Improving the Customer Experience through Customer Journey Mapping

Improving the customer experience is a top-of-mind issue for FIs in today’s ultra-competitive environment. How do we compete with the big banks? How can we separate ourselves from our competition? How can we improve our internal efficiencies? These are all questions that Customer Journey Mapping can help solve.

The essence of a Customer Journey Map is simple. It invites the FI to put itself in the customer’s shoes and view bank processes from the customer’s perspective.

“The industry has historically worked from an ‘inside-out’ model, wherein solutions, workflows, etc. were designed with internal needs solved first,” said Tom McGill, Profit Resources Relationship Manager. “The process was typically driven by the real or perceived limitations of the core processing platform, then made to fit into current processes, tossed in with ‘the auditor makes us do this.’ Finally, there’s a customer at the end of that flow. This ‘TIHWDI’ (This is How We Do It) thinking leads to incremental gains, at best, and can drive customer dissatisfaction.”

Creating a Journey Map places the customer at the beginning of the process and requires the FI to think like a customer. For example, customers often find it unacceptable to wait 10 days for their debit card to arrive in the mail after opening a new account. Rather than justifying the process by explaining it, the FI can create a Journey Map with a goal in mind that helps them reach the next level of service. Asking why at every step along the journey is far more critical than asking how.

“Where a best practice exists, understanding that best practice and comparing it to your current state can be very illuminating,” McGill said. “A recent example focused on new deposit account opening where the client bank’s process was mapped from beginning the opening process to having a fully functional account, as defined by having debit card purchase capabilities and digital banking established. The incumbent process took 12 days as compared to a best practice, which took a matter of minutes with a debit card being instantly provisioned and installed into the customer’s mobile wallet. Sharing those maps with management will certainly get their attention and often leads to an increased sense of urgency around the topic.”

Several tools to create Customer Journey Maps are available, but in most cases, an effective journey map can be sketched out using a spreadsheet or even a legal pad.

“We recommend that our clients start with a very simple tool and refine it into something that works best for them,” McGill said. “Pick a couple of straight-forward processes to map and get after it!”

How to get started:

  • Choose a process known to create customer frustration
  • Establish a goal for the Customer Journey Map exercise
  • Put on the “customer hat” or even experience the journey as a customer yourself
  • Document all touchpoints
  • Review each touchpoint and ask why it works the way it does
  • Research best practice models
  • Attack the touchpoints, seeking to remove friction and working toward the ultimate goal

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.

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