16 August 2014

How Wells Fargo learned to innovate around the customer

Be the first to share
Media
Business
Services
Social Issues

Wells Fargo, the world’s most valuable bank, learned to innovate around the customer.

In 1999, Steve Ellis, who runs the bank’s wholesale services group, went to a conference where Scott McNealy of Sun Microsystems described a completely new era of digital banking that would unfold over the next decade. Nobody else seemed impressed, but Ellis was transfixed. For him, it was an epiphany.

Ellis realized that technology could be used to make the customer’s life easier, streamlining processes to enhance user experience, but he also knew how “customer is king” initiatives could easily devolve into useless platitudes. He wouldn’t find answers in boardroom discussions, but would need to look beyond banking for insights.

So Ellis immersed himself in Internet culture and eventually hit on ethnography techniques, which ha been commonly used in consumer products companies like Procter & Gamble, but were completely foreign to the banking industry. At first intrigued, then excited, he sent his team for training at nearby Stanford university to learn how to perform ethnography studies.

It seemed to be exactly the answer he was looking for. Instead of having executives brainstorm in the corporate offices, they would get out and observe customers as they navigated often confusing banking routines. As they uncovered problems and experienced frustrations first-hand, they could devise solutions.”

Be the first to share
28 September 2019
Money’s new abstractions: Apple Pay and the economy of experience
Money’s new abstractions: Apple Pay and the economy of experience by Nathaniel Tkacz Distinktion: Journal of Social Theory, 26 Sep 2019 DOI: 10.1080/1600910X.2019.1653348 This article draws on insights from digital media theory and design methodology to contribute to sociological …
27 August 2019
The anthropologist of Artificial Intelligence
The algorithms that underlie much of the modern world have grown so complex that we always can’t predict what they’ll do. Iyad Rahwan, who directs the Center for Humans and Machines at the Max Planck …
4 April 2019
When ethnography becomes a joke
For a number of years, we have witnessed a diminishing appetite for ethnographic work among commercial clients, writes Patricia Sunderland, PhD and founder of Cultural Research and Analysis, on the site of the Qualitative Research …
11 January 2019
[Book] Left to Our Own Devices
Left to Our Own Devices: Outsmarting Smart Technology to Reclaim Our Relationships, Health, and Focus Margaret E. Morris MIT Press, 2018 192 pages Unexpected ways that individuals adapt technology to reclaim what matters to them, from working through conflict …
22 December 2018
Intel anthropologist Dawn Nafus interview on the use of data and technology in medical contexts
In an age where we can collect and store (forEVER) every second of every day, how much do we truly need… to learn? To react? To do good deeds that benefit society? Assuming we champion that, …
20 November 2018
Journal of Business Anthropology devoted to design anthropology
The Journal of Business Anthropology is an Open Access journal which publishes the results of anthropological research in business organizations and business situations of all kinds. The theme of the latest issue - Vol 7, …
17 November 2018
[Book] Uberland: How Algorithms Are Rewriting The Rules Of Work
Uberland: How Algorithms Are Rewriting The Rules Of Work by Alex Rosenblat University of California Press October 2018, 296 pages Silicon Valley technology is transforming the way we work, and Uber is leading the charge. An American startup that …
17 November 2018
HSBC study on trust in technology
HSBC bank commissioned Populus and Ipsos MORI to conduct an independent study of more than 12,000 people in 11 countries into global technology perceptions and habits. Our Trust in Technology research (pdf report) explores public opinion …

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

5 July 2019
Experientia on addressing vaccine hesitancy

Vaccine hesitancy is a top10 global health threat. Dealing with it successfully requires understanding it as a behaviour and generating a holistic view of people’s perspectives & ecosystems. This way we can identify the best opportunities for intervention. Here is Experientia’s position on vaccine hesitancy and our tailor-made support for the vaccine industry.

2 May 2019
MacArthur Foundation’s “100&Change” competition now calling for applications

100&Change is a MacArthur Foundation competition for a $100 million grant to fund a single proposal that will make measurable progress toward solving a significant problem. 100&Change will select a bold proposal that promises real progress toward solving a critical problem of our time. And it will award a $100 million grant to help make […]

19 March 2019
Interested in a career with us?

Then we are interested in hearing from you. We have several positions available for talented UX/UI and service designers who are passionate about creating world-class user experiences. Please see the job descriptions on our website for more information, and send us your CV with a cover letter statement about yourself, your experience, and what UX […]

22 December 2018
Our very best wishes for 2019! / Auguri da Experientia!
4 October 2018
Bringing​ ​patients into focus at the Roche Innovation Summit

Experientia is proud to have been a key participant at the Roche Innovation Summit, held at Roche headquarters in Basel Switzerland on 19 June 2018. Themed “​Transforming the Healthcare Experience Together​”, the summit aimed to galvanize the Roche community around the future transformation of healthcare and diagnostics. With 800 attendees from Roche and Genentech global […]

13 June 2018
Invito: DesAlps design thinking workshop per la tua startup

Hai una startup? Hai mai pensato ai benefici che potrebbe trarre dal Design Thinking? Questa è l’opportunità per scoprirlo! DesAlps Workshop #2: Il Design Thinking per la tua startup! Giovedì 28 giugno 2018 – dalle 9:30 alle 17:00 @ I3P | Corso Castelfidardo 30/a, Torino —– Nell’ambito del progetto europeo DesAlps, un team di esperti […]

See all articles