How often should a customer journey map be updated?

Key takeaways:

  • New activities/touchpoints can be added to the CJM immediately, with discussions ideally scheduled every 2 weeks or monthly.
  • Data updates, if included in the CJM, should occur bi-weekly or monthly, especially before meetings where they will be reviewed.
  • Major changes to the CJM should coincide with quarterly reviews of marketing and CX goals.
  • Complete shakeups of the CJM structure are typically needed yearly, with more dynamic companies possibly requiring changes twice a year.
  • The ease of updating the CJM depends heavily on how it was created; using a dedicated CJM tool can streamline the process and make updates smoother.

After your new CJM is finished, you may be wondering what now. Or perhaps you haven’t created it yet but heard some horror stories and the answer to this question will be one of the determining factors in whether you’ll even go for it.

The simplified answer is that the number of changes in your CJM should always reflect the number of changes in your marketing or CX strategy. After all, the CJM is there to formalize the two and provide their overview. 

But let’s take a closer look at the most common types of changes you’ll be doing and how frequently they would be required.

New activities/touchpoints

Anytime/bi-weekly/monthly

When you come up with a new marketing or CX activity/touchpoint, you can add it to the CJM immediately. This is actually a good practice, too: oftentimes, the new ideas are just spoken and agreed upon verbally, but never really incorporated into the “workflow” – it’s just a matter of time until they are either forgotten or will cause a problem because not everyone was informed about them.

Since these are only minor additions, they usually don’t impact the whole CJM and can be added very quickly.

If your CJM is a creation of multiple people who don’t always work together, it may be best to write all the ideas in a common text document and then discuss and incorporate them together every 2 weeks or every month.

Data

Bi-weekly/monthly

Another thing you may have to add every couple of weeks is data. This all depends on whether your CJM contains data, and whether you’re adding them manually. If you answered yes to both, then it’s perfectly fine if you update them only before every meeting where you’ll go through them. And by the way – if you get tired of the endless scrolling and copying & pasting, check out our tool for customer journey mapping that can fully automate this process.

Major changes

Quarterly

Marketing and CX goals use to be reviewed every quarter, and therefore this may be the time when your CJM will have to accommodate major changes in your marketing or CX strategy. If there’s nothing significant to be changed, you will be able to skip this step and only use your CJM as a tool to review the quarter and plan the next.

Complete shakeup

Yearly

The more dynamic your approach to marketing and customer experience is, the more significant changes will your CJM require. Changing the whole structure and logic of the thing is not something you want to do often, but the good news is that you probably won’t have to: even the more “dynamic” companies don’t usually shake things up more than twice a year, and maybe the average is actually closer to a year.

If you’re on the more stable side and your approach is working, there’s no reason for doing huge changes and you’ll be fine with altering the CJM in smaller instances.

BONUS: The difficulty of changing the CJM

Whenever somebody asks about how often should a CJM be updated, it’s usually not because they want to structure spots in their calendars accordingly. Rather, they want to know how much time is keeping CJM up to date going to take. While what we’ve written above is true, there’s one factor that’s perhaps more crucial to this whole conversation than our previous points.

It’s how you’ve made your customer journey map. If it’s not done properly, even the slightest of changes will be a pain to make. On the other hand, if it’s made the way it should be, even the biggest shakeup will be a breeze.

The problem with many tools specialists use to create CJM is that they were not made to be used for customer journey mapping – and it shows, especially when the edits are needed. That’s why the most prudent thing you can do to save yourself a lot of time and allow yourself to make as many alterations as you want without losing it is to use a tool that was specifically made for this purpose as contains CJM-specific features.

Also, you may use some CJM editing manual.

Do you want to create an interactive and easy-to-use customer journey map with powerful touchpoints, personas, automatic KPI import & monitoring, and much more?

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