Keeping Your Customer Journey Relevant in the Face of Change
POSTED : April 22, 2015

Earlier this year, Forrester Research, a leading advocate of the customer experience (CX) movement, reported that only 25% of CX professionals say their customer experience programs improve the customer’s experience1. Similar studies can be found elsewhere. Although there are many reasons why CX strategies fail, I’ve been thinking recently about one of them: people respond and adapt to change faster than brands do.

We frequently overlook that this customer experience stuff is important in the first place because both brands and people live in a world where change and disruption are the norm. Yet the standard tools we use for CX understanding—personae, journey maps, and the lot—are static artifacts. The more detailed the journey map, the more likely that some of it will be outdated by the time you get around to implementing it.

Journey maps don’t keep pace with customer journeys

Consider a local power company as an example. They’re responsible for getting power from the source to its customers. Now that Apple’s HomeKit and Google’s Nest have entered the space, that power customer’s journey now includes considerations like connected home automation and data security.

The answer to reducing the friction between documenting the customer journey and responding to a dynamic customer environment is not simply to ignore the problem, as many brands do. There are several things you can do to make sure you’re set up for customer experience success.

  • Incorporate possible futures into your journey map. Any journey mapping exercise should take into account the “macro-experiential” changes that are currently ongoing in your market. For example, the shift to consumerization in the healthcare industry has obvious effects on insurance companies—but it also has downstream effects on how people make decisions about their choice in health care provider.
  • Journey mapping is your starting point. Behavioral profiling is your goal. A true customer experience strategy takes it for granted that customers change. Therefore, every digital effort that is planned should incorporate a way to understand that change over time. For example, if you are supporting your customer journey through a mobile app, choose an analytics package that supports customer profiling and use that data to uncover changes in the way customers interact with your brand.
  • Understand that change is messy. Different people respond to change at different rates. Use what you know to understand whether any effort is aimed at early adopters or lagards.

Like everything around us, the ways we understand and enhance our customer experience is changing. Embracing change instead of ignoring it will provide a better chance of CX success.

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