When you want to improve your business, you need to understand its heart: the customers. Your customers view your product and service through a unique lens. Their experience plays an important role in determining your brand value. You can understand how your customers view your business by mapping the customer experience journey.
Every business wants to deliver a good customer experience. But your intentions might not always play out the way you want. You might think the sale process is smooth sailing. But the actual customer experience might be different.
Not to mention how different types of customers can have different experiences. But with a comprehensive customer experience map, you can create a great first impression and strengthen your brand value.
What is customer mapping experience?
Customer experience mapping refers to visualised forms of the customer experience. They illustrate the different places and ways customers interact with your brand. It allows you to view the process a customer has with your business. This can detail things like:
- How customers first hear about your product or service.
- How they communicate with your business during and after a purchase.
There are many ways to visualise the customer experience. Much of customer experience mapping takes form through infographics, diagrams and illustrations.
Why does customer mapping experience matter?
A customer experience map can tell a lot. For businesses, these illustrations are a great way to get to know their customers. Some of the core benefits of mapping the customer experience journey include:
- Identifying your customer experience pain points. You notice the problems customers might have and the ways you’re currently solving them. As you identify the issues, you can also start improving them.
- Providing you with a better understanding of your customers. You also get to analyse your customers. The better you know them, the easier it’ll be to tailor your marketing and customer experience.
- Improving your customer retention rate. Because of the above, you can start improving your retention rates. You can improve the customer experience and enhance the strong points in your product marketing and customer service.
Customer experience mapping gives you more insight into your business. You get to experience your business the way customers do, not just the way you want them to experience it. This will help you focus on your strengths and improve your weaknesses. Ultimately, you can provide customers with the experience they want and need.
While the above benefits are important for the business as a whole, it’s also important to note the advantage to individual teams and employees. Customer mapping experience can help employees improve their work.
Each individual in the organisation will better understand the big picture but also the role they play in the customer journey. You should always make the customer experience map available to everyone in the organisation.
What are the steps to mapping the customer experience journey?
The first thing you should know about customer experience mapping is that no map is alike. There isn’t an official way to move forward because each business (like each customer!) is different. However, there are certain best practices you should keep in mind.
1. Understand the buyer
You need to first analyse and understand the buyer. Who are they? What are their dislikes and likes? You’ll quickly realise that there will be several customer profiles. Although your customers will share certain characteristics, there will also be big differences. Don’t use a single customer profile as part of your map. Focus on the different ways customers engage with your business and the different goals they have.
2. Examine the different buyer contact points
A touchpoint is a time a customer comes into contact with your business. These are the points when they might be researching you, making the purchase or contacting customer service. These contact points can happen both online and offline.
It is important to identify all the different ways customers might interact with your business. As the number of digital buyers keeps growing, focus on online contact points becomes increasingly important.
3. Analyse your customer pain points
The above will provide you with a wealth of data. You can start analysing it at this point to discover the different customer pain points and roadblocks. Look at your data and find answers to questions like:
- Can customer achieve their goals online or offline when interacting with my business?
- What are the main frustrations customers have?
- When and why do customers abandon their purchase or engagement?
- What are my retention rates?
These questions will help you understand your current customer experience. It will reveal your strengths and weaknesses.
These are the key steps to mapping the customer experience journey. If you want to improve your business, then this is a great start. You’ll gain a better understanding of your business and the tools to strengthen your brand.