4th of July represents America’s freedom, a day of national celebration and fireworks. Many of us will try to enjoy the Freedom from being cooped up indoors after the COVID-19 lockdown. But what does that mean for businesses? Some will celebrate their customer’s loyalty during these tough times and others the fact of still having a business. First and foremost, most companies will acknowledge the importance of adapting to new behaviors. I like to see things by putting myself in the shoes of the consumer, and the user, and under that lens, I can map out the journey that users have to get their perspective, and one thing is very clear: the customer journey has completely changed.
This Fourth of July will come with changes in the user journey, both online and offline. Many cities are skipping fireworks due to the challenge of maintaining social distancing protocols with big crowds. Others will use drones to broadcast the popular summer tradition. Fireworks or not, people are hopeful and ready for an economic rebirth.
The Hospitality business is slowly recovering, seeing a spike in bookings for the Independence Day weekend. Hotel properties have measures in place to ensure masks are worn while walking around indoors and installed multiple sanitization stations for easy access. You will have your temperature taken during check-in, and some hotels even have a new ‘gym by appointment’ policy to allow the staff to disinfect the area.
What does the July 4th user journey look like?
You are relaxing on the sofa watching TV, and you see a Fourth of July advertisement promoted by your local hotel. You get excited and grab your phone to browse the hotel website. You click on the hotel’s Instagram profile and start dreaming of being outdoors. You are dying for a change of scenery, so you pull up the site on your tablet or laptop where you can see more and better.
You visit the new hotel health and safety guidelines to understand what your experience will be like in these times. Is all that clear for you? Is the information easily available without too much browsing? Does the idea of going on vacation still sound fun after reading about masks and hand sanitizer? Is this enough to book online, or do you need to stop and pick up the phone to make a reservation and ask more questions instead?
Customer journey analysis means stepping into your user’s shoes to see the business from their perspective. A graphic representation of the journey will help you see where and how they interact with your business, focusing on the different stages of the buying process. Understanding how they behave in your website will tell you what to improve so they keep coming back. Let’s not forget, insights from the journeys also help your UX, design, and development teams create better websites. Ones where customers can actually feel comfortable when converting.
This fourth of July will be very different. Is your website user-ready? Do you understand that many people will not flock to the web expecting to ask questions or try to figure things out? Are you catering for the different types of users, new and existing customers, and across devices?