ANZ Bank: Understanding and Delivering an Assured Customer Experience


Following the success of our inaugural Xchange 2018 conference in San Francisco in March this year, we decided to take the show on the road. Our first stop was Melbourne, Australia—Cyara’s birthplace and home to many of our founding customers. After a stop in Dallas, Texas, we moved on to Manchester in the United Kingdom. The final stop will be in Hartford, Connecticut on November 14!

We’ve heard from many of our customers as they share their stories of digital transformation, where they are on the Agile/DevOps journey, and how they’re working to deliver exceptional customer experiences. One attendee shared that “Each speaker shared insightful and inspiring transformation journeys in the arena that is digital and contact center communication.”

In this post, I’d like to spotlight one of our most popular customer presentations, Understanding and Delivering an Assured Customer Experience, by Matt Butler, Senior Channel Development Manager, from ANZ Bank, New Zealand. Matt spoke at both our Melbourne and Manchester Xchange 2018 Roadshow events. 


 Matt Butler presenting at Cyara Xchange 2018 Roadshow Melbourne


As with so many CX leaders, ANZ was looking to differentiate based on their customer experience. This involved developing customer journeys that spanned seven communication channels for a more connected customer experience. With 2 million customers making 450,000 unique journeys per month, as well as the continual focus on cost and speed to market, this was not an easy task. And Matt’s team faced a challenge that might be familiar to many of you: they had to prove the need for funding for a project in a non-digital channel.


Customer Insights

To make the business case, they set out to answer the question: How important is a human touch in a digital world? They wanted to analyze which customers were engaging with humans, and for what reason. They reasoned that if they understood this, they’d understand the importance of non-digital channels in delivering the overall customer experience.  

Matt partnered with their analytics team to gain the insight they needed. The analytics team examined journeys that involved a human touch, including contact center channels, as well as branch and in-person, to look at journeys, and found: 

  • 1 in 7 digital users made contact with a human (whether through the contact center or visiting a branch) within a 24-hour period of using the digital channel. And, 1 in 3 of those were within an hour of an online or app interaction. So digital engagement was driving significant engagement with humans
  • And the inverse was true as well—2 in 3 customers would check the ANZ app or log in to the site within an hour of visiting a branch or engaging with the contact center
  • Customers used multiple channels, with a significant growth in social, chat, and messaging but no decrease in voice
  • This cohort was young, valuable and digitally savvy (and yet still need human support!). Nearly half were under 35, they were brand connected (twice as many as average held 2-4 products), they were digitally active, and used multiple channels    

This analysis was key to making the argument that non-digital channels, and the contact center in particular, were key to the bank’s ability to deliver a great customer experience, and helped Matt’s team get the investment they needed to improve human-assisted customer experiences.


Two Key CX Improvement Projects

The understanding of who was engaged with a human and why provided an excellent backdrop to identifying projects that would help improve the customer experience for those who engaged with the contact center. Specific areas for improvement were first call resolution, and providing lower effort options for customers to accomplish their goals. To address those needs, ANZ partnered with Cyara and Flare Design to deploy: 

  • Voice biometrics authentication to provide a user-friendly and secure means to identify and authenticate callers
  • Speech recognition to rapidly identify what callers want and route them to the right experience

Voice Biometrics

ANZ was looking to make it easy for customers to authenticate over the phone. These customers were already used to easy, yet secure, authentication in other channels. At the time, 60% of customers coming through the mobile app were using fingerprint or face ID, instead of their customer number.  

For the voice biometrics project, the takeaways were:

  • That having customer-centered, rather than vendor- or technology-centered designs was key
  • Performance testing was key. 500 staff helped with voice prints, which allowed them to understand how the solution was performing. Test automation enabled them to iterate and test on the fly without slowing down the project.
  • Testing also helped satisfy stakeholders, by succeeding with risk and security appraisals and allowing the team to tune and re-test quickly, thereby building stakeholder confidence

Speech Recognition

The aim of the speech recognition project was to provide an easy, intuitive way for callers to accomplish their goals by capturing why people were calling, and route them to the right experience. This would be accomplished through a one-question speech IVR. Prior to this project, the ANZ customer experience was very product-centric with a simple IVR that just said “do you want to talk to someone about home loans,” then press a button. This was not only a poor customer experience, but it provided agents with very little context about why customers were calling.

The takeaways from the project were:

  • Using a real baseline of caller enquiries created critical advocacy and satisfied the business side of the organization
  • The experience was designed collaboratively with input from agents to better categorize caller intent

Minimum Viable Product: the First Step

A key element to the success of these two projects was delivering a minimum viable product (MVP) first. The MVP would help the business be sure that at go-live:

  • the new system would deliver an optimal customer experience,
  • voice biometrics was validated and proven through testing, and
  • the speech IVR delivered key customer and business outcomes

Cyara was key in the success of the MVP. With Cyara, ANZ was able to quickly build a set of regression tests, based on actual customer requests for different journeys. From there, ANZ could test real-world scenarios end-to-end—through to the agent and agent desktop—and even manage paths that based on variable responses. Not only did Cyara testing help assure that the system works, it also provided the business with clarity that the vendors were adhering to their system performance statements. By automating testing, ANZ saved costs, and reduced the time to test.

The MVP proved that:

  • The speech recognition system worked. At launch, they aimed for a 68% success rate, and achieved 69%. After the first tune, they got to 75%
  • The voice biometrics would deliver a single step ID and validation and validation for a better customer experience and higher security
  • The new experience improved NPS and CSAT across the board
  • Testing could validate supplier performance statements



Both voice biometrics authentication and speech recognition have been successful for ANZ New Zealand. Overall, the outcomes included:

  • Voice Bio project:
    • 2 in every 3 customers who call are now verified, which improved productivity as well as the customer experience

    • The new system has had strong customer and staff advocacy from day one

    • The system was validated through testing, which removed risk and improved stakeholder confidence
  • Speech Recognition project:
    • The new system was easy to roll out and had strong staff advocacy (9.5/10) from the outset.
    • Ability to measure the quality of the solution
    • CX protected from day one
    • Tuning process was seamless

Matt’s overall key takeaways were to design with improved CX as a primary objective because a vendor- or technology-driven objective would have yielded different results; to be innovative; and to create test scenarios to test as many real scenarios as possible. He also found that performance and volume testing were critical.

You can watch the video of Matt’s presentation here. And, to learn more about how Cyara can help you innovate your customer experience, contact us today.

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