How to build financial products that people will love

Finance and financial products are not so lovable and this is an understatement.
As I wrote many times before, when you talk with people and really listen to them and even to their body language when talking about their money, you can easily notice that those “money issues” causes them to feel uncomfortable.
Why? Well… People are afraid to find out that they don’t have enough money in their account, that they owe the bank money or they are just not saving enough money for the future.
So, people are often trying to avoid from their financial status and therefor to avoid from using financial products.
In addition to that, the financial products are usually not so “friendly”, containing very professional language that no one really understands and many options that don’t really say anything (unless you are a banker).
But people are really eager for new financial products, that will help them be smarter about their money and will be more similar to other digital products that they use.
For the last years, I’ve been building many financial products and share my learning in different forums. I want to share here a few tips that can be helpful for those who are building financial digital products or even other industries products.
This time the tips will be focused on how to learn about your customer’s needs and pain points.

#1-Talk With Your Customers

There is nothing as important as talking with your customers. And if you are building a Product/Company from scratch, talk with your potential customers.
Many times I’ve heard people saying that they don’t have to talk with customers since they are the customers or they’ve read articles about their customer’s needs.
It’s a big mistake! Talking with customers can surprise you and you’ll find that there are many “soft issues” that will arise during those talks. In addition, you should pay attention to the body language and how do people react when talking bout your product or the problems it should solve.
So, start talking with your customers, it’s never too late for this.

#2-Use Your Data…

Data is today’s oil — don’t waste it!
Using the data can complete what you have learned from talking with your customers. It can teach you so much about the customers, what they do, what they are missing and so on.
If you don’t have any data yet because you are starting from scratch, try to reach to other companies’ data (of course from your relevant industry).
I think that the biggest challenge with this tip is to avoid drowning in the data.
You have to think ahead what are you looking for and only then find the answers within the data. You should also try to find correlation between different variables (customer’s properties and behavior) that will help you be more focused about what you need to do. There are many big data tools for those needs today, just use them.

#3-Use best practice from other industries

The easiest thing to do when you are trying to create innovative products or features is to check what the other players in your industry is doing. And even if you will check the local competitors and the global, it’s not good enough. You have to check the best practice in other industries. At the end, your customers want to get the same experience they’re getting in other industries, otherwise it will always feel heavy and not good enough. So, learn about other digital products that your customers are using and what do the like about them.
For example, when you are designing the correspondence experience for your product, think about how your customers like to chat — if it’s messenger, WhatsApp or even Snapchat. There is no reason that chatting with a professional in your company wouldn’t feel the same.

#4-Your colleagues know as much as you do

Sometimes, when being the responsible person for the product (usually a P.M) , we tend to think that we know it all. And when a developer, designer or other colleague is trying to suggest an idea or to have his opinion on what you planned , We eliminate it and answer “No thanks”. Think again. The knowledge that you are getting from those people is priceless. First, they are customers themselves, so they can enlighten you with new insights. Second, they work at the same environment as you do and they are professional in their territory, so they can think about interesting solution for problems that you handle with. So, let go and give more people around you the opportunity to give their two cents about your product.
That’s all for this time. In my next post I will elaborate on tips that deals with how to make finance and banking more fun. Hope I managed to open your eyes to new ways to gain more understanding of your customer needs.

Build a bank

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