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March 18, 2019

How Customer Journey Maps Lead to a Better Customer Experience

It’s no secret that technology is changing the way business happens, and financial services companies need to understand this digital transformation in order to compete in 2019.

Customer experience is more important now than ever. As technology has advanced, GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon) has notably changed expectations that consumers have for all companies, not just tech companies.

This series will explore various facets of Digital Transformation, equipping your marketing team to respond and adjust to keep up with today’s consumers and their expectations.

One way financial services companies can provide a better customer experience is to understand the customer journey. With data-driven facts about your consumer groups, you can build maps to outline customer behavior and the path they take to purchase.

A customer journey map gives context to how individual pieces, like mobile and social, fit into the bigger picture. It’s vital for financial services teams to understand that digital is not simply an “add-on” to current offerings; it’s changing the way everything is done.

Keep in mind that a map is just that – a map. It won’t come pre-loaded with strategy and assurances. As new data comes in, your map(s) might need to change. “Any lack of data will create gaps and cause integration and process flow issues, and needs to be addressed from an end-to-end process” (KPMG).

Data should always be a key driver for decisions made relating to customers. After creating customer journey maps, use these data-driven guides to direct marketing, customer service, and customer experience decisions.

What to Include in a Customer Journey Map

A customer journey map should include all interactions the customer has with your company. It should also talk about the customer’s goals, expectations, and perceptions. When available, you can include KPIs, which makes a journey map actionable. It also gives you the opportunity to see how KPIs are related to the journey overall, and get a bigger picture as to what may impact a specific KPI.

Similar to creating a customer persona, a customer journey map will tell the story of most customers. It will not cover all the nuances of the customer segment, and it should focus on the overall experience versus detailed interactions.

A user experience designer, Paul Boag, said there are two primary decisions that need to be made before creating a journey map: Identify the key stages of user interaction and identify the information you want to map. He also shares how to create a simple customer journey grid that will help you fill in this information. This is a great starting point for anyone looking to map customer journeys.

How a Customer Journey Map Impacts Customer Experience

With a thorough understanding of every step your customer goes through, all departments of your organization can see how customers move through the sales funnel. This breaks each department out of its own “silo” and turns everyone’s attention to the needs of the customer.

A map will also show you where the customer experience is disjointed or painful. These gaps could include switching from one device to another, being transferred to another department, and moving from one channel to another.

By reviewing the customer journey map you can evaluate these gaps and how to shift these experiences to positive ones, delighting customers along the way.

Each time you take action to close a gap, you’re improving the customer experience. But each time you complete this process, it is important to evaluate how the customer journey is affected before and after this touchpoint. As long as this doesn’t cause another touchpoint to fail, you’ve made a positive impact on your customers.

Repeat this process again and again, closing as many gaps as possible.

Then, reevaluate the customer journey map. What has changed? Do you have data to show that your changes made an impact on the business? Is customer sentiment higher? Do KPIs reflect the improvements?

Remember that this is part of the long game of Digital Transformation. In some areas, you might see positive impact overnight. In other areas, it might take a few months.

Either way, this vital piece of Digital Transformation is going to make a positive impact on your business and on your customer.

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