5 questions with… Beth Johnson, Citizen Experience Manager


When Beth Johnson, Experience Director at Citizens Financial Group, works with her digital and mobile banking teams, she pushes them to think beyond the norms – to forget they know where the way is – because it is how technological innovations occur.

And while many tasks, Citizens’ $ 187.5 billion automate long target processes and help deliver a smoother customer experience, Johnson also reminds his teams that for both home and business customers, operations banking are emotional. She sees promise in artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics to deliver a more personalized and less frustrating customer experience.

Banking automation news: What remarkable automations in the customer experience have citizens implemented over the past year?

Chief Citizens of the Beth Johnson Experiment

Beth Johnson: Like many, we’ve invested heavily in chatbots and capabilities across multiple channels to meet customer needs and make sure that when they have simple questions, we can respond to those needs very quickly. It has been quite effective for us. We have seen our chat resolutions continue to accelerate as we are able to add AI and learn to understand our customers and meet their needs. I believe that investment in this area will only continue.

We also focused on back-end processes and how to use analytical data to automate end-to-end. We have partnered with many of our loan companies to be able to tie the way we target different customers through in-depth analysis directly to the offerings we make to them, and the prices we can offer them for the products. loan, which then feed directly into the original systems.

We use data models to estimate revenue and pre-populate other items all the way to the back office, so we don’t have to ask for information like your home’s value that we can get through other tools. We actually took a process that averaged 65 days in the industry during peak periods – the best-case scenario was typically around 30 days – and our target is now 10 days, and soon less than one. week, where we can meet this deadline. to treat.

It’s about linking different components together to have a seamless model, and I think it’s going to be revolutionary with different opportunities within the bank.

TO FORBID: What promising innovative technology is on your radar screen?

Johnson: One thing is the continued use of deep analytics and AI tools and capabilities to drive our business through insight and personalization. But that link with the back-end as well and streamlining processes – those who can do that will be the winners, and some innovative companies are even starting to take advantage of it with blockchain. Can you really streamline processes from start to finish?

In addition, we are also closely monitoring 5G. As this becomes more and more prevalent, will any new features come into play to provide customers with faster and easier services?

TO FORBID: What technology projects is Citizens focusing on to improve the customer experience?

Johnson: We focused on our human-centered design capabilities. We started Green Pixel Studios about three or four years ago, which is our own UI-UX capability within Citizens, and we’ve developed it. We have also just built a design studio in our building in Westwood, Massachusetts.

When we design, the team is focused on reducing the cognitive load on our clients, and I find that fascinating. I was just talking with our team about how we use cards with clients to say things like “Hey, you’re thinking about your financial planning” – so put things together for us in the natural language you would use. For example, no one uses “wealth”.

We all talk about “wealth” and “banking”, but very few people consider themselves to be really rich. What we’ve found is that our digital and mobile banking tools need to navigate and communicate the way customers think about things in their language, which is really more investment-oriented. This human-centered design capability in addition to new technologies is really going to be the unblocker for market winners in the future.

TO FORBID: What is one key thing to remember about the banking customer experience today and possibly tomorrow?

Johnson: When we talk about digital transformation, when we talk about analytics, when we talk about exciting new technologies and ways to use AI to automate, it’s easy to get carried away and focus on the technology. But if you take a step back, the way we think about money is incredibly emotional and personal.

The more I talk to individual or business clients who have started a business and want to grow it, I realize how banking is an emotional part of our life because it is about what that money means to us.

When we take advantage of new technologies or new ways of doing things, we need to do so with this in mind – not just what we deliver, but also how we harness the emotions of our customers.

TO FORBID: What might people not know about you?

Johnson: I’m an avid reader, and like many avid readers, I read a book every week or two, and sometimes it’s a business book. Sometimes that’s what I call a “quality” book, something about literature or Oprah’s Book Club, something like that.

But I am a big fan of science fiction. My favorite science fiction book is “Ender’s Game”, written in the 1980s by Orson Scott Card. Think about this moment. There’s a big scene where Ender plays a game in space against other kids, and to win he redefines what “up” means. With the innovation and the changes happening in technology, I think it’s important for my team to bring diverse perspectives, because you don’t necessarily know which direction the upside is – in the space, the top can be any direction.


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