The importance of digital journey mapping for improving customer experience in banking
Imagine you’re going on a trip. You know where you’re headed, so you’re all set, right? Not exactly. In order to figure out how to get from where you are to where you want to be, you need a step-by-step plan for the way. Maybe you don’t want to travel straight to your final destination but would like to make some stops or take a detour. Perhaps your final destination isn’t even final—you may want to leave your options open so that you can continue traveling if you’re enjoying the trip. No matter what your goals are, it’s clear that you need a map to navigate your journey successfully.
While the need for a map is intuitive for most of us when planning a trip, when it comes to planning a digital experience for our customers, it often gets overlooked. That’s a big mistake. Just as you need a map to lead you from step to step on a physical journey, a map is also critical to navigating the steps of a digital journey, especially in complex fields like banking. Among other things, that’s because customer journeys aren’t linear. There is often a lot of back and forth and even cyclical movement in banking that makes it easy for customers to get lost. Mapping out the customer journey is critical to preventing that from happening, especially while undergoing a digital transformation in banking.
It’s important to invest deep thought and analysis in your digital experience map in order to provide the optimal experience for your customers. Remember, not only are your customers comparing you to other banking providers, but they’re also comparing the digital experience your organization offers to that of leading tech providers that they interact with, like Apple and Google. It’s a high standard, but one that banks really have no choice but to achieve—according to a report by PWC, 32% of consumers will walk away from a brand they love after one bad experience. And that’s something that you want to avoid at all costs.
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How can you create a digital journey map for your bank customers?
The first step in creating a digital journey map is to identify customer banking needs. It’s important to refrain from making assumptions about what your customers are looking for. Instead, identify their needs through robust research and by conducting feedback sessions with customers in each market segment or target audience. Data analytics can also be helpful in identifying customer pain points and pinpointing where those needs aren’t being met with existing processes and workflows. It can also be a good idea to take the journey yourself, navigating the system as if you were a customer to see if and where you encounter problems.
Once you have analyzed the information from the various sources and identified customer needs in each market segment, the next step is to prioritize features that will help you meet those needs in the most effective way possible and drive value for customers. For example, at a complex touchpoint, it might make sense to allocate a customer service representative to help customers through a transaction. Yet at other touchpoints, you may find that smart prompts in a form, chatbots, voice assistants, or banking apps can answer customer questions effectively and help customers move forward without creating the long waits that are often part and parcel of reaching a human agent in a call center. By mapping out the entire journey holistically, you can allocate your resources effectively, and match the right resource to every need.
What are some of the benefits of using digital journey mapping in banking?
Banking is complex, and activities vary greatly according to the customer. While one customer may primarily make small deposits and withdrawals from a savings or checking account, another customer may be making major global transactions in multiple currencies. A comprehensive map makes it easier for all stakeholders to understand what each customer needs and how to best meet those needs.
Banks often overload customers with irrelevant information. Even if a financial institution has a lot of services and products to offer, that doesn’t mean that every customer should automatically see them all. Too many offerings can confuse customers and prevent them from completing processes or even drive them away altogether. Ideally, each consumer should see 2-3 choices at each stage of the journey that will lead them to the most relevant offerings for their needs. A detailed digital journey map will ensure that they can find what they need quickly and easily.
Digital journey mapping can also help financial organizations integrate siloed systems and internal processes. When all organizational departments can see the big picture, it’s easier for the various stakeholders to figure out how to build integrations and seamless flows between departments and functions. It can also help prevent duplication, streamline processes, and enable the organization to allocate its resources more efficiently.
How digital journey mapping improves customer retention
Customers expect you to meet them where they are which is why omnichannel has become the norm in digital transformation. They no longer distinguish between digital and offline engagement and often interact with their banks through multiple touchpoints and platforms that change over time. But without a comprehensive map of the digital customer journey, banks might not be aware of the connection between touchpoints. That creates a disconnect with the customer, who sees every interaction as part of the same experience whether it is online, mobile, in-person, or via call center, and even when it relates to different services offered by the bank.
Your digital journey map should cover all customer interactions with your organization, from end to end, including actions like e-signatures, document uploads, and KYC processes. It’s important to conceptualize all interactions holistically without interruption because if customers are forced to go back and forth between different modes of communication, they often become frustrated and opt out altogether, leading to churn and reducing retention rates.
Digital journey mapping helps connect the dots between the touchpoints, even when they are siloed organizationally. An accurate map can help you understand how to integrate the customer’s journey with internal processes, workflows, and systems to create a seamless experience both for your customers and your employees. That type of frictionless interaction is critical to maintaining customer loyalty, and allowing your customers to easily transition between locations in your network and online banking channels.
Overcoming implementation challenges in digital journey mapping
Like most things, digital journey mapping in banking isn’t as simple as following a set of instructions. Designing a digital-first experience that is truly customer-centric can be a challenge. The only way to do it right is to remain focused on what your customers want and need from their digital banking experience and design the process and offerings around those needs, rather than around the products and services you have to offer. Recent studies show that company culture is also critical to the success of a digital transformation, and can be the difference between success and failure.
But changing company mindset alone is not enough. In order to transform a digital journey map into a concrete reality, banks and financial institutions also need the right tools to implement the customer-centric journey and processes that were painstakingly detailed in their map. No-code platforms are key to that process, especially in strictly regulated industries like banking. No-code makes it easy to update your customer journey to meet dynamic customer needs as well as constantly changing KYC regulations, while maintaining strict security guidelines. It can help you and compliant and responsive, without sapping significant developer resources and impacting other aspects of your organization. With a low-code platform or no-code platform such as EasySend, you can meet the dynamic needs detailed in your digital journey map and easily adapt to emerging technologies.