Customer Experience Mapping: First Niagara Bank

May 18, 2017

Why This Case Study Is Relevant

It demonstrates how customer experience mapping can uncover actionable opportunities that financial institutions often overlook.


First Niagara Bank wanted to understand where customers were dissatisfied so they could improve messaging, develop/offer new products and services, and potentially shift customers to different channels (e.g., telephone vs. mail) at key decision points. We recommended developing a customer experience map (also known as a customer journey map) as the first step in identifying gaps in the overall customer experience.


Customers felt like they became a number once they’d opened an account. They felt that products and services were not personalized for them and that the bank didn’t care who they were.


Our team conducted online and offline research with a group of First Niagara customers to discover what they were thinking, feeling and doing at each stage of the life cycle. We looked at these stages:

  • Consideration
  • Account opening
  • Day-to-day account management
  • Relationship expansion
  • Account close

Customers were asked to identify the ideal experience they wanted from their bank and compare that to their actual experience.


The journey map identified that customers found the online account opening process hard to use. We improved the online account opening experience with new forms, better directions and a tool that let customers know where they were in the process. These innovations led to a 500% increase in online accounts.

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