Beware: The digital customer journey may not include you

Before the internet and smartphones, most consumers made purchases in a predictable, logical sequence that included product research, shopping, purchasing, engagement and maybe even increasing a relationship and making referrals. Today's digital consumer finds information and makes purchases across multiple channels on various devices. As a result, your organization may not even be part of the customer journey.

When was the last time you made a major financial decision? Have you purchased a house, a car, a new television or an expensive piece of technology? Have you decided to set aside more money for savings, take out a student loan or transfer a retirement plan or move an investment relationship?

Most of us have done one, or many, of these activities in the past 18-24 months. How did you decide what you were going to buy and who your financial partner was going to be for the transaction? I doubt if many of you started the way consumers used to begin the process – by visiting a branch and meeting with a banking or credit union officer. I am also relatively certain none of you visited multiple financial institutions and compared paper brochures on the product(s) considered.

Today’s sales funnel and customer journey is not only fragmented compared to the past, it is different for virtually every person. It is not defined by age, income, family structure or even previous relationships already in place. The choices consumers have are almost limitless, with each journey being defined by the consumer based on real-time interactions. Convenience is no longer defined by distance, but by ease of digital tools the consumer has access to at every step of the journey.


continue reading »