Journey mapping: Get started in 5 steps
Photo from left: Stephanie Como, Norm Buchanan, Kelly Hofheins, Kathy Cumberworth, and moderator Tammy Fleiger, VP-operations, Spokane Teachers CU

Journey mapping: Get started in 5 steps

‘It’s a great process improvement technique.’

October 4, 2017

Want to identify your service pain points, boost collaboration between departments, and ultimately improve the member experience?

Try “journey mapping,” a panel of credit union leaders advised Tuesday at the co-located CUNA Technology Council and CUNA Operations & Member Experience Council Conferences in Phoenix.

Journey mapping “is an engaging, collaborative process used to map out a particular experience from the member’s point of view.” It involves identifying pain points and designing new processes to create a seamless member experience.

“Journey mapping is a great way to keep the discussion of the member experience at the forefront of the organization and to build consensus across the organization,” says Norm Buchanan, vice president, member experience, for Alliant Credit Union in Chicago.

“And it’s a great process improvement technique,” he adds. “At the end of the day you have a list of process improvements.”

Five-step process

Kathy Cumberworth, vice president/corporate sales manager for Seven Seventeen Credit Union in Warren, Ohio, says journey mapping has had “a huge impact on our organization and culture. It helps us fix the disconnects, create structure, and give order to things.”

She suggests taking a five-step approach to get started in journey mapping:

  1. Determine the current state of what you want to measure. What’s happening now?
  2. Decide what you want to have happen. Where do we want to be? What we want members to experience?
  3. Examine what challenges and obstacles are getting in the way.
  4. Consider solutions. Do we need to change processes or products to reach the desired solution?
  5. Determine, once you implement your desired solution, the potential outcome. Will it be a seamless member experience, or something else?

Seven Seventeen used this process to examine a struggling payment protection product. The journey mapping discovered that employees didn’t know enough about the product to sell it.

After addressing this issue, “our payment protection numbers increased immensely,” Cumberworth says. “It’s a simple blueprint, but it works well.”

Other advice

Kelly Hofheins, vice president, member experience, for Mountain America Credit Union in West Jordan, Utah, suggests journey mapping everything from loan goals to employee performance goals.

“When we identify common themes, it shows us what we need to improve upon,” she says. “Identify what you want to improve, and then map it out. The power of journey mapping is moving.”

Just get started, advises Stephanie Como, division project manager at SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union in Tustin, Calif.

“When my boss approached me, I’d never heard about journey mapping,” she says, “but I gave it a shot. I did research online, read articles, talked to others who do this—then you have to plug your nose and jump in.

“We’ve done this for years, but we still make changes,” Como continues. “Don’t be afraid to keep growing and learning. Some people in your organization will have a knack for it.”

Measuring success

Before undertaking journey mapping, set a goal for the desired outcome and then measure the results afterward. Every map will have a different measurement because each goal is different.

When SchoolsFirst Federal mapped its construction loan processes, the goal was to improve the member experience as measured by Net Promoter Score® (NPS) and to improve closing times.

Afterward, the credit union had a 37% improvement in its NPS and shorter loan closing times.

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