When COVID-19 hit, Q2 increased its customer communications to help provide additional resources for our customers to help their customers adapt to a new way of banking. Financial institutions (FIs) had many questions about project priorities, small business loans, skip-a-pay programs, customer resources, and more. Q2 needed to boil all those communications down into themes and action items to provide quick answers for its customers. Fortunately, Q2’s team of researchers was on hand to meet the objective.

Digital becomes essential

For the past six months, virtually all financial institutions’ (FIs’) customer interactions have gone digital. According to PaymentsJournal, more than 80 percent of consumers are afraid to visit branches. With this in mind, it’s mission-critical for FIs to ensure exceptional online and mobile experiences.

While the digital channel has provided an essential account-holder point of contact for some time (and was becoming increasingly important well before COVID-19 put the brakes on in-branch interactions), the pandemic has only served to compress the timeline.

Improving experiences through usability testing

Well before virtual meetings and social distancing became customary, Q2 made experience design a core competency. It’s also why, back in 2016, when the company constructed a new office building, it set aside dedicated space for the Q2 Experience Research Center, or the XRC.

Since the XRC’s founding, the Q2 usability team has tested more than 20 banking products – from consumer mobile apps to commercial banking workflows. The XRC has hosted over 850 research sessions, bringing in users (including hundreds of Q2 FI customer representatives) for interviews and product testing. The resulting data has driven more than 500 product improvements and usability solutions. This approach flips the typical process, resolving issues and improving experiences before they appear in the form of a customer complaint or support ticket.

The research never stops

Even with Q2 offices unoccupied and staff working remotely, the XRC’s research continues.

As mentioned above, the XRC research team responded quickly when Q2’s relationship managers and crisis response team needed to distill hundreds of urgent communications into action items. They were able to qualitatively code communications from disparate channels – including email addresses and phone numbers – into themes that could be properly assigned and addressed. The resulting data continues to help prioritize and inform the way Q2 communicates with (and serves) customers as COVID-19 continues.

While the XRC’s physical location is quiet, researchers and developers are still carrying out remote interviews and testing, gathering data, and working to ensure Q2 customers and their end users enjoy the best online and mobile banking experiences possible.

To learn more about usability research and the necessity of thoughtful design and data-informed experiences, take a look at the Q2 white paper, The Navigation Revolution: How Usability Research Builds Better Experiences.


Written by Q2