Journey management for digital transformation

Published March 28, 2022

Whether opening an account, applying for a mortgage, or checking a balance – on the surface, many of the banking journeys seem standard from FI to FI. It is the journey details that create differentiating and profitable customer experiences. Leading FIs understand this dynamic, and drive innovation based on customer journeys across their portfolio. At the same time, fintech startups are disrupting the banking space. Is the success of the most transformational FIs based on a fundamentally different offering? Hardly. Is it a well-functioning core product packaged up in a consumer-centric service experience that rethinks the traditional way things are done? Absolutely.

Innovators rely on service design methodologies to think and act customer-first every step of the way. Service design is the practice of designing cohesive experiences across digital and non-digital touchpoints, as well as optimizing the orchestration of these experiences. With a journey-first approach, organizations can define and execute each step in the journey to truly drive value and differentiate themselves in the market. In a few short years, service design and journey mapping have become mainstream, used globally across many customer engagements. 

The major forces driving product development today

When it comes to designing new products, there are two major forces at work. First are consumers who desire ever faster, ever-simpler, and ever-more-engaging experiences – regardless of the touchpoint. Second is the ever-increasing number of digital and physical touchpoints consumers must navigate. To adapt to this, the industry needs to orchestrate journeys that allow consumers to choose and jump channels as they wish. At the same time, we need to drive simplicity and consistency throughout all touchpoints.

Related: Top banking trends to watch in 2022

From journey mapping to journey management

But merely mapping the journey during the development phase should not be the end. We live in a world of continuous customer feedback and continuous product release cycles – and yet in many organizations, journey maps resemble static artifacts that – at best – get updated a few times a year. The results are slower decisions, less relevant market insights, and more manpower needed to do the ‘heavy lift’ of updating a journey when it’s out of date. Plus, one group in the organization may not be aware of journey mapping work another group is doing, leading to inefficiencies and duplication of work.

But what if a journey map was not a static depiction of your current state and desired future state?

 What if you could manage change in real-time, using the journey just to orchestrate priorities in the background? Meet journey management. Here, insights are mapped against a central inventory of journeys, and each of the journeys connects to a repository of ideas and action items. Implementing this framework has several benefits:

  • Product organizations can make better decisions faster
  • Journeys gain relevance to a wider group of stakeholders
  • Innovators can drive change in real-time
  • It drives ongoing customer collaboration

Success factor: A flexible, adoptable journey taxonomy

The key to managing journeys at the scale needed by an FI is establishing a clear journey taxonomy, and an effective platform to manage the journeys in one place. Executives and strategists may just be interested in a high-level journey – the macro journey, while product managers and designers may need to dive deeper into more granular steps of the journey – the micro journey. In design and strategy sessions, the team documents insights and ideas that will drive change over time – the opportunities. These are further broken down into individual units of work to make that change happen – the solutions.

The key differentiator from traditional journey mapping is a many-to-many thinking in the hierarchy, one solution to solve for multiple steps in multiple journeys. For example, a cash withdrawal journey for an ATM can be adapted as an ITM journey with minor variations. Doing this drives consistency in the experience and provides cohesion between the different customer experiences a FI offers. 

In Summary

Implementing an effective journey management framework allows FIs to be close to the customer, create differentiating experiences in a rapidly transforming marketplace and even allows for better co-creation with partner organizations. The approach is quickly becoming best practice in the enterprise and the SMB space alike. The results back it up. Organizations that practice journey management are 1.6x more likely to outperform their peers1. Implementing robust journey management empowers FIs to be more agile and customer-centric across their entire portfolio. 

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