A ServiceNow Portal Upgrade Opens the Door for a New Branch Experience at One of the Largest North American Banking Brands

Boasting unparalleled customer service and deep roots in its community, one of the largest and most recognizable banks in North America continues to grow its footprint. Over a century after first opening its doors, the institution serves over 17 million customers across the United States and Canada. That translates into over 2,000 branches in North America alone, grown primarily through mergers and acquisitions.

Like many financial institutions, this trusted brand is facing pressures as varied as the demand for new banking products, options, and offerings, shifting customer expectations and social and economic trends. Today, bank leadership has two options: to transform or make way for other innovators in the new decade.

Further, the consumerization of customer experiences is taking a toll on the occasionally slow-moving industry. Accustomed to instant, painless service, customers now consider going to a physical bank to grab cash to settle a tab archaic – especially when you can Venmo a friend on the spot. Add to that the uncertainty of changing government regulations in regard to data and privacy alongside consumers’ concerns over how their own data is used and can be compromised, and the modern financial institution has an incredible amount of promises to deliver on.

That made transforming their brand customer experience and leveraging new, more efficient technologies to streamlining operations a critical IT priority. The platform ready to spearhead that change: ServiceNow. In fact, the firm has been on a digitization journey with ServiceNow for years. Many departments knew the strategic use of the platform could be the key to the digital transformation they needed to prepare them for the changing financial landscape to come – but it was time to make some strategic changes to truly modernize the customer, employee and brand experience!

Recognizing the Need for a Centralized Vision Amid Steady Company Growth

The vast depth and breadth of the banking operations – including over 75,000 global employees and counting – made it difficult to maintain a centralized vision of IT. Combined with growth largely by acquisitions, their immense size meant there was no uniform employee experience across the bank’s thousands of departments.

This absence of unified vision translated into a lack of unified processes – meaning unified employees were starting off on the wrong foot, often struggling to onboard or find critical paperwork and increasing new hires’ time to productivity.

Imagine this: you’re trying to deliver services to 1,000 new hires and give them each a unique experience while maintaining efficiency and uniformity. You want to get them up to speed quickly and each new employee will likely need an office, a laptop, and other devices, log-in IDs, software access, and more. Ideally, they would go about getting these in a seamless fashion, with clear instructions, and a single person to turn to with issues. But, employees at this company were left scrambling, with no efficient system to ensure these actions happened in a reliable fashion.

The leadership team knew that elevating the employee experience was crucial to delivering exceptional branch service, and ensuring the bank’s success in a shifting economic and social landscape – touching everyone from Finance Directors to Tellers to the internal HR team – but the bank was struggling with a legacy stovepipe system that didn’t offer a horizontal view across operations and departments.

Customer-Facing Experiences Are the Core Financial Services Competitive Advantage

Beyond seeking a simple IT solution, the organization knew they needed to provide its employees with an experience matched in quality to the one that its customers famously enjoy.

According to Acorio’s second annual Insight & Vision Report, financial service providers seek HRSD solutions more frequently than Healthcare and Retail companies. The driving force behind this emphasis on employee experience initiatives comes down to demographics – 40 percent of the financial services workforce are Millennials who expect consumer-grade experiences from their employers.

Acorio’s Insight & Vision Report also shed light on another phenomenon in the financial services sector: 53% of companies responded that a continuously growing ServiceNow roadmap posed a challenge for them in the previous year. Not bucking the trend, this bank’s ServiceNow project grew to include a rigorous Asset Management implementation and a single internal Employee Portal that delivered employees what they needed and reflected the company’s strong branding and ethos.

UX Depth Was Key to Choosing a Transformation Consultancy

Acorio was on the bank’s shortlist when it came time to find a partner thanks to the team’s strong UX capabilities. They already used the ServiceNow platform for internal IT solutions but knew that a reworked Service Portal implemented alongside other ServiceNow solutions would redefine the Employee Experience.

The Acorio team was able to understand the bank’s pain points, goals, and needs. When they arrived on-site, they sketched up a Portal design and an Employee Experience workflow that the bank’s platform owner immediately agreed was more logical and intuitive than the existing portal.

“Acorio just gets it.” – Bank’s Platform Owner

Keeping the End-Game Front of Mind

The bank’s internal IT team had previously implemented ServiceNow with a focus on driving down costs and efficiency, but their overall lack of expertise in the platform meant that their original Portal ultimately failed to bolster their Employee Experience.

To create an intuitive, efficient Service Portal to improve the institution’s overall visibility, the Acorio team focused on the end goal – to simplify the users’ path to finding what they were looking for, and to surface information the bank wanted front and center.

For example, the team organized catalog items with questions such as “What are users really doing on the page?” and “How could catalog items be organized in a way to make the page more intuitive and reduce the number of clicks needed to get to a specific page or action?”

Of course, catalog items were just the beginning. After Acorio helped the institution reassess how it organized its catalog items they looked to replacing and consolidating their various request systems into the newly organized Portal.

Before the Portal implementation, the bank was inundated with over a million calls into the help desk per year. Due to this staggering number, there was a huge drive for automation, notifications, and self-service options. If users could be guided to leverage Knowledge instead of contacting a rep for each situation, time, energy, and money could be saved and redirected to business-critical initiatives.

In fact, 150,000 of the calls from the previous year were for known issues. The lack of ability to notify employees of known technical problems and major incidents was causing a huge flow of service calls that they just couldn’t keep up with. Thousands of employees being put on hold for a known issue is a painful waste of resources and adding automation and making self-service options available to the bank’s large employee base would reduce the number of abandoned calls and frustrated employees.

Anatomy of Success

From the start, the company had a dedicated internal team that was focused on implementing the right solution with Acorio. Most notably, they had a strong platform owner who oversaw the project and was present to ensure the project’s progress aligned with the company’s overall business goals.

The new Portal is celebrated by key decision-makers and employees alike. From the first meetings, it was clear that the Portal needed to reinforce the bank’s focus on Employee Experience and redefine their dis-harmonized processes.

In the end, Acorio and the bank designed and implemented a simple and easy to navigate ServiceNow Portal as part of their larger Employee Services initiative. The Portal;

  • Provided a “one-stop-shop” for IT services and Knowledge
  • Restored an intuitive and delightful experience for users to open new requests or to find what they need with self-service
  • Reduced inbound calls to the IT Service Desk, improved SLAs, and reduced the number of abandoned calls with automation and notifications
  • Aligned Asset Management practices to display Workspace Machine Asset ownership via the Portal giving everyone more visibility into the company’s Assets

As a result of this portal roll-out, the bank saw a huge reduction in Service Desk calls in favor of self-service Portal requests and actions.

The ServiceNow Platform has delivered the true digital transformation and improved customer and branch experience – as highlighted by the massive reduction in calls for known issues.

With this transformation under its belt, the Wealth Management firm turned its eyes to the future – and their roadmap just keeps growing. True to form in financial services, they are looking at projects strategically but watching investments in ServiceNow accelerate in the new year. Next on the docket: Modernizing their Asset Management strategy to drive efficiencies and save millions in overhead – which they can then reinvest in innovation.