Walk a Mile in the Consumer’s Shoes with Credit Union Journey Mapping

Sean Galli
Walk a Mile in the Consumer’s Shoes with Credit Union Journey Mapping

Empathy is the bedrock of why credit unions and community banks serve consumers. You understand people and provide them with opportunities not every financial institution offers.

But do you know what members or customers experience at your credit union or community bank? Truly? Oftentimes…the answer is no.

An unclear member experience means you have unremarkable bank or credit union journey mapping. So, let’s walk a mile in the consumer’s shoes and discover how to make a journey map that wows people.

The Journey Begins…

Just like a normal trip, your bank or credit union journey mapping has a beginning. And you start as you mean to go on (especially in the consumer’s mind). A positive first impression leads 72% of people to tell others about you, while unhappy campers typically tell nine to 15 people about their impressions.

In summation, it’s important to get the beginning right – whether in branch, on the phone or online. And often, this is quite tactical.

Examples of positive starts to the journey include:

  • Short wait times
  • Cheerful greetings
  • Brief loading times
  • Secure sign-ins
  • Real people picking up the phone

The Extra Mile…

When you ask most institutions what makes them different, they say "service." But if service is everyone’s differentiator, then it’s not a differentiator at all.

Distinguishing yourself means going above and beyond with your bank or credit union journey mapping. Don’t be afraid to break the mold. Innovate!

Put a coffee bar or milkshake machine inside your branch. Turn your branch into a business center. Enter every caller into a drawing, reward the lucky consumer and publicize your actions. Turn your website into a choose your own adventure tale that directs people to pages in a fun way.

Those are all big, crazy ways to make a wow experience. But you don’t always need to reinvent the wheel. You can simply outdo slow competitors by means of smaller (budget-friendlier) adjustments:

  • In-and-out of branch in ten minutes guarantee (for simple requests)
  • First-ring phone pickup
  • Three-click online applications

Diverging Paths…

Robert Frost’s famous poem, "The Road Not Taken," discusses taking a road "less traveled by" and the difference it made. Sadly, the road not taken in bank or credit union journey mapping is providing real solutions to consumers when the situation arises.

Staff are afraid of "selling." Maybe it feels "dirty." Or employees need training to recognize triggers brought up by consumers. Let’s address all three points:

  • Selling something (if done in good faith) is not about your benefit but someone else’s benefit. Provide the solutions you know will make a consumer’s life better.
  • Related to point one, nothing about offering an account or loan to meet someone’s needs is "dirty." You’re helping solve a consumer’s problems, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
  • Employees may see themselves more as order takers than problem solvers. So, any references to consumer problems go right over employees' heads. Teach your team to recognize these triggers and offer relevant solutions.

Imagine being someone who not only got what he or she originally came for but also got answers to a stressful life issue. That’s service to remember!

And if you’re struggling with your bank or credit union journey mapping, On The Mark Strategies can help. Book a free consultation and begin construction on your wow experience.

Sean Galli
Marketing Coordinator