Customer journey maps are simply a diagram that illustrates the steps customers go through in engaging with a company, whether it be a product, an online experience, retail experience, or a service, or any combination. They serve a blueprint and discussion framework for marketing strategy and tactical execution decisions as they outline the customer experience and where and how they engage and interact with an organization. In essence, they help validate appropriate market engagement at the right stage of the life cycle.
Just as we’ve adapted our work/family life situations with COVID-19, it’s time to reevaluate customer journey maps because most customer journey maps were developed with:
- An office mindset. Constructs of the personas working in an office with colleagues abound – These days most people are working from home, leveraging the latest developments in video conferencing tech.
- A physical understanding. They include a number of channels/touchpoints involving in-person meetings, training, events, and dinners. Most in-person tactics have transitioned to digital or have been currently suspended.
- A prior existence. Typical pre-covid time distribution across the journey cycles—awareness, consideration, intent, and decision are present. Now, cycles are elongated during the research stages as it has become harder to collaborate with colleagues in real-time.
The Iron Horse Insight
If an organization’s customer journey maps have not been reviewed since COVID19, odds are the customer interactions are significantly different than what they reflect. That’s an issue; customer journey maps serve as a discussion framework for marketing strategy and tactical execution decisions.
Reevaluating customer journey maps doesn’t have to be an arduous multi-day project. Rather, first do a cursory review and flag where changes have occurred because:
- It will actually happen. Fitting in a couple of hours is significantly easier than several days.
- Primary issue identification. Though a cursory review will not identify everything, it will identify primary areas that require immediate action and will have a direct positive impact on a company. Then, once those are addressed, do a deeper, more thoughtful analysis.