One of the most talked about trends in financial services today is journey mapping. The term is commonly used to reference what it’s like—from beginning to end—for the consumer to “experience” doing business with you (i.e. your credit union or bank). The journey map often includes every single touch point (branch, call center, digital, etc.).

The best performing credit unions and banks have “mapped” the journey they want consumers to have. Quadient, a consumer experience innovator, reports that 85% of companies who utilize journey mapping see a positive impact on the experience consumers have with their brand.

For example, from the moment someone walks into a branch until the moment they leave, what is the step by step process they should take?

From the moment they call your financial institution to the moment they hang up, what is the step by step process they should take?

From the moment they use your digital channels to the moment they put down their device, what is the step by step process they should take?

That is journey mapping.

The problem with most financial institutions, however, is that rather than having a journey map they have a journey dart board. At one branch they receive great service while at another they are ignored. During one phone call their issue is resolved while another time they call they get lost in a phone tree matrix.

If doing business with your credit union or bank is more like playing darts—throwing something against the wall and hoping the experience is good—then it’s time to do a journey map.

As we’ve mentioned previously, one of the three C’s to a strong brand is consistency. The more consistent your brand is, the stronger it is. And one of the best ways to gain that brand consistency is through creating a journey map. Sometimes we tell our clients this is where you operationalize your brand.

So how can you ensure your bank or credit union has a map rather than a dart board? Here are three tips:


  • Make it a strategic priority—As you review your upcoming strategic plan, where is journey mapping on it? What is not prioritized is not accomplished. As motivational speaker Zig Ziglar said, “Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem.” CUNA’s recent E-Scan mentioned the importance of delivering an easy and engaging user experience. If this trend did not bubble to the top and work its way into your overall strategy, then you will continue to have a journey dart board rather than a journey map.


  • Involve front-line staff—While it’s critical that executives set journey mapping as a strategic priority (see point above) they are not the only ones who should implement it. For example, when we help clients create their customized journey map for their institutions we always involve some key front-line team members in the creation process. Why? Because they are far closer to consumers than executives are and have a much better feel for what really works on the front-lines. The more engaged your staff is with the creation process the more likely it is that you’ll have a journey map rather than a journey dartboard.


  • Get an outsiders’ perspective—The old saying “sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees” applies to journey mapping as well. Sometimes we are too close to our own credit union or bank to see where our engagement gaps exist. We all have our own biases, and when it comes to creating the best possible consumer experience we need someone from the outside to guide us on an unbiased path. Gaining that outside help will ensure you have a journey map rather than a journey dartboard.


Playing darts can be fun—but you never know what target you’re actually going to hit. If you want to hit a bullseye with the consumer experience at your credit union or bank, then your best approach is to create a journey map.