The physical customer experience many of us are offering our customers today is not the one we planned to. For those organisations who had embarked on customer experience programmes and customer journey mapping we might feel like we’ve had a wasted effort, that the ways of working thrust upon us in the current global pandemic have thrown best laid plans and strategies out the window.
Journey maps as working documents
But this is far from the case. Indeed, those journey maps should always have been working documents. A baseline from which to build and adapt. As behaviours, opinions and motivations change we can use those maps to keep ahead of the needs of our customers.
With social distancing, distributed teams and different expectations in place, we have a new set of customer needs and challenges to respond to. Now is the time to draw benefit if you’ve already undertaken a customer journey mapping exercise.
Maybe your customers were won and impressed with the speed of delivery to match their hectic lifestyles? Were the pain points you identified failed payments which caused delays? Well now the pain point would be a failed payment which meant their important order of newborn nappies failed to arrive at all. The map you drew still applies but the impact and timing thereof has changed.
How to use what we already know
For those who invested energy into mapping the journey of a customer visiting a shop, you may well have noted an issue with the signage causing frustration to a customer not wishing to have to return the full length of a store for a tin of beans. Now the frustration of the return trip could be heightened by the anxiety of going against the movement of fellow shoppers or even the inability to return. Your programme may have been looking at clearer signages – does it now need to look at store maps?
When revising your customer journeys and experience strategy in light of recent guidance, perhaps it’s wise to focus your efforts around 3 key principles:
- Get real about your promises
What did you promise before? Was it speed? Was it flexibility of channel? Everybody understands that circumstances have changed but there are 3 keys promises you should commit to maintain:
- Clear, honest communication
- Regular review and clear updates
- Customer safety now, and for the long term
Reflect on your previous promises and be sure you can still deliver against them. If things need to change, communicate clearly what changes and why. Most importantly, avoid the urge to over promise!
- Gather customer feedback
Asking your customers to think far into the future right now might not prove very fruitful. So gathering feedback for new product lines might need to take the back seat but it’s important to gather the insight you need and can act on. Be clear that you’re only asking for what really matters right now.
- Review your customer segments
Often customer journey maps will be segmented to reflect different customer groups. These groups may reflect different demographics or behaviours. It may be time to re-evaluate the groupings you currently have.
New factors are at play in people’s lives more than ever before. Whereas you may have grouped together nurses and office workers from a demographic and life stage perspective in the past, the day to day lives and experiences of these different people may well mean that the way they interact with your business will vary too.
Some things to consider could be:
- Customers who are supporting elderly or isolated relatives
- Parents of young children juggling new duties as part time teachers
- People in key worker roles or with members of their household in these roles
- People experiencing financial hardship through being furloughed on a lower salary or being self employed
These factors are front and centre for your customers so it’s important to review your segmentation.
- Understand your new audiences
Remember too that you might have acquired new customer groups who didn’t interact with you before. Many people have started utilising digital channels for the first time, bringing them into contact with digital only organisations. Indeed in Statistica’s recent review of media usage, 40% of those questioned were using social media more.
Also, as supply chains to supermarkets and mainstream retailers struggle for some supplies, people are increasingly reaching out directly to suppliers or those with alternate supply chains such as farm shops. These organisations need to quickly get a handle on their new users and understand what the end-to-end experiences for these new customers looks like and what will matter for them.
Revisit, not erase
So, go back and revisit those journeys Have the moments of truth changed? Are the problems the same but solutions different? Do we need to recut our customer base? And what can we promise for the future? As our grandparent’s generation would have said ‘Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater!’
Where to start?
If you haven’t gone through the process of customer journey mapping don’t think you can’t start now. It’s possible to create a journey map reflecting your customer’s reality today. If you keep it simple and focus on the key journey steps, it can be a very useful tool. With remote working tools we can even help you get this important work underway immediately. Watch this space for our guides on getting your customer journey maps underway.
To analyse and assess what your customers think and feel about your business contact Fresh Nous on 01905 780810 or get in touch.