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Experience Strategy Podcast with Stone Mantel

Jun 30, 2021

Welcome to this episode of The Experience Strategy Podcast! Aransas and Dave are joined today by tech executive Liz Grausam, who shares her personal experience consolidating her finances. Managing personal finances has become an epic chore for many consumers. Big banks, burdened by outdated technology, aren’t making it easier for consumers to choose them in an increasingly competitive market. In this episode we look at the cost of tech debt on the customer experience, and ways businesses can use omni-channel experience strategies to create lasting loyalty.


In This Episode:

  • [03:00] After Liz left her job, she felt it was imperative to investigate her own financial situation. Examining the variety of bank accounts she was using and consolidating those accounts to ensure efficiency, convenience and satisfaction.
  • [05:11] When Liz had to navigate the digital experience with Merrill Lynch, she felt it was like travelling back in time, reflecting an archaic and arduous software.
  • [08:34] What are robo-advisors? Liz explains what they were doing for her when she tried to consolidate all of her accounts into Merrill.
  • [10:25] Which financial companies have the best robo-advisors? 
  • [11:06] Liz’s positive digital experience consolidating her accounts with Fidelity. The overall usability and user-friendliness Fidelity provided to her.
  • [18:39] Navigating Merrill Lynch’s systems between the lack of intuitive response from robo-advisors, to the challenges of speaking to an experienced advisor. 
  • [23:00] Competitiveness between banks is contributing to providing customers with the  highest level of consumer experience.
  • [25:00] The importance of channel strategy to building consumer relationships. 
  • [26:03] Another issue with regards to Merrill Lynch and Bank of America’s poor customer experience is that they are most likely not using experience strategy to define their audiences.
  • [28:11] The grade Dave gives Merrill Lynch based on Liz’s experience


Key Takeaways:

  • Many well established companies are bogged down by legacy technology.
  • The antiquated systems and poor digital customer experiences of these companies are pushing customers to pursue omni-channel solutions. 
  • Competitiveness between banks is higher than it ever has been before. It’s crucial for those companies to learn how to keep customers and how to deepen their relationships. Banks have to be agile and customer focused in order to create loyalty. 
  • It’s paramount that businesses use experience strategy to define their audiences, not just rely on marketing strategy. 
  • Overall, online banks and financial institutions need to have a user centered and friendly experience that you can trust and feel confident using in order to be successful. Having good human interactions available as needed and the best technology is key to a great consumer experience. 



Liz Grausam has spent her career analyzing and participating in the technology sector in a variety of ways.  She spent almost the first decade of her career on Wall Street as an equity research analyst, covering software and services stocks at Goldman Sachs. In 2008, her love of innovation and strategic problem solving drew her to work at Amdocs, one of the software firms she covered as an analyst. At Amdocs, Liz managed the Strategic Planning process for the company along with the Investor Relations program. With an itch to run a P&L, in 2015 Liz joined GLG, an early innovator in the expert network sector, to incubate their entry into the Tech Vertical after utilizing GLG’s service as a client.  During her tenure at GLG, she helped the company reinvent its service offerings for F500 companies, expanding the legacy offering tailored to the investment community into a robust B2B insights platform supporting strategic planning, innovation, and go-to-market activities at large companies. At GLG, she eventually became General Manager of the Corporate Markets business unit comprising the Tech, Consumer, Industrials and Life Sciences verticals.  Liz is currently on a professional sabbatical taking the spring and summer away from the grind and will be planning her next moves in the Fall of 2021.