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UX Case Study: The Fraud User Journey
UX Case Study: The Fraud User Journey
Disclaimer: This is a case study to illustrate my personal approach in creating user journeys for a project.​​​​​​​

Customer Journeys (often called User Journeys) or Journey Mapping is a UX methodology used to get insights into a user’s experience when interacting with an organisation’s service or product across all touch points and channels. Each of these interactions directly affects the satisfaction of the user’s needs and ultimately the user’s dedication to the brand. By using storytelling and visualisation to map out the user’s journey, valuable insights and key opportunities can be uncovered to improve future user journeys that drive conversion and ultimately profit.

When creating a customer journey, you typically start with the user’s needs (based on actual user research) and work your way through the journey across all the touch points that the user has to go through to reach their goal. However, in this UX case study, the process has been re-engineered by using a real-life event. A couple of weeks ago, two of my bank accounts were hacked. Both within 24 hours of one another. Even though this experience was an unpleasant one, I saw it as the perfect opportunity to document this real-life incident and create a useful UX case study to illustrate how intricate customer journeys can be and how important it is to work through all possible scenarios for your users.

This case study is my personal customer journey with both Financial Institutions, Nedbank and Standard Bank. I’ll discuss each step of my journey in detail, together with customer journeys mapped out for each of the organisations, as well as guidelines and suggestions on how to create effective customer journeys for your organisation.

Please note that the purpose of this UX case study is not to affront the financial institutions involved, but rather to highlight the importance of mapping out customer journeys for your services and products, across all channels.




What a typical Customer Journey looks like

Below is an overview of the Customer Journeys I created for both Financial Institutions based on actual events. At first glance, it’s easy to see where the pain points are as well as the interactions that had a positive impact on the user’s experience within their journey. It’s important not to get caught up in the visual aspect of the journey mapping. The real value is in the data!










-- BEGINNING OF EXAMPLE --


The journey begins…

On Saturday, the 29th of December 2018, I noticed suspicious activity on my Nedbank account. I immediately phoned Nedbank and reported the activity. Afterwards, I logged into my Standard Bank account and noticed suspicious activity on this account too. I called Standard Bank straight away to report the activity.
Customer action: 
The first contact with both Financial Institutions was a phone call to report the suspicious activity.

Customer perspective:
I was feeling overwhelmed, anxious and upset. How did this happen? At the time, I was home alone and had no moral support.


My current need was peace of mind — that my bank accounts have been secured, and what to expect from the Financial Institution — how long will it take for my money to be refunded?


Organisation action: 
Nedbank handled the situation excellently. The person I spoke to was not only friendly but also had compassion for my situation, while Standard Bank’s representative was distant and unengaged. After the call, a follow-up SMS was sent.
Both the Nedbank representatives nailed the “human factor” element. By having empathy for me and my situation, they not only offered moral support but also gave clear expectations of what to expect of the process going forward. The human factor was threaded through the call to the SMS.


Never forget that your customer is real. A person with emotions — dreams and fears. As an organisation, you don’t just offer a physical or digital service to your customer, but also an emotional one. Get real!

NEDBANK

Customer action: 
Went to the nearest Nedbank branch to request a temporary card to access account.
Organisation action: The Nedbank representative was very friendly, however, she mentioned I might not qualify for a temporary card.

Customer perspective: 
I’m still feeling a bit on edge by not having access to my account. I need to make arrangements for debit orders — it’s the last day of the month! When the Nedbank representative mentioned I might not qualify for a temporary card, I immediately went into panic mode. How do I “qualify” to have access to my own bank account? Apparently, I qualified and received a temporary card.



Customer Journeys move through a range of touch points and channels within an organisation, both online and offline. Don’t get caught up by focusing on online only!



STANDARD BANK
Organisation action:
Two SMSes were sent with contradicting messages. The first SMS asked the customer to phone the Financial Institution (1) to proceed with the claim, while the second SMS notified the user that the Financial Institution will phone the customer (2).

Customer action:
Phoned the Customer Care number as requested by the SMS.

Customer perspective:
Why must I phone again to proceed with the claim? I already spent 30 min on my mobile with the Fraud Department the day before? All these calls are expensive and most of my money was stolen.



Organisation action: 
Two SMSes were sent to notify that the replacement cards are ready for collection at the specified Nedbank branch.

User action: 
Picked up both bank cards without any hassle.

User perspective: 
Things are almost back to normal, yay!




Organisation action: 
Sent an SMS to notify that the replacement card is ready for collection with a list of requirements.

Customer action: 
Went to the Standard Bank branch, but cannot collect the replacement card as there were issues with the organisation’s internal process. The customer left without the replacement card.

Customer perspective: 
Why am I being notified a day after the card was delivered? Not having access to my bank account impacts my day-to-day life, thus getting a replacement card is urgent!



Organisation action: 
Sent an SMS to inform that the credit card is in arrears a payment needs to be made urgently.

Customer action: 
Ignore SMS.

Customer perspective: 
I’m livid! I don’t have access to my account, my replacement card is blocked and I’m requested to pay money into an account with an unresolved fraud case.

Most large organisations have a set of pre-defined rules that execute a communication strategy. In this case, the account is in arrears and the “urgent payment” SMS is triggered BUT the rule has not taken into account that the customer’s scenario might not be the usual “exceed credit card scenario”.



As elaborate as it might seem, the pre-defined set of rules that execute a communication strategy across all channels, must take context into account. The wrong message at the wrong time can cause irreversible damage to your brand.


Organisation action: 
Sent an SMS for refunded fraudulent transactions (but no communication that the case has been resolved and closed).

Customer action: 
No action needed.

Customer perspective: 
I’m relieved that the fraudulent transactions have been refunded but it would’ve been nice to have closure of the actual fraud case.


Organisation action: 
Sent an SMS to inform that the fraud case has been resolved (but no communication regarding the refund of the fraudulent transactions).

User action: 
No action needed.

User perspective: 
If the fraud case has been resolved has all my money been refunded? How long will it take for them to call me?


STANDARD BANK

Organisation action: 
Sent a bank statement via email that included information about the fraudulent transactions. Not all the transactions have been refunded.

Customer action: 
Went to the Standard Bank branch again, but cannot collect the replacement card. There are still issues with the organisation’s internal process. The customer left without the replacement card.

Customer perspective: 
If the fraud case has been resolved why have all the fraudulent transactions not been refunded? My replacement card is still blocked and I don’t have access to my account. I’m annoyed!


STANDARD BANK

Customer action: 
Went to the Standard Bank branch for the 3rd time, but still cannot collect the replacement card. Issues with the organisation’s internal process are ongoing. The customer left without the replacement card.

Organisation action: 
None of the Standard Bank representatives could resolve the blocked replacement card issue.

Customer perspective: 
I have no access to my account as my replacement card cannot be unblocked. All the fraudulent transactions have not been refunded. I have no effective channel to speak to a Standard Bank representative that can help. I feel helpless and upset!


STANDARD BANK

Customer action: 
Phoned the Fraud department but was transferred to three other departments and eventually cut off.

Organisation action: 
The Standard Bank representatives for each of the departments could not assist and transferred the customer to several departments.

Customer perspective: 
I’m past being annoyed and upset. I am bordering on very intense negative feelings towards Standard Bank as a brand. I will be closing my account as soon as I can resolve this issue.


The Standard Bank Customer Journey is still ongoing at the time of publishing this article. The interactions documented thus far are more than sufficient for demonstration purposes for this case study.



-- END OF EXAMPLE --











Customer Journeys for this UX case study

All the interactions and touch points discussed thus far have been fed into a Customer Journey template to bring structure to the actions from both parties, the customer and the organisation, together with the thoughts and emotions of the user. When mapping out the visual experience based on existing data, it’s easy to notice pain points and investigate why touch points resonated positively or negatively with the user.

How to create an effective Customer Journey?

There are many ways UXers prefer to tackle journey mapping, the structure that works the best (and supported by the Nielsen Norman Group) consists of 3 main sections:

The Lens
The content in this section drives the direction of the journey map and guards the process against diverting from the objectives.

     - Who is the user?
     - What is the user’s need/goal?
     - What is the business goal?


The Heart
This section is the tangible experience of the user’s journey across a timeline. The content in this section includes the user’s actions, thoughts and emotions linked to a series of events. The Heart composes of:

     - The timeline can either be a defined set of values such as days, months or years
        or it can be composed for example Awareness, Decision-making, Purchase, Retention.

     - The user’s actions as they move through the touch points and channels.

      - The user’s thoughts and emotions that are triggered during their interaction with the service of the.
        The visual representation of these emotions will allow for a more accurate interpretation of the user’s
        perspective through their journey.

     - The organisation’s actions as they initiate interaction with the user or respond to the user’s actions.



The Output
The purpose of this section is to uncover gaps in the user’s experience with the product or service of the organisation. The insights from The Output section will highlight the pain points that need to be addressed to recover from a negative user experience which in turn also allows for exploring possible opportunities to surpass the user’s already enjoyable experience within their journey.


Remember that customers journeys should be factual narratives (based on user research), not fictional stories.




The Customer Journey check-list

1. User research is the foundation
Customer journeys must be based on real data. Talk to your customers.

2. Empathy is key
Never forget that your user is a real person with emotions. Without empathy, there is no effective journey.

3. Get some personality
Communication style should have a polite greeting, conversational tone and clear instructions. No technical jargon or memo style content!

4. Context can make or break you
Consider ALL possible scenarios. Don’t let system notifications with the wrong context chase your customer away.

5. Cater for online and offline
Focus on smooth transitions between online and offline touch points and channels. Don’t get caught up with online only.

6. Setting an expectation is actually a good thing!
Make sure that the user knows what’s expected of them, and at the same time make sure that the user knows what to expect of the organisation. Unresolved situations hanging in cyberspace just create negativity.

7. Avoid empty promises
All communication needs to happen in a timely manner. If you tell the user that you’ll do something in a specific time frame, make sure that you honour this.

8. Make the first move
Don’t ask the user to contact a call centre for feedback. Ever! Call centres have a negative association, thus asking the user to interact with a touch point with a negative association is bound to backfire.


Conclusion

There are too many unnecessary negative interactions that happen daily with a user and an organisation, and most of the time the organisation doesn’t even realise what is happening. Customer Journeys are such a valuable tool to ensure that user’s don't fall through the cracks, but it often gets pushed to the side. Make time to do proper user research and use real data to build effective customer journeys that will guarantee your product, service and organisation will be loved.



UX Case Study: The Fraud User Journey
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UX Case Study: The Fraud User Journey

Customer Journeys are such a valuable tool to ensure that user’s don't fall through the cracks, but it often gets pushed to the side. In this UX Read More
4
185
1
Published: