What will your customer journey look like in 2021?

I’m sure you, like most of our Clients, have made huge changes to the way your people work and to your customer journey as a result of COVID-9.

There still many unanswered questions but people are now looking to the future and wondering which changes they should keep, or ditch, and what further changes they should make regardless of any restrictions.  Here are five thoughts that may help you plot your way through the morass of options.

The different 'voices', or perspectives that can make up customer journey maps

1. Choose your future

Most organisation have been heartened and even shocked by how quickly and fundamentally they were able to change. Of course necessity is the mother of invention but it does prove that you can be radical when thinking about the future design of your customer journey.

I am urging all of our Clients, and I urge you to take this time to choose your direction of travel.  Design the new experiences that will succeed in the face of increased competition and downwards pressure on costs that the aftermath of the pandemic will surely herald.

2. Understand what works for your customers

Some of the changes you have made will have improved your customer experience, others will have worsened it.  Before you move forward you must have a clear picture of what the new reality is like for customers, how it affects business performance and why.

Only when you have answered these questions can you build with confidence, taking the best from the new and the old.

3. Understand what works for your people

Changes to working practices have been forced on us all and many organisations are thinking about making those changes permanent.  But it is vital that you understand how these new practices feel for your staff.

Your customers are not all the same and nor are your staff.  A graduate employee and director will each have different needs.  Developing Personas for different types of employee will help you to understand what is going to work best for each of them.  And this isn’t just about people management and office versus home, you also need to think about how effectively your processes translate to different working practices.

The key thing to remember is that if your services are cumbersome for staff to deliver, workarounds and short cuts will abound, creating unintended consequences for customers and staff downstream.

Services must work as well for the people delivering them as they do for those consuming them. 

This will require very detailed design of your work experience and the delivery of services at every stage of the customer journey.

The strucre of a typical, deep-dive journey map.


4. Plan for different scenarios

The future is uncertain but you can plan for a range of scenarios putting the most detailed work behind the most likely scenarios and building in how you would adapt from one model to another.

Doing this work now puts you in control; it gives you the time to plan your vision for the future and to capitalise on your strengths.

5. Customer Journey Mapping

Journey mapping is the perfect technique for thinking through the end-to-end customer experience you want to create.  It can be high-level, to quickly compare different scenarios, or you can drill down to create detailed service designs.

Detailed maps always start with the customer experience however they should also encompass business strategy and strengths.  Furthermore they can be enhanced with a detailed view of the front and back office staff experience and finally to the systems that underpin each interaction.

Journey maps should be informed by research and data and can include variables like cost so you can see how cost accumulates through a journey.  And journey maps naturally inform the design of web pages and user interfaces, communications (written and spoken) and physical spaces.

If you’re curious about how you can use this technique to cost effectively plan your future customer journeys then do contact us. I’m happy to share our experiences and to help you evaluate if and how you can move forwards.