Bass Pro Shops
In late 2016, Capital One acquired Bass Pro Shops as a cobranded retail partner. This newly formed partnership meant Capital One would design, build, and manage all credit card related activities for Bass Pro Shops. Part of the partner aqcuisition included not only ownership of the web and mobile channels for acquiring and servicing credit card customers, but also the ownership of the in-store credit card application experience. As a member of the credit card application design team at Capital One, I got the opportunity to work on the in-store credit card application experience.
Unlike the web and mobile credit card application experiences, the in-store experience requires engagement from the store associates. This impacts the in-store experience including customer engagement, instant issuance of the credit cards, and protecting the customer's privacy.
Over the course of a year, a team of designers, engineers, and product managers visited a variety of Bass Pro Shops across the country in order to research the current in-store credit card application experience.
From store visits, interviews with store employees, and customers, the team concluded that the current credit card application experience depends heavily on associate involvement in the process, as well as the in-store technology available to the associates.
The current application experience is a paper form the customer completes by hand. After the customer hands the paper application to the associate at the counter, the associate has to copy the information from the paper form into a computer at the counter. This process takes time, concentration from the associate, and patience from the customer. A single typo on the computer can lead to a pending approval, and even a declined application.
During peak hours, associates may have to assist multiple customers at once, leading to a pile-up of applications, resulting in a security risk.
The team saw the opportunity to leverage Capital One's existing technological capabilities. The credit card application platform, built in-house by Capital One, would allow customers to safely apply for the Bass Pro Shops credit card, while also allowing Bass Pro Shops to scale the experience to the entire company. The platform would not only be used for the in-store experience, but also for the web and mobile experiences.
Tablets were chosen for the in-store experience because of their portability and ease of use. Tablets allow for an efficient, seamless experience for both associates and customers, while also protecting the customer's personal information.
Using a primary storyboard to illustrate the proposed experience, the team began designing around the interaction between the associates and the customers. Wireframes were sketched out in order to identify what screens were needed to be built on top of the existing application platform.
Finally, a flow diagram was created to visualize the entire customer experience from start to finish.
Before we launched the new in-store credit card application experience, the team wanted to conduct testing with associates and managers.
Each associate and manager who interacted with the prototypes gave positive feedback. Their only ask was that Capital One provide detailed training modules to help all associates understand the new experience.
Associates and managers saw benefits to the new experience including lower risk of associate error, less paperwork needed to complete the application, and a faster in-store experience for customers.
Final In-Store Experience
The final in-store credit card application experience is built around not just the credit card application, but also the events leading up to the application, and the steps following completion. With a faster application experience, customers are approved on the spot, and receive their physical card right there in the store thanks to the card embossers located in every Bass Pro Shops store. With the customer receiving their card upon approval, they can use their card for purchases made that day.
Thanks to the re-design of the in-store credit card application experience, customer and associate satisfaction with the application process increased. With more customers safely applying for the Bass Pro Shops credit card, a tremendous amount of monetary value was brought to both Bass Pro Shops and to Capital One.