As a leading consumer finance supplier in Finland, most of Santander’s sales are conducted online. But there was a problem: large amounts of customers were dropping out during their online loan application process.
To address this high drop off rate, Santander decided to review its online application flow. This new process needed to work better for customers if the bank was to meet its goal of creating a best-in-class online application flow and decreasing their drop-off rate.
With a prototype in hand, Santander wanted to get early customer reactions to discover any potential weaknesses in their proposed solution. Santander was experienced with conducting usability tests, but this time they wanted some additional help in conducting more comprehensive user research.
“It’s better to get experts and get it done the proper way,” explained Usko Manninen, who works closely with Santander’s Marketing and Product teams. “This way you get the results you need.”
“When you have experienced the power of getting unfiltered, honest feedback from your customers, working without it feels like being blindfolded.”
— Lars Petersen, Banco Santander
“It’s important to do it as a process, more than a project. Because the world is changing all the time, and even if you don’t make any changes, it might be that the market or the customers’ expectations keep changing, and you never know when you are out of date.”
— Usko Manninen, Santander Consumer Finance
UserTribe worked with Santander to set up a series of user studies. The first was an internal review with key stakeholders who understood the loan application flow from a user perspective. These stakeholders followed UserTribe’s think-aloud methodology, explaining their initial reactions as they worked through the flow.
This primary study identified a few highly critical issues that Santander was able to quickly address. After another round of iteration, the updated application was then presented to a new round of participants. For the second study, UserTribe recruited a sample of non-Santander customers to get a fresh perspective on the process.
Usko emphasized how each round of feedback provided new insights: “We got a lot of extra information on all of the small things we could improve and what was problematic for people going through the process.”
Santander plans to conduct more usability research as new features are added. More than anything, the bank has developed a new way of working that more closely incorporates customer feedback.
“Your process made usability testing quite easy for us,” explains Usko. “Before, there was a lot of hassle in conducting user research, but your process and approach was much more useful and easier for us.”
By partnering with UserTribe, Santander is able to quickly gain insights along the way as they continue to optimize their loan application flow. For Usko, being able to get rapid feedback on an ongoing basis is critical: “It’s important to do it as a process, more than a project. Because the world is changing all the time, and even if you don’t make any changes, it might be that the market or the customers’ expectations keep changing, and you never know when you are out of date.”