City Bank Takes Mobile- First Attitude, Ups the Customer Experience with Progress
Perhaps no business has been more swept up in the consumer’s thirst for technology than banking. From opening accounts, to depositing checks and applying for loans, consumers demand a wealth of functionality from their online and mobile banking experiences. Technology today plays a key role in customer acquisition and retention—and the bank that delivers the best experience will prevail.
With its online banking system running on a proprietary platform dating back to the 1990s, Lubbock, Texas-based City Bank, with more than 20 branches and more than $2 billion in assets and a rich history in Texas and New Mexico, recognized an urgent need to upgrade the online and mobile customer experience.
“Our history is rooted in delivering innovative banking products and solutions,” said Steve Smothers, City Bank’s Vice President, Director of Marketing. “And we needed an online presence that reflects our values and priorities to our customers.”
City Bank’s existing content management system felt antiquated for end users with its lack of a responsive mobile experience, complex navigation and limited features. In addition, the bank had to rely on its CMS vendor to make certain content changes and updates, a time consuming, cumbersome and expensive undertaking that gave City Bank little control over the process.
"We needed a CMS that could keep pace with changing customer preferences, put us in control of our content and complement our innovative spirit", Smothers said.
Teaming up with Telerik® Sitefinity™ CMS partner Smooth Fusion, a Lubbock-based digital marketing agency that prides itself on delivering solutions that fuse technology with marketing awareness, City Bank set out to revamp its entire online presence.
“We initially explored a few open source solutions for City Bank,” said Brad Hunt, Vice President, Client Services at Smooth Fusion. “But after reviewing options, we collectively came to the conclusion that Sitefinity provided all the features the bank required, and more importantly, was fully secure and supported—crucial to meeting their rigid security requirements.”
The project kicked off in October and launched the following August.
“The new site is a complete re-design from scratch,” Smothers said. “From start to finish we launched an entirely new site with a new user interface, a number of enhanced features and functionality including new search capabilities and a simplified online loan application and, at the same time, a responsive mobile site.”
The launch of the Sitefinity-based site in August not only benefited customers with powerful navigation and a host of new features, internally the process of changing and posting content took a dramatic turn for the better. Previously, to change or add marketing campaign content, City Bank or its ad agency had to prepare the content then submit it to the CMS vendor—and wait.
“We had no control over the process or timing,” Smothers said. “Not only did we have to wait for the vendor to get to our project, it was expensive, and if any changes needed to be made we had to begin the cycle all over again.”
Today, with a staging site and easy-to-use drag-and-drop menus and templates, City Bank’s marketing staff or advertising agency is able to prepare content, post it to the staging site for review and approval, then post it to the live site—at their own schedule.
“The user-friendly attributes of Sitefinity means that our marketing staff can post content,” Smothers said. “The staging site, which we never had before, gives us the ability to internally prepare content, post it, and once it has passed our internal controls, immediately sync to the live site. We have clearly decreased time to market for new marketing campaigns and are able to update content at an exponentially faster pace.”
The powerful analytics of Sitefinity also mean that City Bank, for the first time, can track the effectiveness of their campaigns. “Finally, we can measure the impact of our efforts on the business,” Smothers said. “And moving forward, make smarter marketing decisions based on real data and change course along the way as we learn what is working and what’s not.”
The consumer has benefited as well. For example, City Bank has implemented a streamlined online loan application process, and customers now enjoy a truly responsive mobile experience.
“With Sitefinity, we are able to take a mobile first approach, looking at the web site and mobile as one,” Smothers said. “Our customers expect a great mobile experience and we can finally provide it.”
City Bank has already taken advantage of the personalization features of Sitefinity for its Community Rewards program. The program allows customers to vote online for which charities City Bank should allocate its Community Rewards funds. In 2015 alone, over 100,000 votes were cast.
“We were able to tailor Community Rewards messaging by location and persona behavior,” Smothers explained. “It made the program more effective and produced a wealth of data that will be useful in future marketing programs. And the heavy traffic over a short period also validated Sitefinity’s robust scalability and new hosting environment.”
Looking ahead, Smothers is anticipating the rollout of a new module to open accounts and further improvements to the loan qualification and approval process.
“There are so many benefits Sitefinity is providing,” Smothers said. “We have peace of mind, control of our content and a vastly improved user experience. But even more importantly, we don’t have any hesitation about our ability to add new features and functionality that ensure we are meeting the needs and expectations of our customers.”