Innovation Research Enhances Banking and Home-Buying Experiences

For a home loans business unit that needed a turnaround, projekt202 provided the necessary insight, strategy, design and development skills to fuel a transformation.

Outcomes of projekt202’s Work

  • The previously underperforming digital channel grew to providing 75% of the traffic that results in conversions
  • From 23 minutes to 5: drastic reduction in the time it takes consumers to pre-qualify for home loans
  • Insight to inform experience-based differentiation, preventing the need for cost-based incentives to improve conversion
  • A new self-service loan-processing application and other tools, messaging, marketing, online experience and additional application development with the customer as the focus
  • Increased customer-centric maturity: shifted the organizational approach to development and marketing, using an experience-driven methodology

Challenges Addressed by the projekt202 Team

  • Poorly-performing web properties: the web channel provided 1% of the traffic resulting in conversions
  • Disjointed online offerings: multiple web properties confused potential customers
  • Data without knowledge: the team had a wealth of competitive and marketing analysis and analytics, but was unable to act on it
  • Lack of traction: internal teams recognized problems, but were unable to solve them

Solutions Provided by projekt202

  • An approach to transformative, actionable customer understanding that provided new insight for innovation, despite a large amount of quantitative analytics
  • Collaborative idea-generation yielded 55 strategic and tactical plays in 11 different categories that aligned business and customer goals
  • Visualization of the consumer’s home-buying process revealed surprising new business opportunities in areas not recognized previously

Taking a Big-Picture Perspective on the Home Loans Experience

The home loan division of a top 10 financial services company had experiences with a high bounce rate and very low rates for loan starts. The business unit’s performance had suffered for years. A new leader decided to invest in an innovation approach they hadn’t yet tried: focus on the experiences of the home buyers themselves.

Offering services to people across the United States, the diversified bank needed to reassess who its customers were and what they wanted from online services. The new leader understood the need to align the business unit’s offerings with the experiences people looked for when buying a home, and to uncover new opportunities outside of current offerings.

To understand the big-picture view of consumers’ home-buying experiences, projekt202 conducted a series of in-context sessions in people’s homes. After rigorously synthesizing the data from the field, the team generated important insights. For example, other people in the home-buying process were important recommenders to lenders, pointing to new partnership opportunities.

From these insights, projekt202 developed a set of models to communicate the understanding to business stakeholders and the marketing, design and development teams. These included a set of data-rich personas with quotes and photos, and a very detailed journey map of the home-buying process with thoughts and feelings for each persona across each step in the journey. Executives in the organization requested printed journey maps for their offices and team spaces; these were used by the company as artifacts to reference for future projects.

In addition, projekt202 led a collaborative innovation workshop that focused on finding new solutions with the client's team. With the new artifacts steeped in real home-buyers’ stories and data, projekt202 helped the company see people’s needs through a new lens. Together, the combined team generated 262 solution ideas, distilled into 55 opportunities in 11 categories, including both tactical and strategic offering concepts.

In projekt202’s final presentation of the customers' needs, findings and opportunities, one executive said, “Our challenge is in front of us now: we have the understanding to serve our customers’ needs and make a huge impact.”

Following this phase, projekt202 helped the business unit’s design and marketing teams execute new digital offerings and experiences for home buyers, and the bank invested millions to advertise the new processes, with impressive results.

Through the partnership with projekt202, the institution’s digital innovation team was given a new approach to generate ideas and determine which projects to prototype and develop. Implementation teams received much-needed help to develop and launch new solutions quickly.

projekt202’s end-to-end methodology for supporting application development with an extensive understanding of the audience and a client’s business goals transformed the company’s innovation initiative and enabled the business unit to find new success in the market.