As an app development company, one of the design tools we like the most at Koombea is a Customer Journey Map (CJM). It is great because it allows companies to understand how customers interact and relate to products, services, and brands instead of making unfounded assumptions. In other words, a CJM helps understand and measure engagement.
The world has changed so much in the past months that many CJM have become outdated. Companies are having a hard time understanding customers’ new journeys. Although some elements have remained the same, others have changed, forcing designers and developers to reimagine how users interact with the world around them.
We believe there are some key elements that must be considered in order to reimagine customer journeys adequately. In this post we discuss some of the most important aspects and strategies to consider when redesigning a CMJ in the current context. Although our expertise is in app development, the ideas shared in this article are valid throughout a number of industries.
App development requires considering detailed ways in which users interact with apps and devices. Developers and designers are used to thinking deeply about how customers interact with digital products. Due to the changes the world has undergone lately, some of these interactions have changed.
The most obvious example of new customer trends is in the way goods are bought. Online sales have seen a dramatic increase, and there are reasons to believe that this will be the new status quo. The same has happened with services like telemedicine, digital therapeutics, finance, and education, to mention a few. Although each of these varies in the extent to which it will change permanently, everyone can agree that new trends are here to stay.
As a result, it is necessary to update obsolete CJM for a number of industries. The difficulty lies not only in spotting new trends, but in doing research on stuff that hasn’t even occurred but most likely will. Many future trends are just starting to take shape, leaving designers and developers dumbfounded as to what requirements they need to focus on. Failing to do so means that companies will face the risk of delivering poor customer experiences (CX). This, in turn, translates into customers potentially looking for better experiences somewhere else.
As companies try to reimagine customer journeys, they need to prioritize public safety & health, digital over bricks, and long term over the short term. Only with these elements in mind can new customer journeys be elaborated successfully.
In order to do so, it is necessary to find ways to retrieve dynamic insights from customers, especially in what relates to the unknown unknowns, those trends that we don’t know yet because they are just taking shape but that will inevitably happen. If done correctly, companies have the opportunity to differentiate themselves from competitors.
A major opportunity for differentiation is to shift towards contactless business models. This means that companies need to reinvent the ways they generate value, and although it is quite a task, it also presents many new opportunities to explore new business activities.
The How: Data and Creativity
For companies to get valuable insights from customers, it is necessary to have valuable data, whether it is quantitative or qualitative. Right now this is difficult because, as I have mentioned, many future trends are still taking shape in a very early phase. The best way to obtain data is to use technology, in particular, apps.
Apps allow companies to retrieve data from users in ways that would otherwise be impossible. Thanks to powerful tools like IoT and AI, it is possible for companies to establish data touchpoints and spot trends before they occur, and even more importantly, these tools can help companies establish their own trends.
Being creative with how apps are used is necessary in these troubled times where nothing seems to be safe. By using potent technologies and predictive algorithmic tools, companies can make use of the small quantities of data they have right now in order to spot changes in consumer behavior, but also to nudge consumers towards new journeys that reflect the new realities.
At times, it is best to admit that consumers don’t necessarily know what they want and that we have to give them what we think is best for them. This is especially true when it comes to innovations. This might sound a bit selfish, but when uncertainty reigns, someone must take hold of the situation, and companies are best positioned to do so. Businesses have a great responsibility in reimagining customer journeys. The ‘new normal’ does not have to be bad if we get to reimagine how the rules of the game should be, always keeping stakeholders’ safety first.
Risks and Uncertainties
Customers’ behaviors are changing, and no one can predict with certainty where they will go. Implementing new business models and solutions entails risks, but unfortunately, this is the reality we are living in. Apps can be an aid to reduce uncertainty and help deliver adequate solutions.
There is a lot of room for improvisation and creativity, but this should not be confused with doing things in a hurry or in a mediocre way. Having an app development partner that can help you develop the necessary technological skills to reimagine customer journeys is not a luxury, but a key ingredient of success. Making the right choices starts by choosing the right app development partner.
Digital is here to stay
Throughout the digital transformation, new trends will come, and some will go. Whichever way things turn out to be, delivering great customer experiences will remain a constant. Technology is the safest choice in order to reimagine customers’ journeys through your products and services.