Published: 11.09.2021



Data and Audience

Research, Trends, and Insights

Mapping the Banking Customer Journey Made Easier

Creating a differentiated experience for customers and members of banks and credit unions.

Financial institution decision-makers are obsessed with customer experience. If they aren’t, they should be — and for good reason. It’s an abstract concept with very concrete ramifications. Positive customer journeys are the bedrock — or one of the most important determining factors — for banks and credit unions to obtain and retain loyal account holders now and into the future. 

New financial research found that customer-centric financial institutions are more profitable, regularly stave off costly customer attrition, and create strong retention that will yield big returns for banks and credit unions. The problem is, most are not doing enough to understand and improve customer experience. 

Banks and credit unions can’t simply count on acquiring or maintaining a consumer’s account. Customers and members want to be known, understood, and engaged with true connections to strengthen the bond between them and their financial institutions — ideally enough to create primary financial institution status. This requires an orchestrated personalized experience strategically delivered across preferred channels.

Creating Banking Customer Journey Map

Embracing a holistic customer-centric strategy is imperative for any banks and credit unions going forward, and will empower the types of solutions across the customer journey that banks and credit unions seek. The research found that customer-centric companies are 60 percent more profitable than the competition. But what does a successful customer experience strategy really mean, and what is currently happening in the market?

Shockingly, 32 percent of respondents to the research said they don’t engage customers whatsoever. So how can banks and credit unions create an actionable customer experience strategy to ultimately deliver clear, measurable business results? Here are a few steps to accomplish just that.

1. Understand the Right Message

A major factor in the customer experience conundrum is that customers and members want to feel that their unique needs are understood, and are actively being taken care of. But financial institutions are not doing everything they can to meet personalization expectations.

Of the responses for the banks and credit unions that do engage customers:

  • 38 percent simply focus on increasing debit and credit card transaction volume 
  • 37 percent solely communicate about fraud or a compromised card
  • 33 percent of messaging focuses on just encouraging mobile banking usage

These are hardly the types of personalized and relevant messaging strategyiA company's messaging strategy is simply how it positions itself in the market and establishes brand awareness. This message should always be consistently communicated across all channels including web copy, advertising messaging, and in-store signage. An effective messaging strategy communicates a brand's voice and purpose in a succinct and clear manner. For example, when... Read More touchpoints that will help deliver the types of connected experiences across the customer journey that banks and credit unions need. 

Financial institutions must proactively alert their customers and members about new products and services, but also make sure not to inundate them with irrelevant marketing messaging that doesn’t tie to personal needs.

Customers and members want to be known, understood, and engaged with true connections to strengthen the bond between them and their financial institutions.

2. Clear Data Disorganization

The report found that the single greatest challenge facing financial institutions in creating successful member/customer experience is efficiently utilizing data. Most suffer from limited data access, manual segmentation efforts, and an inability to drive home personalization efforts.

This is a major roadblock to data that would illustrate the type of personalization needed to, say, foster account acquisitioniCustomer acquisition is the act of creating a new customer for a business through a trackable method such as advertising, marketing or sales. Customer acquisition transcends marketing and indicates an action was taken such as a purchase. For example, marketing might get a potential customer to click on a digital ad which creates recognition, but acquisition is the sale whi... Read Moredemonstrate proper onboarding practices, create an assortment of offers aligned to account holders for cross-sell opportunities, or the ability to respond quickly to changing account holder attitudes to deliver proactive messaging before they defect. 

Twenty-three percent of respondents had limited access to data but still work to provide relevant communications, 34 percent actually manually leverage data for attempts at segmented messaging, while only 15 percent said they leverage connected data to send highly personalized communications.

Banks and credit unions must build from your existing data, standard segments, or custom audiences, while also capitalizing on partners with robust data resources to create the full account holder picture.

3. Measure the Customer Experience

Financial institutions must be able to measure and justify customer engagementiEngagement in marketing isn't about a big diamond ring -- unless we are talking about the social media posts by a jeweler targeting purchases of said diamond ring. Engagement in marketing means any type of response generated on social media. A Facebook post generating a like or a tweet being re-tweeted, reposts on Instagram or even click-through to a web site are all forms... Read More strategies. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be able to prove what worked and what didn’t across campaigns. 

Banks and credit unions that can connect results to actions that drive them using analytics and reporting tools can demonstrate the full impact of customer experience efforts and then put those learnings back into their strategies to continue to improve journeys over time. 

Campaigns must be able to meet account holders where they are, with what they need, and what they want. Data fluency can ultimately drive meaningful connections across the entire consumer journey, and measurable connections can empower financial institutions to understand the full market potential of a branch or credit union’s offerings in a competitive landscape.