Simplicity the winning formula for NAB’s customer experience success – Michelle Sherwood, NAB

Michelle Sherwood NAB

Digital channels are crucial to us meeting our customers’ needs and delivering what matters most to them – an intuitive, connected and memorable experience.

In today’s digital-everywhere world, business success defined not just by the balance sheet but on the customer’s smartphone screen. Customer experience is a powerful commodity – getting it right is the minimum expectation; making it great is a powerful drawcard for customers.

As part of FST Media’s Future of Financial Services, Melbourne virtual conference, NAB’s Executive for Digital – Personal Bank, Michelle Sherwood will delve deep into challenges and opportunities of enabling a compelling, and fully digitalised, customer experience.

In anticipation of her keynote presentation, FST Media sat down with Michelle (virtually) to offer a taste of what the future of CX will look like for NAB, and the value of simplicity in any digital customer experience.

FST Media: Your upcoming keynote at the Future of Financial Services, Melbourne conference will address the need for financial institutions to deliver a ‘simplified’ customer experience.

What does a ‘simple CX’ translate to at the front-end – and particularly against service offerings currently available in Australia?

Sherwood: Prior to Covid, NAB had a strong focus on digital and had progressively made inroads for our channels, products and apps by actively using a human-centred design approach, customer research and feedback to prioritise features, improvements, and to continuously uplift experience.

We monitor NPS verbatim and app store feedback to improve the overall experience, and we’ve shown that making changes does result in positive customer advocacy.

For self-service in digital, we’ve built on the foundation of great functionality we already had in place, including cheque capture, and we also rolled out more ways for customers to self-serve. We started live chat with our customers and were testing virtual assistants for simple customer queries and actions.

We’ve also maintained a strong focus on innovation and partnerships. You may have heard about the recently announced partnership between our smart receipts service Slyp and Chemist Warehouse (CW), which enables customers to have CW digital receipts within their NAB app.


FST Media: As consumers seek more personalised and even predictive services, what is the next big technological leap necessary for banks to deliver on future customer demands?

Sherwood: Customers are telling us that they want to continue to bank digitally, and we will continue to improve the way that we communicate and have conversations with customers through our digital channels. They are also looking for smart and intuitive ways to do their banking, with personalised prompts and insights.

We’ll continue to deliver for our customers through being customer obsessed and designing for them. 


This means being insights-driven to make things simple and effortless, and innovating with speed and being deeply connected by the customer experience.


FST Media: Covid-19 has seen a mass, cross-industry mobilisation of digitalisation initiatives. How have NAB’s front-end service offerings evolved in response to the pandemic?

Sherwood: Prior to Covid, customers were already shifting to digital for everything, including their banking. The pandemic significantly accelerated these trends and also introduced new ways of banking for customers and bankers. Customer behaviours and attitudes were changing. We had a 100+ year old customer get a debit card in the early days of the pandemic.

We had to deliver on multiple fronts to meet customer needs. There needed to be more self-service in digital channels, we needed to roll out different ways of communicating with our customers, and we needed to adapt to new ways of working. We gave our customers more ways to get in touch with us.

Along with WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, NAB was the first bank in APAC to introduce Google Business Messaging – to answer questions in Google search and maps directly via built-in chat.


Customers are also now able to make appointment bookings with their banker online and engage with them via Zoom. Currently, 40 per cent of home lending appointments are online.

In terms of new ways of working, we changed processes and enabled digital signatures with more than 95 per cent of mortgage documentation in broker channels enabled to be executed digitally with e-signatures.


FST Media: What are some of the most promising CX developments on the horizon for NAB?

Sherwood: Digital channels are crucial to us meeting our customers’ needs and delivering what matters most to them – an intuitive, connected and memorable experience.

These positive digital experiences deepen our relationships with customers and enable an even more personalised and bespoke service. Our aspiration is to serve customers well through experiences that begin and end in digital.

FST Media’s Future of Financial Services, Melbourne will be held virtually on 5+6 October 2021. Register now to secure your spot.

*This interview was originally published on iTnews for FST Media.