Bank Website Personality Test: Is Your Site a Dog or a Cat?

Every financial institution website should stand out in some way. How would you describe your site and does it match what consumers feel when they show up on the site? The five questions below will give you a head start on your web refresh plans for the year ahead.

We all know that a bank or credit union’s website is vital to its customers and members. While this was a given before the pandemic, it’s never been truer than now. Whether your website is simply a door to access online banking or a critical part of your marketing and communications strategy, it’s a 24/7 channel that says a lot about an institution.

So what does yours say? Use this website personality test to learn more about what visitors may think of your site and help evaluate when it’s time to invest in improving your digital presence. With budget season upon us all, there is no time like the present.

Question 1: How would others describe you?

Most institutions say that they are trustworthy, community-focused, solution-oriented and committed to their customers. Taking a look at your website, are these qualities reflected within the first few seconds of visiting your homepage? Would visitors describe your institution’s brand the same way you would? If not, it’s time to rethink your website strategy.

Ensure that your site is a true reflection of your unique brand personality. This will help visitors affirm their impression of your financial institution when it comes time to make a big decision, like where to finance their next car or who to trust with their home mortgage process.

Question 2: To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement? ‘My site makes it easy to do business.’

While your site likely needs to appeal to a wide variety of audiences, one thing all audiences have in common is that they value their time and expect your brand to do the same. Visitors want — and frankly, expect — a frictionless digital experience so they can continue on with their day. Your job is to recognize the points where you can make their lives easier, and to create a plan that fulfills this need.

Ask yourself, “Does my site make it easy to do business?” If you would agree or strongly agree, your site is on track. But if you feel neutral, disagree or strongly disagree, this should be the inspiration you need to take action.

If a visitor doesn’t immediately know what to do on each page, reevaluate your design and content strategy. If a customer can only take action by calling or visiting a branch, it’s time to think about introducing online account opening, live chat, appointment scheduling software or another online solution. These technology investments will ensure your institution can be there for consumers in the way that works best for them. Likewise, if visitors are consistently searching for the same thing on your site — such as your routing number — and not easily finding it, explore opportunities to elevate this information.

Question 3: How do you feel when you visit your website?

A website should have its own personality, and that personality should be consistent with your brand values. Whether formal or informal, it’s smart to survey people you both know and don’t know to find out how your website makes them feel when they visit. If the answers aren’t quite what you were hoping for, this should help drive your digital strategy.

” If your website reminds you of the sloth from the DMV in the movie Zootopia, you’ve got your work cut out for you.”
— Michelle Brown, ZAG Interactive

It might be helpful to envision your website as person or place that you know. If your website reminds you of the sloth from the DMV in the movie Zootopia or is about as fun an experience as calling your local cable company, you’ve got your work cut out for you. But perhaps your site is just a bit of a wallflower, looking to come out of its shell. There might be relatively painless ways to bring out the personality that aligns with your brand, whether through engaging visuals or even improved copy. Remember that whether your brand is fun, stable, relatable or something else, visitors should have that impression throughout their entire website experience.

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Question 4: If your website were a family pet, would it be a dog or a cat?

Whether you’re a dog person, a cat person or both, there are certain generalizations that can be made about each. Dogs are typically known to be loyal and outgoing, while cats tend to be more aloof and territorial. When it comes to a website personality, you want your site to be more like a dog than a cat. Consumers should feel warm and welcomed by your brand and should ideally want to show the love in return. Your bank or credit union’s website presents an opportunity to engage with your audiences about topics they might not fully understand. A successful site will help them navigate that experience with warmth and comfort.

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Question 5: What is your brand role model?

Most of us like what the Apple brand represents. Why? Because the brand is about emotion, creativity, lifestyle, innovation, consistency and perceived value. Apple’s brand is slick, and most importantly, consistent at every single interaction — from the packaging of an Apple product to the stores where that product is sold. It’s no wonder Apple is one of the most valuable brands in the world.

When thinking about your digital plans and your brand overall, it’s vital to identify other brands both within and outside of the financial services space that you think are really rocking it, and why you feel that way. This will allow a branding or digital agency to help you determine what can be done to get the most out of your website, arguably your most vital digital channel.

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