For JP Morgan Chase’s Banking Customers, ‘Omnichannel’ Means ‘One Channel At A Time’

Chief Brand Officer Susan Canavari and Customer Analytics Head Sandra Nudelman discussed balancing online and offline, digital and physical at the 4A’s Data Summit.

The expectations associated with managing the same customer’s experience as they move from their desktop to their smartphone and into a retail store to shop is enough of a challenge for marketers.

But the pressures commercial banks are under when it comes to anticipating how to adjust online and offline services, while figuring out the role of using geo-data, makes the marketing issues department stores and restaurants are dealing with pale in comparison.

In a discussion of how data shapes the creative decisions that are intended to drive consumers to JP Morgan Chase’s roughly 5,300 branches and 15,500 ATMs, Susan Canavari (image above: middle) and Sandra Nudelman (image above: left), the bank’s chief brand officer and head of Customer Marketing and Analytics, respectively, sat down with Shenan Reed (image above: right), president of digital for WPP’s MEC North America, at Tuesday’s 4A’s Data Summit.

Blending Online/Offline, Creative/Data

In looking at how to blend their own respective disciplines — the ad/marketing side and the analytics/data side — the intersection of geo-data and social media for connecting and finding people and places on mobile has been the driving force behind greater collaboration, Nudelman said from the stage set up in J. Walter Thompson’s midtown office.

“We get tons of data from our physical locations, and we think about our marketing and our sales holistically,” Nudelman said. “We’ve got a data platform where all of our data go, from physical channels, from online channels, from social media, are all integrated in one place, and we do a lot of different types of analysis across.”

Both Nudelman’s and Canavari’s teams are charged with charting the “customer journey” along online-to-offline experiences. On a daily basis, the bank’s marketing efforts are often called on to do everything from driving awareness of certain banking features to boosting new credit card or account signups. In a sense, it’s solving a puzzle involving pieces of location data and basic demographic information to send the right message at the right time.

Omnichannel: One-Size Does Not Fit All

“We’re looking at customer experience across all channels, so we can track the customer through multiple touch points to see when they received a message and how they reacted,” Nudelman said. “When we view a customer experience on the backend, you have to determine where did it come from. What was it that triggered the response — and was it positive or a negative?”

The idea of “omnichannel” has also forced the definition of “the customer experience” to be considered in a variety of ways. While department store chains like Macy’s and Target tend to view a consumer as wanting to move through their digital and physical worlds interchangeably — such as getting at curbside pickup for e-commerce purchases — a banking customer tends to expect different kinds of interactions.

“Our physical locations are changing dramatically and it reflects that shift to digital adoption,” Canavari said. “What you will hear from customers is that they would prefer to bank with digital channels 99 percent of the time, when they want to, and they want it to work seamlessly.

And as other businesses from automotive to fashion seek to update their in-store environment to better complement the digital experience, JP Morgan Chase and rivals are trying to adapt to omnichannel in a set of different ways.

“The one percent of the time is when they want a human being to answer their question,” Canavari continued. “So yes, you will see our retail environment is changing dramatically. We’re going through a huge transformation as we equipped all of our retail branches with more digitally automated servicing techniques. It’s also important that we have the human beings that can deliver on those life long relationships and really understand our customers.”

One thing banks have in common with other retailers is the demand to speed up the customer service process, Nudelman added.

“Omnichannel is an interesting one, because what we are also seeing is that most customers want to complete whatever it is they have time to do in a single interaction,” Nudelman said.

“So while most omnichannel strategies automatically react in a way that says, ‘Oh my goodness, I have to solve this thing or a customer might be on their iPad, on their phone, and in our branch all at the same time — and it all needs to be perfectly seamless.’ That’s not how we see it,” Nudelman added.

In reality, people want to see their banking issues resolved just once in one channel, she said. So much of the work around JP Morgan Chase’s omnichannel efforts involves looking across the various ways that people come to them, whether in a branch, on the phone, on a tablet, or on a smartphone.

“We look at all these touchpoints to see if they’re opening up in multiple channels, Nudelman said. “If there’s a break in between one channel to another, it’s something we have to fix on its own terms, as opposed to asking how do we fix all this stuff simultaneously — which is a very high cost problem to have.”

About The Author
David Kaplan David Kaplan @davidakaplan

A New York City-based journalist for over 20 years, David Kaplan is managing editor of A former editor and reporter at AdExchanger, paidContent, Adweek and MediaPost.