The new normal isn’t so normal.
It’s no question that the pandemic has changed consumer behavior forever. And as the new way of doing things continues to evolve, businesses will attempt to keep pace with consumer preferences by offering new ways of doing business. Even in the past few months, we have seen an exponential increase in digital transformation initiatives, which can only be predicted to increase further as more time passes.
Improving customer experience has been a large focus of these digital transformation initiatives. Because people are shopping more online and performing tasks from home, there is less communication happening in-store, face-to-face. This shift is happening across all industries and is sure to expose new pain points for customers.
There are certainly trends to these shifts, especially with more business happening digitally. However, many consumer changes are specific to certain industries or even individual businesses. So how should you proceed? We recommend evaluating your own business, versus following what everyone else is doing. After all, customer experience is all about setting yourself apart from the competition, not following the status quo.
Where do you start?
Customer journey mapping, of course! Customer journey mapping is a powerful tool to help evaluate where your business is and identify pain points that customers are experiencing throughout their interactions with your brand.
What is Customer Journey Mapping?
Customer journey mapping is a way to break down your customer’s interaction with your company—from the very start of the transaction to the very end—in order to understand how customers are perceiving your company at each step along the way. This openly identifies the pain points that your customers are experiencing, and opportunities that you have to create more consistency and an overall more positive customer experience.
With traditional customer journey mapping, there is a much more straightforward process of triaging these pain points by priority and level of effort in order to take action. You can learn more about traditional customer journey mapping here. But with the rapid changes occurring due to the new normal, it’s important to understand which pain points should be addressed with long-term versus short-term fixes.
The pandemic didn’t create a lot of CX problems, it just heightened them.
The core principles of a good customer experience have not changed since the pandemic. Nor have the common customer experience pain points. People still want quick, effortless, and productive interactions with a brand, and the challenge in the new normal becomes how to achieve it. With restrictions, regulations, and fear influencing many typical methods, businesses must get creative about how to go about making changes to support customers.
But as mentioned earlier, it’s not as easy as it may seem. There needs to be a way to see which issues are worth pursuing long-term solutions, and which just need a quick fix. The best way to differentiate between these strategies is to view a customer journey map created in the new normal side-by-side with a customer journey map created before the pandemic. This will highlight which pain points have always been an issue, which signals that a long-term solution should be used.
For example, if your contact center has always struggled with long wait times, and this is still a pain point since the pandemic, it would be worth pursuing a long-term solution like an Intelligent Virtual Assistant. Whereas if your business has only seen longer wait times via phone since the pandemic has started, and you see that this is due to more people calling about operating hours, there may be a simpler, short-term solution such as posting the operating hours more prevalently on your website.
Ready to get started?
Download our eBook about customer journey mapping in the new normal to learn how your business can leverage customer data in the new normal for optimal business practices.