By Katerina Kondrenko, Content writer
Before going to a physical bank branch, today’s financial consumers think twice. Since the return of COVID-19 in early 2020, consumer behavior has changed, with more and more people preferring to do things online. To understand what consumers want and how they act, it is essential to analyze their experience with banking services. So let’s take a look at what has changed and how the customer journey mapping review for banking and finance can transform the way your business operates.
How customer behavior has changed in banking and finance
Here are some of the key statistics that define customer service needs in the financial industry today:
- Growing digitization. In the Accent Global Banking Consumer Study, we find that the acceleration of physical branch closures, caused by the closures, has resulted in an increase in the number of consumers (~ 50%) who use mobile apps and websites to access banking services , up from 32% in 2018. Meanwhile, in the United States alone, the volume of transactions processed by physical banks has fallen by 30-40%. At a time, McKinsey & CompanyThe article indicates that 15-20% of consumers in Spanish, Italian and American banks are ready to continue using digital channels to interact with their banks even after the end of COVID restrictions. In Western European markets, this figure climbs even higher (to ~ 80%).
- Security concerns. The rapid digitization of banks has created digital security concerns. For example, in Australia, consumer banking mistrust digital banking channels, which means banks will need to invest more than ever to gain consumer confidence and enhance their security. Likewise, neobanks also face challenges in gaining the trust of consumers in the long run, despite the technological know-how. For example, Plum States that over 91% of their customers also have a linked physical bank account.
- Customization. Advances in technology have made it easier than ever for financial providers and other businesses to tailor their services to the consumer. Over 72% of customers believe this is a must have for any financial service provider.
Four concrete steps for an exceptional customer experience
Knowing the statistics is useful, but on their own they will not define market demand. For this you need to know more about who your customers are and what they are going through. This is where customer journey mapping comes in for banking and finance. Here are four proven steps to help you implement this methodology in your business.
Step 1: Define your customers
This step is to study the general customer experience with your brand and its behavior. Find your buyers– their current preferences, their weaknesses, the devices they use and their previous experiences. Then, based on this data, create your customer profile. You may have already developed your customer profiles (aka personas), but in the post-pandemic world a lot has changed, so it’s time to make sure their profiles aren’t out of date.
Once you have that data, it’s time to refine it and define the characters you’ll focus on when mapping or updating the customer journey or even redefine existing ones. Each persona will have their own path of interaction with your business. And knowing the steps they take is essential so that you can better tailor your product or service to their needs every step of the way.
Step 2: Map your customers’ current experience
Now you have understood what motivates your customers. So take a look at what specific steps a customer persona takes when engaging with your brand. For example, explore how they come to know about your brand, what steps they take before they buy, or if something is preventing them from finalizing a purchase.
To avoid getting stuck in creating a customer experience map, you can use customer journey map templates for banking and financial organizations.
If you already have a route map, make some updates based on the new consumer reality. In doing so, you will closely study the experiences and general behaviors of your customers and understand where you should be directing your attention.
Step 3: Analyze the experience map
After creating a customer experience map, you need to analyze it. Note that this process will be more efficient if you invite your teammates and stakeholders To take part. These points will help you get started:
- Trace your customer experience at different stages of the journey. You can get a lot of information about how your customers engage with your business. You may find that some stages of the customer journey have changed. Or you can discover areas of your business that could be critical to customer engagement.
- Think about the communication channels. Banks need to be careful about how and through what channels their customers want to communicate. For example, the bank only had one hotline to call, which was always busy, which disappoints customers. To solve this problem, the bank developed a chatbot and, by improving the communication process, improved customer satisfaction.
- Don’t forget the stages of the journey that take place online. As more and more financial clients are going online, and for some of them this experience is new, it would be a good idea to see if everything is going well or needs some tweaking.
Premium: Customer experience cards aren’t just limited to your customers. You can also use the same tools with your employees to improve their experience of your work processes. Gaining an understanding of their work history and weaknesses can highlight critical areas for improvement. Remember, improving your team’s experience helps employees deliver higher levels of customer satisfaction.
Step 4: Imagine and develop an action plan
Once you are done analyzing and identifying all the strengths and weaknesses of your customer’s journey, you can move on to the ideation part. Here, you, your teammates, and stakeholders must decide on ways to fix what isn’t working and improve what makes your customers happy, and then organize them into a further improvement plan.
Here are some expert tips on how to make your plan workable:
- Perform upgrades that require minimal effort. Because the financial services industry is highly regulated, you can start with the steps that you can quickly implement without breaking any rules. For example, check when you last updated your website. Invest in this business and think about how to make it more convenient for your customers, such as creating content articles that provide a how-to guide for your customers or even a chatbot to address your customers’ concerns.
- Engage the right people at the right time. To speed up the implementation of your plan, be sure to involve all relevant stakeholders at the right time. This way everyone will be aware of potential issues and will be available to help at the right time.
- Prioritize between strategies. Some good ideas only seem to be good. This is why it is essential to incorporate hypothesis testing into your work plan. Create what-if scenarios or service plans to see if your plan is worth implementing. This doesn’t guarantee that the chosen idea will work after implementation, but it does help filter out those that probably wouldn’t.
Next steps to follow
Client behavior is never stagnant and can change over time, especially during difficult times like pandemics and crises. These changes affect businesses in various fields, including financial services. So it makes sense to stay on top of major changes.
To maintain a competitive advantage in the marketplace, you need to carefully monitor your customers’ experience. To do this effectively, examine your customer’s journeys and use them to create action plans to improve your product or service. Remember, companies that use customer journey mapping provide a better customer experience, and in doing so, retain more customers in the long run.