Over the past few months, most of us have embraced even more online habits such as ordering home-delivered groceries, socialising with friends over video and attending online exercise classes. Some predict that the online behavioural shift we are witnessing will shape our ways of interacting permanently—both with each other and with companies.
Corporations should, therefore, thoughtfully consider how this shift in online behaviours affects their business synergies and customer relationships in the longer term. Companies that successfully adapt their existing customer journeys according to new customer preferences will stand out more than ever.
What is a customer journey?
A customer journey is a way customers interact with your brand or business through different channels called “touchpoints.” These touchpoints can be anything from arriving on your website, reading a blog, making a purchase, or using your products and services. Customer journey mapping is a well-known tool used to visualise the customer’s experience, by illustrating the touchpoints customers make when they interact with a company, either online or offline.
As customers shift to new, unfamiliar touchpoints, journeys are dynamic and constantly changing. Evaluating your current customer journeys is a good starting point to gather insights and understanding of which are the most relevant journeys to prioritise right now—but also going forward.
Accelerate, pause or create new customer journeys?
Revising your existing customer journeys will help guide you in rethinking your priorities. Begin with asking yourself: which of our existing journeys fit into our customer’s new reality and should be accelerated? Are there any new journeys we must consider as a response to changing behaviours? Are there journeys not applicable at the moment, that should be paused?
When reviewing the journeys, investigate if any additional touchpoints can be automated to increase the self-service element of the journey, which can be particularly valuable to customers at this time. After this, make sure that self-service is working seamlessly in the journey’s your team commits to.
Focusing on highlighting digital options to customers and educating them on how to do things online themselves can create a lot of value to your customers. Good examples of self-service journeys are guides to self-installation, or how to implement software when customers and consultants are working from home.
Other components to consider adding are digital signatures, digital invoicing or remote control, where consultants access your computer to help and guide you that way. Also, adding remote training and virtual learning environments is crucial, both for customers as well as employees and support staff who might be faced with new types of queries from customers.
Ways to measure the journey with a variety of data sources
Using data and measurements will help you prioritise the journeys you decide to put extra focus on. There are many ways to measure the customer journey and this will, of course, depend on the data that is available within your organisation.
NPS (Net Promoter Score) may give you an indication of what is important to customers. Statistics on your website or in your product can show if behaviour and patterns are changing. Are there pages that are more visited now than previously, or functions within your product that are used more now than before?
Call centres also sit on relevant data, such as which concerns customers have when contacting them. Have the enquiries changed? Community and messaging boards can also be a source of information.
Qualitative research either through formal interviews or more informal conversations with customers will enrich the insights you get out of the measurement, in combination with various forms of quantitative research.
Ask customers which changes they are experiencing and if they have journeys that require adjustments to make their daily life easier. Talking with customers is extremely valuable, as it enables you to collect insight directly from the source. In our experience, customers genuinely appreciate the opportunity to be able to share their experiences in the interviews.