34% Increase is customer lifetime value 14% growth in new clients in 12 months 18% growth in funds invested bu investors

The Challenge

Investing in the future has never been more critical, but at the same time, confidence in the financial sector has never been lower.

We worked with a client within the financial sector who knew there was a significant proportion of middle-income professionals who had the capital, but not the confidence or impetus to use smart investment as a path to using that capital to build wealth.

They already had a range of exciting and innovative financial services options that would be of enormous benefit to their customer.

To connect those services their customers, they needed to develop a market-leading solution addressed their customer’s fears and gave them the skills and confidence they needed to make the most of their money.

Our job was to make the opaque transparent and turn the ambiguous into the actionable.

Black and white photo of a workshop taking place Key themes card stack

We Let the Customer Define the Issues So You Know the Right Questions to Ask

The first step in creating a financial service that addresses the concerns of those worried about investing is to fully understand what the customer feels. To do that, we stopped talking and started listening.

Having reviewed all the current customer data held by our client and spoken to critical stakeholders whose insights helped us shape the direction of our research, we started amplifying the voice of the customer.

Through direct research interviews with their customers, we were able to uncover the blockers that were preventing them from making the most of their savings. We reinforced these verbatims with in-depth Net Promoter Score (NPS) research.

Our understanding of these challenges was then refined through eight extensive face-to-face problem interviews that took a deep dive into specific issues.

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Illuminating the blockers, so that we can erase them

By listening to the voice of the customer, we were able to uncover and prioritise four main challenges that represent the primary roadblocks between our clients financially independent customers and confident self investing.

Loss aversion was always going to be a challenge when it comes to investing money. Any investment comes with a risk, and that risk is one of the foremost negative impression in the mind of the customer.

Closely connected to loss aversion was the fact that many potential DIY investors felt they didn’t have the required skillset to invest their savings with confidence. Attached to this lack of a money management skill set was a comprehensive lack of trust in financial planners, reducing the potential impact of expert advice.

Finally, customer’s were understandably more attracted to the perception of reliability around saving money versus investing in, adopting a “bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” attitude toward their saved capital.

Developing a deep understanding of these concerns was a vital step in creating a service platform that provided a comprehensive solution to all of them.

Channels of delivery artefact Black and white Proto workshop

Good Services Are Good for Everyone

Having uncovered the four principal challenges areas and developed detailed insights for each, we worked closely with our client to create a detailed customer value proposition.

Customer value propositions provide a vital framework that, based on insight-rich customer research, allows our clients to create differentiated, valuable, and innovative products and services.

Through in-depth customer research, workshop, and validation sessions, we were able to shine a spotlight on the concerns that were preventing customer from taking advantage of their cutting-edge financial products.

Working with our client, these customer insights were translated into a redesigned customer journey and whole new customer experience that addressed concerns through education, upskilling, support and utterly transparent risk management.

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Working with you to create better experiences, together

By building a deep understanding of their customers needs and concerns into their service design, our client was able to turn customer insights into definable growth.

Their new service platform, built with our customer-need framework resulted in an 18% growth in funds invested by investors and a 14% growth in new clients over a 12 month period while customer reported 34% increase in perceived lifetime value.

Understand your Customers and Grow your business.

Let us help you identify the most important thing about your customers that will unlock your company’s growth.


Delivering phenomenal outcomes

“Working with Proto was a leap of faith, but they have become a major strategic partner in our CX evolution. The work they've developed and the way we've been able to embed it in the organisation has been absolutely phenomenal, and we're getting the outcomes we want.”

Felicity Clark
Felicity Clark Customer Experience Manager

Creating empathy to deliver outstanding results

“Proto were a pleasure to work with. They were adaptive and responsive, and developed a deep empathy for both the client and their customers. The quality of their products and services was outstanding.”

Michael Storey
Michael Storey Manager of Customer Research and Strategy at Sydney Water

Halving your customer churn

“Without the customer experience insights from the research program, we would not have been able to identify the acquisition issues that we had. Changes to the customer interactions that led up to financial protection have reduced the outflow rates by 50%.”

Felicity Rowcliff Dean
Felicity Rowcliff Dean Customer Centred Design Manager

Take your NPS score to the next level

“From an NPS perspective, I have gone Spinal Tap on you guys and gone to 11. I still think the work you did with us, the way you went about it and the deliverables amounted to one of the best pieces of consulting advice I've ever commissioned.”

Matthew Liebmann
Matthew Liebmann Former Chief Operating Officer

Enabling customer-centric design

“Over the last 18 months, we've constantly referred to the work Proto did for us when designing and developing all the improvements to the app we're making. We've found their work to be highly valuable and has resulted in significant improvements to the MyOptus App that, without their insight wouldn't have been possible.”

Lucy Turner
Lucy Turner CX Design Launch Manager

Exceptional prototyping

“The outcome of the prototyping has been exceptional and we continue to use the knowledge and expertise that Proto shared with us during their engagement. The icing on the cake for me was that Proto captured all of the insights from the customer workshops into an organisational asset that we now use as an integral part of our toolkit for training and briefing new team members.”

Sharon Nanetti
Sharon Nanetti Optimal Care Program Director

Prioritising what matters

“Proto's in-depth customer research helped us to uncover underlying customer needs that wouldn't have been possible without an 'outside-in' approach. The team identified the core customer problems and provided actionable insights that enabled us to remove key areas of customer friction and frustration and redesign a credit card experience like no other.”

Christian Johansson
Christian Johansson Head of Marketing, Customer Finance

Achieving a 20 point increase in NPS

“I have worked with Damian and the team at Proto for several years. In this time, they have worked collaboratively with us to build a roadmap of strategic 'outside-in' initiatives that ultimately resulted in a 20 point increase in NPS. They imparted a great deal of CX knowledge, approaches and tools that have been invaluable to the team and the business.”

Amanda O'Donnell
Amanda O'Donnell Head of Customer Experience

Insight driven, customer centric ideas

“Proto revealed and captured a ton of insights, putting Gumtree in a position where we can take our experience from good to great!”

Coen Horrevoets
Coen Horrevoets Head of Product

Award-winning customer experiences

“We won the AFR Smart Investor SMILES award for Best Online Broker. This award is based on customer voting and I believe this was as a result of a clearer focus on our existing clients which you helped us to understand.”

Arni Selvarajah
Arnie Selvarajah Chief Executive Officer

Design that reduces cost to serve

“The Proto team demonstrated flexibility in their approach which made such a refreshing change. They took the time to coach and mentor each of us in a highly creative and energetic environment. Furthernore, they helped us exceed our customer satisfaction targets, all whilst stripping out in excess of 20% of our service costs in under 12 months. Proto helped us to stay focussed on the customer which enabled us to win in the market.”

Matthew Anderson
Matthew Anderson Chief Operating Officer

Service innovation at scale

“We worked with Proto on an exciting & unprecedented challenge at Optus, to design the customer experience of the future. Damian & the team had high energy & together we operated as 'one team'. Proto worked hand in hand with us to bring the internal team up to speed, & also brought in global experts to work with us to take our deliverables to another level of quality & innovation.”

Dan Sunderland
Dan Sunderland Director of Customer Experience Strategy and Planning

Actionable Customer Strategies

“Proto developed a membership strategy that addressed points of friction along our members journey, identified opportunities to improve and clarified the types of engagement that our members needed at the different stages in their career. We were impressed with the depth of insight that Proto were able to bring to the project - as well as the energy and ideas that they helped to generate.”

Sarah Thompson
Sarah Prescott-Thompson General Manager Shared Services

A partnership for CX

“Working with Proto was very much a partnership. We worked hand-in-hand to put CX on the map within the organisation. The team are flexible, trustworthy and do what it takes to achieve the best outcome. If you’re looking for a quality agency, providing quality data and insights – Proto are your guys. We received over 90 initiatives from the project of which 79% have now been implemented and we are seeing the benefits flow through!”

Customer Experience Specialist

Unique Product Innovation

“Proto integrated into multiple simultaneous projects to ensure we achieved the best outcome. They brought real clarity around customer needs, the fundamental elements of our value proposition and provided a clear roadmap of where we're trying to get to. This allowed us to differentiate beyond the traditional proposition. As a result, one customer-informed initiative we developed was loanScore™. This unique innovation helps customers see how good their home loan is and evaluate their options for a better deal.”

Anthony Justice
Anthony Jusitce CEO