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So often we have brands reach out with some version of this question, “How do we increase engagement with our product?” Inevitably, the conversations they want to immediately have with us are about tactics—things like brand awareness initiatives, new brand content, or adding new product features.

However, nine times out of ten, there’s a critical piece of information that brands are missing. They have no idea the journey their audience is taking to discover, purchase, use, or engage with their product. Sure, tactics will create a momentary jump in metrics but, at the end of the day, they do little to advance sustainable product engagement.

Sustainable product engagement happens when the brand understands who their audience is and how and why their audience is interacting with their brand and product—across all channels, touchpoints, and interactions.

Customer journey maps move a brand from architecting services and engagement tactics based on demographics alone, to focusing on customer interactions—effectively positioning the brand to meet the consumer exactly where they are and delivering value in that moment.

For the finance industry, in particular, the idea of a customer journey map takes on a whole different meaning and offers up new ways to think about customer engagement.

Take a second look at demographics.

The majority of financial products and services are categorized by available income—which would appear to make sense—an individual must have the available income to be able to save, invest, or grow their money. However, when the financial industry segments the population based on income alone, the segments naturally restrict growth and make cross-selling other products more difficult. While income can be a strong qualifier for product access, the metric does little to communicate the readiness or suitability for a product or service.

Income may not be the primary influence on money behaviors.

The Customer Journey trend report from Rebel’s financial research series, explains the comfort level in managing finances—the individual confidence level was the single most important influencer for money behavior. This is over and above income, age, or family composition.

Provide value in unexpected ways.

With a solid customer journey map in place, brands can begin to understand where customers are getting stuck in the process, which interactions are creating friction or frustration, and when their customer feels the most confident––this is where the focus should be. When consumers feel confident about their purchasing decisions, the feeling engenders trust in the process and the brand—both of which are key in the financial industry.

The reality is, many finance industry products and services are weighted down with processes—some of which are good and necessary. The trick is to create an experience that provides transparency and clarity to the end user. The easier the process, the more likely the customer will reengage. A key way to identify ways to make the process more transparent is to map the customer journey to determine which interactions require more support.

Open the door for increased product cross-selling.

When brands understand their customer journey, they are able to identify why a customer is drawn to their services in the first place—and what potential areas there are to increase value with relevant products and services.

Research shows that when consumers feel confident in their financial decision-making, they are more engaged in the process. When they are more engaged in the process, they are more likely to continue to be more engaged over a period of time.

Graph showing how people navigate financial decisions.

The longer they engage, the more financial products and services they will utilize. The goal is to be top of mind for all of their financial needs. You do this by understanding what they need and delivering on those needs at the right time.

Customer journey mapping is an incredible tool that makes it easy to understand the process, decision-making, and steps that your customer is moving through. For complex industries such as financial services, there’s an opportunity to continue to rethink services and products—by understanding the realities of today through the eyes of your customer.

Example of a Customer Journey map

More insights.

Download our Customer Journey Through the Finance Industry trend report to get more insights.

The Customer Journey Through the Finance Industry trend report is displayed