How Customer Journey Mapping for Banks Leads to New Accounts

Digital banking is rapidly becoming the main channel through which many customers interact with their financial institutions. While this shift to an online presence creates unique outreach opportunities for banks, success requires both innovation and a strategic mindset. After all, with more customer touchpoints and an increase of competitors and industry disruptors, customer satisfaction at every stage of onboarding is essential.

For many financial institutions, digital transformation and data analytics to improve their digital experience remain uncharted waters. They wonder where to begin to generate data-driven strategies to deliver positive customer experiences and, thereby facilitate seamless account opening.

That’s where customer journey mapping for banks comes into play.

The Benefits of Customer Journey Mapping for Banks

Customer journey maps are business intelligence tools that help you visualize each interaction between your institution and your prospects or customers. The digital onboarding journey is broader than merely applying for and funding an account through a mobile app. It begins with the prospect’s initial interest and new account research. The journey continues until that customer has funded an account and enrolled in value-added services such as direct deposit, eStatements and bill pay.

With customer goals in mind, each step of the journey is tracked. From ad campaigns and website access to account funding, you can better quantify how frequently customers successfully advance to the next step of the journey. From there, your institution can identify points that drive the highest traffic and leaks — steps in the journey that are causing customers to abandon the process.

In practice, this translates to measured results that guide institutions to repair or replace interactions that cause potential customers to diverge from their goal or look elsewhere. Applying small changes in the customer journey can improve customer satisfaction and significantly impact account opening success. Here’s how you can use customer journey maps to benefit your institution:

Gain Insight into Customer Needs

First and foremost, customer journey mapping helps your bank better understand customer pain points and improve overall satisfaction. Optimizing a new account opening is not just a point-in-time exercise. Instead, it requires constant improvement and monitoring to show gaps between the desired customer experience and the one received.

To understand that desired experience, it’s helpful to identify what the prospect in question needs to complete a purchase. Customer journey mapping makes that insight available by quantifying, which steps in the process cause customer friction and which ones drive higher traffic.

Pinpoint Development Opportunities

By illuminating several areas, including customers’ initial awareness, the reason for looking, barriers considered, options available, sales interactions and overall satisfaction, your institution can more confidently determine development priorities. Specifically, you can pinpoint bottlenecks in the journey and modify them accordingly. For instance, if there’s a trend in potential customers abandoning an account application after accessing a webpage, you gain a better idea that the offering or page itself is not a compelling one.

Emphasize Successful Drivers to Account Opening

On the other hand, customer journey mapping also illustrates the most effective traffic drivers that ultimately lead to new account opening. As many banking channels have digitized, the number of access points with your institution has increased. A journey map illustrates where customers interact with your institution and how they access those touchpoints. In other words, you can see what has been successful, whether customers have sought you out via search engine, accessed your institution through social media or clicked on an ad.

Customer Journey Mapping Enhances Your Bank’s Marketing

With exact figures for customers who accessed ads and ultimately opened an account, your institution gains a clearer view of which ads attract more customers. Ultimately, the goal is to embrace those assets and sequences that best influence revenue and improve those that fall short. If a Facebook campaign drives movement, you know to emulate that strategy in the future. With marketing insight, you can concentrate your efforts and expenditures on what matters most, rather than on less effective campaigns.

On the Path to Customer Satisfaction

Customer journey mapping is an essential tool to provide customers the experience they expect and transform your bank digitally. Financial institutions have a lot to consider when providing for their customers, but a data-driven perspective can make the difference between a new account and a missed opportunity. Improving digital banking solutions is an ongoing process, so take a look at this informative webinar to learn more about customer journey mapping and optimizing the overall customer experience.


Steve Kent is senior director, Digital Strategy, at CSI.

This story appears in Issue 4 2020-2021 of the Colorado Banker Magazine.