We’re in the midst of the most rapid change to human behavior that many of us will ever see. What you knew about your customers back in January just doesn’t apply now — and if you’ve got existing journey maps, they are officially out of date.
Prior to the pandemic, my general advice for when organizations needed to update their journey maps went something like this: Think about this activity like you think about servicing your car.
If you’ve ever purchased a new car, you know that you need to take it in for regular maintenance in order for it to stay under warrantee. Similarly, you should keep your new journey maps under warrantee by checking up on them regularly to see if anything major has changed. Perhaps as you’re looking at your maps you realize that the customer feedback scores related to this particular journey have been gradually sliding, or you realize that customers have been shifting from one service channel to another. There’s no hard and fast rule for how often you need to do these periodic checkups, but every six to nine months should be sufficient for most organizations.
Of course, you’re also going to take your car in for service if it starts making a weird noise, veering to one side, or shaking every time you hit a certain speed. These are internal trigger events indicate that your car needs to be looked at. You might also experience triggers that are external to your car, like getting into an accident.
Similarly, your business has trigger events that indicate it’s time for you to re-examine your journey maps. Internal triggers might include a change in corporate strategy, the decision to start offshoring customer support, or a major reorg that impacts how you’re delivering your services. External triggers might include the introduction of a new technology (like the iPhone way back when), a stock market crash, a controversial political election, or any other event that might change your customers’ behaviors — like, um, a global pandemic.
I never expected a pandemic to be one of the triggers I’d talk about… But here we are.
To move your business forward into our new normal, it’s critical that you understand your customers’ new (and evolving) needs and expectations — so that you can figure out how to best support them and, in turn, ensure the future viability of your business. So, if you’ve never created journey maps, now is the time do so. And if you have existing maps, you unfortunately have to assume that the information captured on them is no longer relevant.
Let’s get mapping!