With the continuing evolution of new and more advanced digital platforms, financial institutions face increasing pressure to deliver a seamless, easy customer experience to people who have become accustomed to self-service channels and instant responses. Jen Megee, PRI project manager, reminds clients that they cannot solve a problem like high abandonment rates for loan or new account applications without knowing what their customers experience when they interact with their platforms. In this blog, Megee dives into journey mapping and how it can improve customer experience.
The Financial Brand article, Customer Journey Mapping Provides Path to Digital Banking Loyalty, points out that the customer journey has evolved quite a bit from what it looked like even five or 10 years ago.
“Today, the ‘journey’ is often strictly digital, taking place from the comfort of a desk or home or even while walking down the street on a mobile device. Multiple channels often are used – but not usually the branch – as the customer determines which brand to use and which account to open. Along each step of the digital journey, banks and credit unions need to convince people to pick them and not a competitor. Winning at each step of this journey is not easy but mapping the consumer’s journey can help banks and credit unions get more than their share of potential new business. Customer journey mapping provides a better understanding of how consumers interact and engage with your brand, and how to be the right channel at the right time.” – Customer Journey Mapping Provides Path to Digital Banking Loyalty (thefinancialbrand.com)
Megee said understanding the customer journey is vital to providing the best customer experience, which in turn builds customer loyalty and even spills over into higher FI employee satisfaction.
“Every financial institution wants to provide the best customer service, but does that happen consistently in reality?” Megee asks. “To deliver the best service possible, the FI must understand its customers’ journeys, which include requests like opening an account, applying for a loan, signing up for online/mobile banking or requesting a debit card increase.”
Knowing the process for these requests in a granular way allows the FI to identify pain points for the customer. Common pain points include:
- Navigating an excessive number of steps in the process
- Experiencing excessive delays in the time it takes to complete a simple request
- Having to rely on FI employees for processes that should be “self-service”
- Getting lost in a complicated phone tree
- Being transferred within the FI to multiple employees
- Being unable to find information that should be readily available and easily accessible
When identifying the customer journey and any potential pain points, the FI can then prioritize improvements to the process for a better customer experience with the following benefits:
- Reducing the number of “hoops” to jump through
- Providing quicker resolution time
- Allowing the customer to self-serve 24/7
- Providing “first contact” resolution
- Improving resource development
Process improvements like these that enhance the customer experience will often have the added benefit of saving the FI time and freeing up employee resources to focus on other activities. This is particularly important in today’s tight labor market with fewer employees taking on more responsibilities at work. In addition, by improving the customer experience, the employee experience of helping customers also becomes more satisfying and positive.
Research backs up the benefits of customer journey mapping.
“The reason for a greater use of customer journey mapping is because it works. According to the research, 85 percent of those using customer journey mapping report a positive or very positive impact on their customer experience. In addition, 71 percent stated that the mapping projects resulted in improved customer satisfaction, a drop in complaints (48 percent) and reduced churn (40 percent).” — Customer Journey Mapping Provides Path to Digital Banking Loyalty (thefinancialbrand.com)
Organizations that employ customer journey mapping also see direct results in their profitability and success.
“Research shows that companies with formal journey-mapping programs have significantly higher year-over-year growth than companies without such programs. However, fewer than four in 10 companies engage in formal journey mapping. In banking, where companies fear running afoul of the regulators, the number could be even lower.” — Mapping your banking customer’s journey (bai.org)
By providing an excellent customer experience, the FI benefits by engaging more loyal, satisfied customers with fewer complaints and a higher likelihood of deepening relationships. Employees will also have more positive, proactive interactions with customers rather than spending an excess amount of their time overcoming complaints.
Profit Resources specializes in identifying profitability improvement areas for financial institutions through revenue growth, cost control, streamlining processes, and effective use of technology. Contact us to learn more about our personalized approach to propel growth and improve profitability.