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ING is the favourite among consumers when it comes to opening a current account online in The Netherlands, with a WPS score of 82. This is shown by an independent study carried out by WUA! in February 2016. In this interview, we speak with Angela Havenaar, customer journey expert private banking at ING. About being the best, about the not-very-digital fellowman and paying with your Android phone.

Congratulations, Angela Havenaar. You are the winner of this orientation study of opening a personal current account, very closely followed by Rabobank. How important is it for you to be the best with ING?
“Great that we won! It’s always nice to be the best at something. But at the same time, I don’t think being the best is the most important thing. Because in the end what matters is that our customers and prospects manage to find what they’re looking for on ING.nl, and they are happy as an ING customer. Only then are we doing well!

You don’t just score high on findability, but also the other topics of the WPS model. What is going so well for you?
“We are easily found, and that is nice, but we aren’t truly satisfied until customers or prospects find what they are looking for. Not only are we working on improving our findability every day, we also spend a lot of time improving our website. Last year as a team we ensured that ING.nl is now 80% responsive. Which in turn leads to better discoverability on mobile devices. We also have a new font, and we’re expanding the illustrative style, ING.nl is equipped with a new search engine, and we are rolling out a new look and feel for ING.nl!”

What exactly does a customer journey expert do at ING, and what is the role of customer research and customer focus in your daily work?
“A customer journey expert is the voice of the customer, who translates this into customer solutions, so we can keep improving our service provision to our customers, and provide customers with worry-free banking. As a customer journey expert I am responsible, end to end, for one or more customer journeys. In other words: that what the customer experiences when he/she applies for, modifies, cancels, or uses our products. In my case, this has to do with private customer processes and payment products. Together with my team, I am responsible for the information on ING.nl, as well as the online application forms and the processes in the ‘background’.

“As of April 4, ING has chosen to move away from the fixed payment packages. Customers can now decide how they manage their daily banking, and what they pay for. We developed a cost indicator to enable people to see the monthly costs of the products at a glance. During its development, we had the tool tested continually through customer research. Great fun and super interesting, because the interviewees always gave very valuable feedback. This way, we could keep optimizing the tool.”

What is your biggest digital challenge?
“My biggest digital challenge is to make sure that the not-very-digital fellowman can find what he/she is looking for on ING.nl. But ING has so many products and information on the website that it’s a challenge to properly structure and simplify our content. Occasionally, we’re making our own lives difficult: we want to provide so much information: we have over 1500 pages!”

How do you view service in relation to sales? Could service eventually become the new sales in the financial sector? How do you handle this and how do you act on it?
“We are a sales-driven organization, with many competitors. I think it’s important to keep current customers happy, and to make new customers feel good when they become an ING customer. When someone is satisfied, they are inclined to stay longer, and perhaps purchase additional products. A good app for internet banking is a service that is greatly appreciated by our customers.

“Another example: if someone moves in with their partner, they’re dealing with a mortgage or a joint bank account. People then talk to their partner to decide which bank would best suit their needs. At ING we have the theme “Financially Fit”, where we help customers to get and keep their banking affairs in order. Administration is no-one’s favourite pastime, and that is why this theme gives people insight into their banking situation in a straightforward fashion. That’s a service to make Dutch people more conscious of their finances, and to get more for their money.”

Are there any other interesting things happening, what digital innovations are you working on in the area of customer journeys at ING?
“ING is an innovative bank. All our latest developments are in our ING Lab. Personally, I’ve been working with the Mobiel Betalen App (mobile payment app). This app turns an Android smartphone into a debit card. Just hold your phone up against a payment machine, and voila, you’ve paid. Isn’t that cool? Everyone always has their smartphone with them, so how easy is it to use it to pay for things?”