Vantage Blog


Clarity from simplicity - the customer point of view

“I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.” Mark Twain. I was reminded of this saying last week when I received my new credit cards from CBA.

Normally these types of communications are long on complex instructions and unnecessary promotion largely written from the perspective of what the bank wants, not what the cardholder needs. Far from being simple or clear for the reader.

This letter, however, was a pleasant surprise.

Two sided letter – a short introduction on one side (which I actually didn't read - and didn't need to when I looked later). It was the flip side where the cards were that struck a chord.

Three simple boxes:
  1.  "What you need to know"
  2.  "What you need to do" (which I read first), and 
  3.  "Important PIN Information".

It was clearly structured making it easy for customers to quickly absorb. Often you are required to plough through lots of meaningless verbiage, which is not a great customer experience.

I could find what I needed to do quickly and painlessly. In fact what I needed to do was follow four simple steps - took no time at all to understand, and less to actually action.

Distilling communication to its essence, as the CBA have done in this instance, is simple in concept, but hard in practice. Quite often brands attempt to stuff so much other information or brand messages into what should be a transactional instruction. The irony of course is that in taking this design led, customer focused approach the CBA are in fact delivering a positive customer experience. This will build the brand so much more than the insertion of ‘key brand messages’ ever will.

I think this approach owes a lot to Apple and their approach to user experience. It's a real opportunity for all businesses to apply this mindset in how they communicate with their customers - in line with their needs and aligned with the sort of brand experience you are trying to build.

by James Atkins, Vantage Strategy & Marketing.
This article is linked to James' Google+ profile 

Leave a comment

Comments powered by Disqus

Latest Blogs
Share This
Search the Blog
Subscribe to our Blog
Click here to subscribe to receive regular updates on business strategy & marketing.
Our approach line
Vantage Strategy & Marketing helps leaders improve their business by cutting through the clutter.
We work collaboratively with our clients to develop clear strategy, achievable goals and actionable plans.