Customer Experience

Understanding the Customer Journey in Banking

March 14, 2019

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The Importance of Customer Journey in Banking

There is so much disruption going on in the world of banking and financial services.

After a decade of having to deal with serious trust issues and thin margins, banks today continue to face a mix of challenges. Regulation. Reputation issues. Fickle consumer loyalty and ever-changing preferences. Not to mention, the entry and growth of non-traditional competitors like Alipay, WeChat, and Amazon Cash, among many others.

This makes it critical for banks to get into the customer journey mindset. Knowing the customer’s process from beginning to end is hugely important. By understanding customers better and improving their banking experience, companies can achieve differentiation in an increasingly competitive environment.

What Does Customer Journey in Banking Mean?  

To understand what “customer journey” means, let’s use a definition by SurveyMonkey: “Think of the customer journey as a roadmap detailing how a customer becomes aware of your brand, their interactions with your brand–and beyond.

“The customer journey is the complete sum of experiences that customers go through when interacting with your company and brand. Instead of looking at just a part of a transaction or experience, the customer journey documents the full experience of being a customer.”

In banking, the customer journey can start long before a person decides to visit your bank location. Perhaps they began to become aware of your company or brand when they saw a post on Facebook or Twitter, or when they heard about you from a friend.

Similarly, the customer journey in banking may go on long after customers have signed up for a new account or purchased a product. Their post-transaction experiences may include using your mobile banking app, or speaking with a call center representative to resolve a specific issue.

In banking and financial services, understanding the customer journey is essential to delivering excellent experiences.

It’s not enough that you have a great mix of products and services. Sure, banking customers and policyholders might be impressed with your digital strengths, rewards program, or coverage options. But it’s only when your organization commits to understanding the customer journey that you’ll be able to develop meaningful customer relationships that improve your bottom line.

Keys to Success: Customer Journey in Banking

Map the customer journey

Before influencing consumer behavior, banks and financial services providers must first understand it: from initial contact, through the process of engagement, to post-transactional interactions and long-term relationships.

It’s important to map the customer journey for every product, channel, a combination of channels, and for every product through every channel. Doing so will give your company a better understanding of how consumers interact and engage with your brand.

Build buyer personas. Categorize your channels and touchpoints. Improve the experiences along each step of the journey. And measure the results. By doing so, you can uncover new opportunities to engage customers across their entire journey.

Empower the voice of the customer

Demonstrate your understanding of your customers’ journey by letting them have a say. (After all, the worst way to learn about the customer is to guess.)

Encourage online reviews, conduct customer feedback surveys, and urge your customers to share and be more vocal about their banking experiences. Invest in tools and technologies that capture customer feedback.

Not only does this help you achieve greater visibility among customers; it also harnesses the tremendous potential of having happy customers whose trust you have already earned. From static sources of revenue, they can become brand advocates who won’t hesitate to make recommendations and drive referrals for your business.

Redesign the journey based on customer needs

Grow your customer relationships beyond providing transactional convenience and focus instead on the customer’s actual experience.

Make next-level service and support an investment priority. Reengineer your sales and marketing strategies based on customer feedback. And tailor your communications in ways that offer customers a better understanding of how your products and services can meet their goals and expectations.

Nurture your digital channels

In an on-demand economy where social and mobile innovations have significantly expanded the range of crucial touchpoints, winners and losers will be determined by their ability to diversify and personalize methods of engagement across the entire banking customer journey.

Empower your customers by giving them the tools they need to take control of their own banking. If you haven’t been doing it already, digitizing the customer lifecycle allows your customers to research, buy, and manage loans, bank accounts, savings, and investments through digital touchpoints.

This can also help you cut costs and offer increased convenience. As you develop these digital sales and services, however, always keep customer behavior and preferences in mind in order to optimize adoption rates.

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