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Customer journey mapping in banking: A 7-step framework for success

In today's competitive banking landscape, providing an exceptional customer experience is crucial. The way to deliver this is through understanding the customer journey, and this is where customer journey mapping comes in. By visualizing the customer's interactions and experiences at each touchpoint, banks can gain valuable insight and make informed decisions that help tether customers to their brand.

Key takeaways

  • Journey mapping helps identify areas for improving and optimizing the overall customer experience.

  • 79% of companies say their journey maps have allowed them to become more customer-centric.

  • Traditional banks are under threat—digital-only banks are gaining favor, making CX even more important to differentiate.

What is customer journey mapping in banking?

The customer journey in banking begins the moment the customer starts interacting with your bank’s products and services. It provides a roadmap for how your customers interact with your bank. That can be in the simplest forms, such as opening a digital account or making a transaction. As loyalty builds, customers may come to your bank for mortgages and wealth-building products.

No matter the product or service, customers today expect banks to deliver seamless digital experiences through a website or app. Online banking has opened the door to digital customer journey mapping, where banks can see and analyze every touchpoint a customer makes along the way.

A retail banking customer journey map visually shows every step a customer takes—from the first interaction to capturing every engagement with your bank over time. Customer journey mapping uncovers key insights such as:

  • What behaviors do customers exhibit

  • What customers are engaging with on your website or app

  • What actions customers take or don’t take

  • Where there’s friction or areas of struggle

Once these insights are visually mapped, banks can use them to improve functionality, fix errors and identify opportunities to increase conversions or decrease time-consuming roadblocks.

Example of a retail banking customer journey map

According to Hanover Research, 79% of companies say their journey maps have allowed them to become more customer-centric. Below is an example of a typical retail banking customer journey.

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Why is customer journey mapping important for banks?

Customer journey mapping empowers banks to gain a deeper understanding of how their customers interact throughout their entire experience with the brand.

During the process, banks can identify and address inconsistencies or gaps in services with the goal of improving customer loyalty, retention, engagement and the overall customer experience.

According to Bankrate's key statistics on digital banking in 2023, approximately 60% of consumers say they are very or somewhat interested in using a digital-only bank in the next year. The generation most interested in digital banks is millennials—a demographic traditional banks need to grow revenue.

In a highly competitive industry that’s undergone incredible digital transformation in recent years, one size does not fit all. Simply providing digital access to products and services isn’t enough. Customer journey mapping gives banks the opportunity to get a granular picture of the digital experience so they can differentiate and innovate to win over customers.

The benefits of customer journey mapping in banking

Customer journey mapping in banking is a gateway to gaining a deeper understanding of customers, making customer service a priority, improving customer retention rates, optimizing the customer experience, eliminating ineffective touchpoints and better predicting customer behavior.

Below, we’ve identified four of the key benefits of customer journey mapping for retail banks.

1. Improves customer satisfaction

Understanding the customer journey is imperative for banks to improve customer satisfaction. Customer journey mapping uncovers key insights, such as pain points, and empowers banks to proactively address them. By streamlining processes and reducing friction, banks can significantly improve customer satisfaction levels.

2. Enhances customer loyalty

Just as a negative customer experience can drive customers away from your brand, a positive experience is directly linked to customer loyalty. Customers want to do business with a bank that makes their journey effortless and fruitful. By identifying and eliminating pain points, banks can create a seamless and enjoyable experience that encourages customers to stay with the bank for the long term.

3. Increases cross-selling and upselling opportunities

Core offerings such as checking or savings accounts may be the bread and butter for a bank, but to grow revenue, they need to cross-sell and upsell too. Customer journey mapping helps banks identify moments where they can introduce additional products and/or services to existing customers. By understanding the customer's needs at each touchpoint, banks can offer personalized recommendations that add value to the customer's banking experience.

4. Optimize channel integration

With the rise of digital banking, customers now interact with banks through various channels, including online, mobile, and in-person. Customer journey mapping enables banks to optimize the integration of these channels, ensuring a consistent and seamless experience across all touchpoints.

👀 Check out The Complete Guide to Customer Journey Maps for more benefits.

How to create a customer journey map in banking: A 7-step proven framework

Banking customer journeys are critical in today’s world, where there are so many touchpoints to connect with consumers and so many devices they interact on. Because of how important they are, we’ve pulled together a 7-step framework below to set your bank up for success.

1. Define customer segments

Begin by identifying the different customer segments that the bank serves, such as baby boomers, millennials and Gen Z. Each segment has different needs and expectations, requiring tailored customer journey maps.

Various segments may also bank differently. According to research, Gen Z is less likely to have a traditional bank account than millennials or baby boomers. The same study revealed that just 47% of Gen Z respondents, versus 75% of baby boomers and 70% of millennials, claimed to have an account with a traditional bank, credit union, neobank or technology company. Only 28% of baby boomer respondents, compared to 73% of millennials and Gen Z, indicated they had used a mobile banking platform in the last three months.

2. Identify key touchpoints

Map out the various touchpoints where customers interact with the bank, including digital platforms like websites and mobile apps or call centers. Highlight the key stages from initial awareness to becoming a loyal customer.

Examples of touchpoints are:

  • Advertising (including digital or print)
  • Social media
  • Website
  • Mobile app
  • Welcome/thank you emails
  • Physical branches
  • Customer service
  • Reviews
  • Influencer recommendations
  • Peer reviews
  • Customer onboarding
  • Physical and digital events

👉🏻Learn more about the different touchpoints in The Complete Guide to Customer Journey Maps.

3. Gather customer data and feedback

Engage with customers to gather feedback on their experiences at each touchpoint. Use surveys, polls and live chats, just to name a few, to collect customer feedback.

A voice of customer (VoC) program can help you gather customer feedback. When integrated with a digital experience intelligence (DXI) platform like Glassbox, you get data around the context of customer feedback, so you can understand:

  • What performance issues the customer experienced

  • What parts of your website or app customers interact with

  • Which audience segment they were from (depending on the tool you use)

This data gives you a holistic view of the customer experience and enables data-driven decisions.

👉🏻Find out how your bank can benefit from implementing a VoC program in The Complete Guide to Voice of Customer.

4. Map the customer journey

Create a visual representation of the customer journey, including all stages and touchpoints. This can be done using flowcharts, diagrams or specialized customer journey mapping software. Emphasize the importance of empathy and understanding customer emotions.

👉🏻Find customer journey map examples and templates in The Complete Guide to Customer Journey Maps.

5. Identify pain points and opportunities

With a customer journey map in place, banks can analyze it to identify pain points, bottlenecks and opportunities for improvement. With this data in hand, banks can prioritize these areas and implement changes to enhance the customer experience.

It’s important to understand the issues and challenges banking customers face. We’ve outlined the most common ones below:

  • Complex onboarding processes: Overly complicated onboarding with many steps to complete provides a negative first impression that diminishes customer experience.

  • Poor user experience (UX): Confusing website or app navigation, slow loading times and unresponsive design can frustrate customers and cause them to leave.

  • Lack of personalization: Customers may feel that their bank doesn’t understand their individual needs, resulting in irrelevant offers and services.

  • Complex products and services: Difficulty understanding complex financial products and services can hinder decision-making.

  • Limited digital services: Banks that lag in offering digital services, such as mobile check deposits, digital account opening or online loan applications, may frustrate customers.

  • Cross-channel inconsistency: Varying experiences between online, mobile and in-branch services can cause confusion and frustration.

  • Ineffective communication: Customers may not receive timely or relevant communication from their bank, leading to missed opportunities or misunderstandings.

  • Inadequate customer support: Difficulty reaching customer support or receiving timely assistance when facing issues or inquiries can cause frustration.

  • Security concerns: Worries about data breaches, identity theft and fraudulent activities can erode trust in online banking.

🔥Hot tip: Using a digital experience intelligence tool like Glassbox to identify points of friction at important touchpoints in the digital journey is imperative when trying to identify opportunities for optimization and improvements.

6. Use data to make necessary changes and improvements

Use insights to make data-driven improvements to the banking customer journey. Leverage information gained from journey visualization, AI-driven insights and business impact metrics to take actions that improve the customer experience.

7. Continuously monitor and update

The customer journey isn’t static and is continuously evolving. Monitor customer feedback, industry trends and changes in customer behavior regularly to ensure it’s working effectively. Having access to tools that enable banks to easily access the most meaningful insights is critical in a digital era, where the best digital experiences create loyal and engaged customers.

🔥Hot tip: Typical data analytics tools can offer useful quantitative data, but digital experience intelligence takes insights far beyond these capabilities for macro and micro conversion points that matter most.

With a comprehensive suite of sophisticated tools, you can optimize the parts of the customer digital journey that will provide the most value to your customers and, in turn, your bottom line. Get more information about the tools you need to get ahead in the blog, Digital customer journey stages exposed: From awareness to purchase and beyond.

Examples of customer journey mapping in banking

Some high-profile banks are proficient in customer journey mapping. Whether striving to improve customer experience in a contact center or introducing new customer-centric offerings, these banks have this in common—they understand the value of customer journey mapping for retail banking. Below are examples of three banks doing customer journey mapping right.

1. Citizens Bank

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Citizens Bank leveraged journey mapping to improve customer experiences with its contact centers. The bank used reviews and customer feedback for journey mapping. In the end, the mapping exercise led Citizens Bank to shift focus away from an internal metric of call handling time to a more customer-centric metric of improved first-call resolution (FCR).

2. Bank of America

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Bank of America stands out for creating exceptional customer experiences and having a customer-centric approach. By mapping the customer journey at all stages—awareness, consideration, purchase, usage, loyalty and advocacy—the bank improved its mobile and online banking offerings, created a cash-back rewards program and introduced online appointments.

3. Wells Fargo

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In its journey to customer experience innovation, Wells Fargo leveraged customer journey mapping to help customers better manage their finances. This process led to the introduction of a new app that helps customers keep track of and maintain more control over recurring payments for services they may no longer use.

It pays to understand your customers’ banking journeys more clearly

Customer journey mapping is a valuable tool for banks to enhance the customer experience. By understanding the customer's perspective and identifying pain points, banks can make informed decisions to streamline processes, optimize channels and ultimately provide a seamless and exceptional banking experience.

A digital experience intelligence (DXI) platform like Glassbox provides rich insights that show you the complete picture of what your banking customers are doing when engaging with your website or app—and, even more importantly, why they’re behaving that way. These advanced insights can be used to improve the banking customer journey. Learn more at


1. What is customer journey mapping in banking?

A banking customer journey map visually shows every step a customer takes with digital platforms—from the first interaction to understanding everything they do while engaging with the bank over time. Customer journey mapping uncovers key insights and pain points so banks can improve the customer experience.

2. What are the benefits of customer journey mapping for banks?

The four primary benefits of customer journey mapping are:

  • Improved customer satisfaction

  • Enhanced customer loyalty

  • Increased cross-selling and upselling opportunities

  • Optimized channel integration

3. What are the steps to implementing customer journey mapping for banks?

The seven steps a bank should take to implement customer journey mapping are:

  1. Define customer segments

  2. Identify key touchpoints

  3. Gather customer data and feedback

  4. Map the customer journey

  5. Identify pain points and opportunities

  6. Use data to make necessary changes and improvements

  7. Continuously monitor and update