With a background heavy in e-commerce, Tracey Weber's vision is to make Citi the premier digital bank.
Weber, managing director Internet and Mobile for North America Consumer Banking at Citi, joined the bank in December with a mandate to improve customer service, online capabilities and design, and to innovate throughout the process. And she thinks some of the principles she saw in ecommerce - with companies like Travelocity and Barnes & Noble - can be applied to banking.
"I think there are absolutely a lot of analogies that you can take from retail ecommerce that you can find in digital banking," Weber says. Her focus is primarily in three areas, Weber says: Customer experience, digital engagement and accessibility.
"First and foremost is to try and improve the customer experience, make sure we have a deep understanding of their needs and pain-points, but also bring them great design and things they might not be aware they need," she adds.
It includes meeting the ever-growing expectations in mobile, including downloadable apps for Apple's iOS and Google's Android operating systems, to broaden capabilities while ensuring a consistent experience throughout all digital channels.
But building a consistent online and mobile experience and new capabilities is nothing without customers who are comfortable accessing the bank through those channels. Weber's second charge is in digital engagement - working to get customers to utilize the capabilities Citi has, provide education and drive familiarity and usage. "Financial services can already be intimidating for many people," Weber says, the key is to help them feel comfortable accessing those services through the numerous channels available to them.
Finally, accessibility is a priority for Weber. She's proud of the strides the bank has already made through its @askciti Twitter campaign, and sees a bright future for her team, which includes Frank Eliason, who joined Citi as its senior vice president of social media after a successful stint running social media for Comcast. "I like to think that there’s a lot of knowledge and capabilities that can be leveraged across the board," Weber says. "For our customers we have the opportunity to speak to them, delight them, engage them, to take the experience and make it better."
From a feedback and design perspective, Weber says her team has a number of measures in place to monitor and better understand what customers think of the bank's online and mobile channels and how they use them.
“As we bring new capabilities and new elements, we test them up front and make sure we have customer feedback to what we’re designing and developing,” she adds.
Ultimately she wants to build in tools to continue making that conversation between the bank and its customers easier to initiate. "I can’t share specifics on how they’re thinking about the space," she says, but adds that personally she enjoys design that doesn't require too many clicks to get to what it is she's looking for.
"Efficiency is so critical regardless of what you’re trying to do with technology," Weber says.
And to accomplish that, Weber believes in a strong relationship between marketing, IT and all the other business units throughout Citibank’s North American operations.
“There are lots of things we're trying to accomplish,” she says. “We want consistency and best practices.”
A synergy between marketing and IT is something Weber thinks is critical in the development of successful online services and functionality.
“We work very closely with the technology team, they are active partners,” Weber says. “A good example of that is the concepting phase on new capabilities; at some companies, years ago, they might not have had the technology team involved in concepting. But that's precisely where you need them. Not only do they have very good ideas about design, but also can connect to the emerging technologies.”