What is journey mapping and how can issuers use it to deliver a better customer experience? Here are three tips for business leaders to consider.
If you're looking to travel, tap a button and up comes a map with turn-by-turn instructions. If you're looking to gain entry into an online account, place your finger on the screen and you can unlock the passcode. Need groceries? Just swipe across your screen to add an item to your list, with an anticipated delivery in two hours.
As the previous examples illustrate, consumers are being exposed to seamless digital experiences across all industries. They're also transferring those expectations to their financial lives. When it comes to payments and financial services a great customer experience is just as valuable as having a superior product.
The Newest Battlefield – The Customer Journey
With customer experience being the new competitive battlefield, the stakes are high. A Walker study found that by the end of 2020 customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. And the price tag is huge: $98 billion is left on the table every year by companies who fail to provide 'simple' experiences.
To account for this strategic priority, customer-centric organizations, including those in the financial services and payments sectors, are using a process called journey mapping as an important tool to evaluate customer experiences and make optimizations that have a positive impact on the customer and therefore, on an organization's bottom line.
What is a Customer Journey?
Customer journeys consist of a progression of moments that together add up to the sum of a customer's experience with your organization. For a card issuer, that might include the customer's initial evaluation of a card, to the decision to apply, all the way through to maintenance and rewards redemption. While every customer journey may follow the same milestones, they progress on their journey individually so you will have customers at all stages simultaneously.
Why Map Your Customers' Journeys?
There are a number of reasons organizations choose to participate in journey mapping exercises.
An Outside In Approach
It's only natural to orient solutions around what's best for the business. However, it's important to factor in what is best for the consumer.
Journey mapping enables businesses (and business leaders) an opportunity to view a client pain point from a radically different perspective. Think of it as putting yourself in the role of your customer. Customer journey mapping allows you to see the experience as your customer does. It orients the team to understand the problem not from the business lens but rather from the user perspective – and in financial services and payments the user is usually the cardholder.
Take for example Harvard Business School Professor Theodore Levitt's famous maxim that "People don't want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole." If business leaders continue to aim their brainpower at building a better quarter-inch drill, they might miss the opportunity to deliver a quarter-inch hole in a method that is faster, less complex and more profitable.
Get to the Heart of the Matter
Customer journey mapping as an exercise allows business leaders to not only understand their customers' pain points, but it also allows businesses to understand just why that pain point is an issue. When explored from the user's experience, often times the root cause of the problem comes in focus, allowing teams to eliminate the root cause of that pain.
Flipping an experience from what was previously a significant pain into an unexpected gain can be the secret recipe for customer retention, especially when it's during a moment that truly matters to your customer. Knowing what makes a customer feel frustrated, what stops them from completing the tasks they need to accomplish (such as speedily checking out at a retail store), or understanding what they fear can change an entire customer relationship. As the business leader, you may have thought a challenge was minor, but to your customer, it may be the one thing they needed the most. Journey mapping helps organizations understand both the pain points and the root cause of them.
Often times the process of journey mapping and the insights gained from the exercise can not only help fix what is broken, but it can also spotlight areas where your business can stand out – especially if the outcome is enabling your customer to do something seamlessly. In a resource-strapped environment, it's tempting to merely fix what is broken rather than look for areas to leapfrog the competition. By mapping the customer experience businesses, there's a significant opportunity to discover potentially innovative ways of doing business.
Journey mapping is an ever more popular method of delivering exceptional customer experiences – while also removing friction, reducing expenses and delivering consistency across channels. When you put your customers at the center of your business strategy, it can help create a deeper understanding of your product strategy – and maybe even come up with something as game-changing as two-hour grocery delivery for the financial services industry.
Interested in mapping your own customers' journeys with Global Payments' company, TSYS? Learn more about our journey mapping solution for issuers by emailing our consulting team.