Scottrade and Understanding the Customer Journey: When Segmentation Isn’t Enough


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Presented at Engagement & Experience Expo 2014 by:
• Gina Bhawalkar, assistant vice president of user experience and accessibility at Scottrade
• Lys Maitland, senior user experience designer at EffectiveUI

By nature, Scottrade, Inc., a leading investing services firm clearly focused on numbers, had ample data and information on its clients from a UX and marketing research standpoint. As the company worked to enhance its strategic vision for client experience and add new services and solutions, company leaders knew they needed to not only bring all of their customer research together, but also fill in some gaps to gain a deeper understanding and get a full picture of its audience – both current clients and potential clients they are looking to attract. Working in close collaboration with user experience agency EffectiveUI, Scottrade embarked on a comprehensive ethnographic study, interviewing 36 people in their own environments to uncover what trading and investing meant to their lives overall, how Scottrade fits into this, the tools they use, where they need guidance or help and how they feel along the way.

Scottrade came away with a better understanding of its clients and what they needed beyond what the company’s segmentation models provided. Scottrade is now actively working to turn what they learned into action and tailoring its tools around its audiences. This session will provide the following tips to customer experience professionals who also want to really know their customers:

• How to start the process of embarking on a large research project, including how to make sure stakeholders are on board
• How to combine ethnographic research with quantitative research for the best understanding
• How to bring participant stories from the research to life for team members who were not involved in the interviews
• How to effectively socialize personas and journey maps throughout an organization
• Using personas and journey maps to drive actual business decisions and initiatives
• Taking the next step in monitoring and addressing the customer pain points uncovered in the journey mapping process

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  • GINA
  • GINA
  • GINA
  • EffectiveUI is a User Experience-focused technology agency
    We help our clients adapt technology and systems to human behavior
    Our services include customer insight, strategy, experience design and software engineering
  • GINA –
    Just about a year ago we were in a situation where it became clear our customer segmentations just weren’t enough. We needed a deeper and foundational understanding of our clients. We had several segmentation models that were firmly rooted and well understood, but what we lacked was a model for thinking about our clients that really spoke to their mindsets, needs, environments, and emotions. The things CX people crave, right?
    We had personas, sort of, but they were product specific and primarily based on assumptions.
    We planted the seed for this effort over several months, pitching our business case to leadership and seeking buy-in. This was critical - we wanted to do it but wanted to make sure we did it right. And when the time came, we needed a partner with expertise in this type of research and a collaborative work style that meshed well with Scottrade. This led us to EffectiveUI.
  • In order to design an effective study, you have to know who you are working with and gather as much existing data as you can.
    We met with the Core Team and realized we were working with a great team
    They were :
    Committed to being involved every step of the way
    Enthusiastic to see the findings
    Understood how they wanted to use the findings from the research
    steadfast in their belief that the final deliverables would to be used for a wider purpose than the original scope
    We conducted stakeholder interviews to better understand the desires and expectations of those outside the Core UX Team
    Attitudes and appetite for using qualitative research
    What they hoped to see out of the research
    The barriers to adoption of the personas and journey maps
    From these meetings and interviews we discovered how we needed to both work and communicate Scottrade to ensure the success of the project.
    We dove into the existing research and learned
    Scottrade is a numbers driven company with the research to prove it!
    they knew the ‘what’ but not the ‘why’
    Designed the study to validate and build on existing research and data about client segmentation
  • We set out to understand
    their mindset, emotional experience, environment, financial goals, as well as explicit and latent needs when they invest or trade
    And to understand their expectations of Scottrade
    as well as their needs across different channels and financial service providers
    We were looking for the moments of truth for Scottrade customers in their investing and trading life
    All of this data fed into the personas and journeymaps
  • We were looking to learn about the participants’ experience with investing and trading and how Scottrade fit into that
    To do this:
    We conducted 36 in-person interviews with a broad range of Scottrade customers
    Each interview was 2 hours
    They were held in 3 distinct markets
    Across 3 weeks
  • We observed participants in their own environment
    Ask questions to elicit stories about their investing and trading life
    Observed them performing actual tasks and using their own tools
    We were in many in bedrooms, living rooms, and in a few in people’s offices.
    People were very generous and open with us, they opened up their homes and truly shared what it meant to them to be involved in investing and trading
  • And we met a of dogs and cats
  • Scottrade has a policy, that anytime anyone interacts with a client a Scotttrade employee needs to be present.
    This actually dovetails nicely with the fact that EffectiveUI encourages client participation in research.
    Witnessing interviews has a big impact on clients’ acceptance of research findings and their ability to incorporate it into their company.
    The core team divided the interviews so that they all participated for a few days
    They collectively lived through all the research and were therefore better equipped to help bring those personas to life for the rest of Scottrade.
    I feel that their participation empowered each of the team members to have greater empathy for their customers.
    How do you share these stories with team members who are not present for the all of the interviews?
    That is where storytelling is very important.
  • After each interview, we turned interviews into data as soon as possible through a formal debrief process
    which we used to create these postcards to send back to the rest of the team at the Scottrade.
    Because the research stretched over 3 weeks it was important to keep them engaged and aware of the progress in the field.
    It was also a tool for the Core team members to circulate stories and engage the stakeholders and senior leadership to help generate excitement about upcoming personas.
  • With the interviews completed and our initial analysis begun
    We visited Scottrade for a workshop to share our initial findings and the persona framework with the larger stakeholder group.
    Part of this workshop was a storytelling session where everyone who had participated in the interviews choose a participant and told their story to the larger stakeholder group.
    This activity helped bring to life the behaviors, motivations and goals we were drawing from to create the personas.
    We were then able to work through the persona framework with this larger Stakeholder team and learn where the stakeholders found value and where we needed to better explain the data.
    The reason we did this:
    These are the people who would be eventually using the personas
    They had to buy into them, or they would not be successful
  • We had about 5-6 weeks to analyze the data and create the personas and journey maps.
    We had 36 interview transcripts which were about 60-80 pages a piece to comb through.
    That is about 2,500 pages of interview data to sort through
    From those transcripts we created over 4,000 data points to analyze.
    In these photos you can see our workspace where we worked out the persona framework by doing participant clustering of the postcards
    And you can see the prototype of the journey map in sticky notes. We estimate that we used over 1,000 sticky notes to visualize the data.
    This is a long process. There is lots of thought that goes into the production of this type of work.
    So, how did we stayed connected with the UX team throughout the process?
    We were in Denver and they were in St Louis
    We worked to ensure that the Core Team never wondered what we were doing.
    Whenever we had a scrap of information big enough to understand we sent it to them.
    We sent photos and descriptions of everything.
    Initial persona frameworks and their characteristics
    Prototypes of the journey map
    Initial concepts for visualizing the data, layout,
    Anything we were sketching we were sharing
    We posted artifacts to a collaboration site
    we had regularly scheduled calls with the Core UX Team to discuss our progress on the work, the problems we were working at the moment and, to uncover any barriers that the work might encounter.
    We relied on the Core Team to be up to date with the work and provide us the feedback we needed to ensure the successful adoption of the journey map and personas.
    All of this collaboration reduced the surprises or big reveals. There is no point to a big revel if it is going to fall on its face.
    Scottrade Core Team members were aware of, and contributed to the thinking that went behind the creation of all the deliverables.
    And this point is key. They needed to have this level of understanding because they were the ones who were going to have to make this work in their own organization.
    This level of collaboration worked because the Core Team was prepared to put this much effort into the project.
    So, after all this amazing collaboration, what did we produce?!?!
  • So how many of you have engaged with personas or journey maps?
    These personas and journeymaps are a composite view of Scottrade’s customer based the qualitative interviews we conducted.
    There is no made up data in these documents. It is all based in research.
    Every word, phrase, action, emotion, image represented in the personas and journeymaps and can be traced back to actual interviews.
    A persona framework allows you to look at your customer experience through the eyes of your customers
    Why make personas?
    A persona is a stand-in for a unique group of people who share a common experience but who may exist across widely different demographics.
    Personas help create empathy for the different needs, behaviors, and mindsets of clients.
    We can’t show you the actual documents, but we made a version to share the structure and that is what is really interesting.
    It begins with a really good quote that exemplifies the persona’s attitude towards trading
    Then there is a narrative to help you understand the point of view of the persona
    What his standard routine is
    What his goals and motivations are
    What his approach to trading is
    How he spends his time investing and what his focus is
    There is a lot of information in this persona, but what is most important is that it is a tool to share the composite story of this persona.
    To help Scottrade develop empathy for him and design tools specifically for him.
  • A journeymap enables your teams to understand the motivations, activities, emotional experience, and needs of your customers through each stage of their customer journey.
    Why use Journeymaps?
    Journeymaps are a tool to improve customer experience.
    They visualize the journey a customer takes and are based directly on what your customers are doing, thinking and feeling.
    This is one stage of the journey map
    It tells the story of these personas as they experience their journey
    Once again, we collaborated closely with the Core Team on the structure of the journey maps.
    We walked them through a process to determine exactly what they wanted, and built a journey map based on their needs for content and structure
    The top swim lane shows each persona and their influences, triggers and goals for activities in this stage of the journey
    The second swim lane show what they are doing
    The third shows what they are thinking and feeling throughout the journey
    And the fourth shows the big thinking about the the opportunities to interact with customers in this stage
    In a typical situation we deliver these documents and we don’t hear how they have been put to use. But I think I am safe to say most of them do not get the star treatment that Gina and her team have afforded them.
  • GINA –
    We were really excited to start putting our new personas and journey maps into action, but the first step we had to take once we wrapped up our work with EffectiveUI was to begin socializing them strategically throughout Scottrade. My goal was to get to a point where people referenced our personas by name and could advocate for them on their projects, whether they are a designer or a senior vice president. We’ve poured a lot of time and energy into this task of socializing our personas and journey maps over the last year and I’m excited to share our approach with you today, as well as some things we learned along the way.
  • What we didn’t do is go start shouting from the rooftops – “Hey everyone, meet our personas!”. We took a very strategic approach to who we shared them with and when. We started with our UX and product teams, as we knew they could immediately use them as part of their design process. In this respect they were the ‘easy ones’ we knew would hop on board right away and be our champions. We then slowly broadened the audience from there. We also made the decision NOT to share our personas with certain groups, like our Investment Consultants in the field. They had their own, more sales based, model of thinking about clients and we didn’t want to add confusion to that.
    When we socialized these with a team we didn’t take a one-size-fits all approach – we tailored the delivery. After introducing them we encouraged and answered questions. For example, with our content writers we really focused on how they could craft messaging that capitalizes on the positive emotions certain personas feel when placing a trade. In a nutshell, we helped each team think through how to use these in their daily work. We probably did about 15 90-minute sessions with different teams over the course of several months, and that time was well spent.
  • After the initial introduction, we then worked on ways to get our personas out into our environment. For most of us coffee in the morning or late afternoon is a given, right, so we figured, why not put our personas on coffee mugs! These were a hit and became a great conversation starter. “Hey Gina, is that your mom’s picture on that coffee mug?” “No, that’s Andrea, one of our client personas –– let me tell you more about her!” They also were a great motivator – for example when a new project teams kicks off, we can generate excitement by giving all team members a mug with their primary persona for that project.
  • To get our journey maps out in the environment, we did things like create an interactive customer experience gallery, where each week we’d post a different set of instructions for how to interact with the journey map. In this example, we had people annotating our journey map with different projects and ideas related to our client pain points. We made sure to put the map in a high foot traffic area (right off our lobby) so people would have to walk by it in the hopes it would then peak their curiosity and they’d engage. And it worked.
  • We also wanted employees to keep our personas ‘top of mind’, so we ordered mouse pads– it’s hard to forget our personas when they’re right there under your nose! We hoped this would encourage people not just to focus on the main persona their area may be designing for, etc., but to consider all five unique sets of needs.
  • Another strategy we used was tapping into peoples’ emotions. We wanted our teams and leaders to not just understand who the personas are, but to really empathize with them. We did this by writing letters from our personas and delivering them to vice presidents to read in their department meetings. We made sure the letters hit on both the good and the bad – what that persona has experienced with Scottrade that was favorable, but also what the pain points they’re asking that department to help them with. We found this was a really powerful approach to connect our employees with the personas on a more personal level.
  • We also just had a lot of fun with getting the word out about our personas! We created a jeopardy game to help employees get to know them better – their routines, wish list, what drives them, etc. This worked better than I anticipated - I saw employees actually ‘studying’ the personas diligently and quizzing each other in preparation for this game. Now, a gift card was at stake so that may have helped, but I loved that I really saw people get competitive about who knew the personas better.
  • Another fun thing we did was our UX team wrote a skit - is anyone familiar with the recent Alibaba IPO? Well, the scene was our five personas attending a monthly investment club meeting right after the IPO. We used this to stress how differently our personas reacted to the IPO, and the questions they had for Scottrade, to really cement the fact that the personas all have different needs, and they’re all equally important. What we found here was you can never underestimate the power of a good laugh to help solidify understanding!
  • To summarize, I’ll share my 3 do’s and don’ts based on our experience socializing personas and journey maps.
    Do clarify how personas should be used. This includes how they relate to any other segmentation models you have. This was the #1 question I got from our very segmentation aware organization, so we made that a key piece of our discussions.
    Do be thoughtful in terms of who you socialize with first – get your champions, and expand from there.
    Do find creative but culturally appropriate ways to embed personas into your environment. Every organization is different – we knew that creating experiential things like models of each persona’s trading environment wasn’t going to culturally work for Scottrade, but other organizations do things like that. Whatever you decide, find a way to get them out there.
    Don’t employ a ‘one size fits all’ approach – tailor your delivery to each team and make sure they know how to use them as part of their work.
    Don’t forget about new hires – what a great time to teach people about your personas and journey maps than when they’re walking in the door. I hold a briefing each quarter for new folks who have joined and this has worked really well.
    Don’t share once and expect they’ll take off – this takes a lot of work! It’s so important to continually re-surface and re-engage folks with these.
  • Once we’d socialized our new personas and journey maps, then we could really start putting them to work, and ultimatley changing how we make decisions.
  • The first step we took to put these to work was updating our design process and deliverables. Remember – these were new to us! In order to ensure alignment across our UX department we were very explicit in terms of how we communicated where these should be leveraged in our process, as you can see here.
    Let me give just a couple of examples…
  • We create design briefs when we kick off design efforts, and we added areas to include the identification of primary and secondary personas and “elevator pitches” for each. These elevator pitches are an awesome tool that EffectiveUI suggested to us. Each stakeholder writes their pitch individually, shares with the others, and then UX compiles them into one consolidated pitch for each persona. This is an awesome tool for encourage business leaders to think about what their product needs to be for the client, not just how it benefits them from a revenue perspective.
  • We also created this exercise for, in our pre-project design phase, we challenge product owners to map proposed product features to known customer pain points from our journey maps as well as to impacted personas. This illuminates things like “what pain points are we alleviating if we succeed at this effort?” or in some cases, it may reveal that there are opportunities we didn’t consider and should.
  • In addition to updating our design process, we also put our journey maps by prioritizing our client pain points. Our research surfaced 55 – yes, 55 - pain points so we had our work cut out for us! We gathered CX leaders and discussed the personas most impacted by the pain point, projects completed or planned that will address it, and then ultimately assigned a Major, Medium, or Minor priority. This became the start of a pain point tracking mechanism to ensure we’re staying on top of these items – both celebrating successes and raising concerns to leaders.
  • We put our personas to work informing future state experience mapping efforts. We lead whiteboard sessions and ensure that the persona and their needs are front and center, becoming the lens through which we design new experiences.
  • All of this is great, but we also had to recognize what we didn’t know. For example, before we could really put these to work with our mobile team we needed to understand more about the mobile moments on our customer journey. So we’re actually in the process of doing a follow on research study with EffectiveUI as we speak on this topic. My point here is creating personas and journey maps is not a one and done situation – we need to keep evolving them and dig deeper in areas our company is focused on.
  • To recap… (summary of previous slides)
  • 1 - Talking to the research/UX team, as well as stakeholders ahead of time to make sure goals and expectations are in line will help ensure success
    2 - Research takes time. Be patient with the process and keep up to date with what your research team is doing, ask to be involved.
    3 - Don’t present your personas and assume people will catch on – keep finding new ways to re-introduce them, and have some fun with it!
    4 - Put your personas and journey maps to work – don’t let them sit on a shelf as so often happens with this kind of research! You have a window in which to get these to take hold, and embed them into your process, so grab it.
    5 - Pick the right partner, and stay involved throughout. We knew we didn’t have the bandwidth or exercise to run this research internally, but we knew it was critical we stayed involved every step of the way so we could effectively own our artifacts and put them to work at the end of the day.
  • Scottrade and Understanding the Customer Journey: When Segmentation Isn’t Enough

    1. 1. Scottrade and Understanding the Customer Journey: When Segmentation Isn’t Enough Gina Bhawalkar Assistant Vice President • User Experience & Accessibility • Scottrade Lys Maitland Senior User Experience Designer • EffectiveUI Brokerage products and services offered through Scottrade Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC.
    2. 2. Disclosures The materials presented are being provided for educational purposes only. The information presented or discussed is not a recommendation or solicitation by Scottrade or its affiliates. Scottrade and its affiliates are not offering or providing any advice, opinion or recommendation of the suitability, value or profitability of any particular tool or investment strategy. Any specific securities or tools shown are for demonstration purposes only and should not be considered investment advice. EffectiveUI is a third party vendor not affiliated with Scottrade Inc. Third-party websites, research, and tools are from sources deemed reliable. Scottrade does not guarantee accuracy or completeness of the information and makes no assurances with respect to results to be obtained from their use.
    3. 3. About Scottrade  Scottrade Financial Services, Inc. is a privately-held company that includes Scottrade, Inc., Scottrade Bank, and Scottrade Investment Management.  Founded in 1980 to provide investors with a better way to invest and take control of their financial success.  Our mission: Improve lives by helping people overcome barriers to financial success.  Headquartered in St. Louis, MO with more than 3600 associates nationwide.
    4. 4. About EffectiveUI  EffectiveUI is a UX-focused technology agency that creates transformational digital products  Founded in 2005 and headquartered in Denver, Colo.  We adapt technology and systems to human behavior (versus the other way around)  Services include customer insight, strategic services, experience design, software engineering and engagement management  The company has received more than 150 industry awards for innovation, design, and technology
    5. 5. Why we took on this research effort  Existing segmentation models weren’t telling us enough about our clients.  Existing personas were project level and based on assumptions.  We’d planted the seed, obtained buy-in, and the timing was finally right.  We’d found the right partner in EffectiveUI.
    6. 6. Understand who you are working with  Core UX Team  Stakeholders  Company climate  Leverage existing research
    7. 7. Research objectives  Uncover goals, behaviors and motivations for investing  Understand expectations  Discover needs across channels and their ecosystem of financial service providers  Identify moments of truth for customers  Collect qualitative data to feed personas and journey maps
    8. 8. The numbers  36 interviews  2 hours each  3 cities  3 weeks
    9. 9. The ethnographic study In their workspaces… seeing their processes… and their tools.
    10. 10. They even shared their pets
    11. 11. Core team participation
    12. 12. Sharing what we heard
    13. 13. Storytelling sessions
    14. 14. Analysis & Synthesis: Don’t ‘go dark’
    15. 15. The Journey Maps
    16. 16. July 17, 2014 Socializing personas and journey maps: The first step to putting our research into action
    17. 17. Take a strategic and tailored approach  Started with teams who could immediately apply them (e.g. UX).  Purposely refrained from sharing with some teams.  Tailored delivery that gave teams tools to apply to their area.  Poured a lot of time into doing it right.
    18. 18. Get personas out into your environment
    19. 19. Get journey maps out into your environment
    20. 20. Find ways to help people keep personas ‘top of mind’
    21. 21. Tap into peoples’ emotions “…you see, I’m still trying to refine my trading strategy. I put a lot of time into researching stocks I’m interested in, and I plan out my trades before I execute them. But still, I struggle with knowing the best time to get in and out. I’d love to learn more about technical analysis, but I’m struggling to find good educational materials that help me understand what different indicators mean and how traders use them along with other research to make decisions. I think if we can partner together I can really figure this out…”
    22. 22. Play games, literally!
    23. 23. Bring the personas to life
    24. 24. Socialization Do’s and Don’ts Do clarify how personas are to be used, and how they differ from segmentation models. Do be thoughtful in terms of who you socialize with first – find your champions. Do find creative, culturally appropriate ways to embed personas in your environment. Don’t employ a ‘one size fits all’ approach – tailor your delivery to each team Don’t forget about new hires. Don’t share once and expect they’ll take hold – continually re-surface and re-engage.
    25. 25. July 17, 2014 Putting Personas and Journey Maps to work: Changing how we make decisions
    26. 26. Updating our design process
    27. 27. Example: Design Briefs and Elevator Pitches
    28. 28. Example: Tying Pain Points to Project Requirements
    29. 29. Prioritizing Pain Points
    30. 30. Inform future state experience maps
    31. 31. Recognize what you don’t know
    32. 32. Putting Personas and Journey Maps to work  Update your design process and evolve deliverables to leverage these new tools.  Prioritize pain points.  Inform future state experience maps.  Recognize what you don’t know – keep evolving!
    33. 33. Five final words of advice 1 Understand how the research will be used ahead of time. 2 Be patient with the process – it takes time. 3 Keep re-introducing your personas in new ways, and have fun with it! 4 Put your personas and journey maps to work – don’t let them sit on a shelf. 5 Pick the right partner and stay involved throughout.
    34. 34. Thank you!