Bendigo Bank is Australia's sixth largest bank, with more than 500 branches serving 1.5 million customers Australia-wide. Driven by the goal to be 'Australia's leading customer connected bank', Bendigo puts customers at the heart of its banking model.
From foot traffic to web traffic
Like most banks in the digital age, Bendigo was seeing a shift from foot traffic in-branch to online traffic, with more than 1.3 million hits each month. This online traffic was growing at a rate of 20% year on year, and showed no sign of slowing down. The current website wasn't meeting the bank's needs in many ways, so Bendigo initiated a complete overhaul, with the goal of building the new site from scratch.
Bendigo Bank had three chief goals for their new website:
Respect customer choice: customers want to be able to research products, find the latest rates and apply online. Bendigo wanted to make this as easy as possible for them.
Articulate the Community Bank Model: the site needs to convey the core aim of Bendigo Bank: helping to facilitate community outcomes through banking.
Create business: Key stakeholders in the project were keen that the website didn't just improve customer satisfaction, but created measurable new business for the bank.
Bendigo Bank came to Squiz after doing some research on competitor sites and tracing the work back to us. We worked together to develop a complete solution from both a technical standpoint as well as a user experience and design standpoint.
Give the customer what they want
The bank's vision is to be Australia's leading customer connected bank. As part of this, one of Bendigo Bank's core beliefs is that "Successful customers create successful communities which creates a successful bank. In that order." So when it came to redeveloping their website, customers were going to be crucial to the process. Our User Experience (UX) team developed an in-depth approach that would involve customers every step of the way.
We began by pulling together a research group of 100 people - split 50/50 between Bendigo customers and non-customers. This group participated in 15 rounds of workshops that helped to identify what users were looking for and how we could best meet their needs.
Speaking their language
Throughout the workshops it became clear that lots of banking terms were meaningless to most consumers, so we gave participants the chance to relabel and restructure the entire Information Architecture.
We applied a similar process to the design of the homepage, arranging all the possible elements and asking participants to decide what really belonged on the there and how important each element was.
Mobile and responsive
While responsive design is fantastic for many websites, sometimes it's not a blanket solution. Our research showed 20% of users were accessing the site on mobile, but we wanted to look deeper. We discovered that people browsing the site on their smartphones had vastly different needs than those on desktop or tablet.
One of the key findings was that mobile users were looking for the same breadth of content, just not as much depth. With this in mind, we developed a dedicated mobile site with optimised Information Architecture and content. The mobile site also includes geo-targeting features and promotions to make content more relevant for the smartphone audience.
Never more than two clicks away
Rather than having what Bendigo's Head of Online Engagement, Jeanette Miller, referred to as a "little box where you try your luck", they wanted a powerful, intuitive search engine that would ensure customers were "never more than two clicks from the information they need."
We implemented Funnelback search as a hero element of the homepage, making it central to the user experience. Rather than clicking blindly around the site, users can now find exactly what they need almost instantaneously.
With more than 500 individual branches, Bendigo was looking for a solution that would empower each branch to create their own content whilst sustaining brand consistency and a level of central control.
Through our Matrix CMS, we developed a distributed authoring system that enables each branch to publish content about their latest events, fundraising programs, local news and social media integration.
Animating the community
Community is a big part of Bendigo Bank's ethos - the organisation has contributed more than $100 million to community projects in the last decade. Bendigo wanted to explain this approach in a more engaging, visual way.
Our animation and design teams worked together with the bank to develop this animated video:
The Bendigo Bank website launched in October 2013 and won immediate praise from both customers and internal stakeholders. The bank has seen some fantastic metrics as a result, since, and although we cannot give you the numbers, we can confirm that:
Site traffic has increased
Bounce rates have decreased
Product applications have significantly increased
"The flexibility of the Matrix CMS and expertise of their UX team meant that Squiz turned out to be a great partner in enabling us to achieve our goals." Jeanette Miller – Head of Online Engagement, Bendigo Bank