer tool or the look and feel of an online business banking platform would have had a launch date, with communication plans for educating team members and customers that a new tool was launching. Inevitably, on launch day, customers still feel like it is a change that is done *to* them, and not *for* them.

We are turning that process around and putting value first. What are people actually doing and how can we make small improvements that will make their life better? By sharing our MVP with groups of customers early and iterating along the path, we actually get to the end stage with a better outcome and also with more value for customers over all. We fix problems when they are at a smaller scale, with 100 or 1,000 users instead of a full launch.

Because online banking tools are key in managing money, we need to make sure customers involved in this journey are confident that we aren’t negatively disrupting their process for changes that we can’t bring to life rapidly. A key to keeping the confidence of customers in the early testing phase is to give them confidence that it is secure and stable, that they can’t break anything, do anything accidentally, or ‘make a mistake.’ Importantly, the tools we’re testing must also have value for them to try it out.

In practical terms - we start off at a very small scale. Our first testers are generally customers who have expressed a specific need. And the testing happens with live systems, not demos.

There is no alternative to a real experience for a customer with their live account information and actually satisfying a need or completing a task.

We empower our customer to decide what experience they will have. Importantly, they have the option to go back to the old experience. There is no down side for them.

Small steps, user-centred design, and putting customers in charge of their own experience; that is how we are building a base of ATB customers who are willing to change and grow along with us. Avid supporters and enthusiastic beta users. Customers with the same adoption mindset as ATB team members. We may be playing a new game, but our teamwork is stronger than ever.

Are you an ATB customer interested in beta testing new products? Let us know.

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