Customer experience is a vast, multi-disciplinary field. With the ever-evolving, social atmosphere of the digital consumer, it’s no surprise that customer experience mapping is gaining a lot of prominence in the business world.
Customer experience is a huge field encompassing a lot of specialties, including marketing, product positioning, service management, sales, customer support and relations – just to name a few. So, when you look at a customer experience – you are actually looking at every step of a customer’s interaction from beginning to end. From awareness of the product purchasing, using, and responding to it.
Any abstract process or concept in business, is easier to understand when broken down into a visual map. It’s pretty common, in the computer age, for visual maps and flowcharts to include everything from numbers, figures and statistics to the human element – the way staff and customers interact with the product .
But, with something so vast, covering so many topics, how the heck do you even begin to connect everything together? How do you create a map?
I will summarize 3 key points to consider in customer experience mapping
#1 – Identify the channels of information
A customer will first become aware of your service or product through a number of channels. This awareness is a key points of customer experience.
A customer may become aware of the product or service via hearsay from friends, family or colleagues, from traditional advertising methods, social network outreach campaigns; or just by a general web search for solutions to the problem at hand. All of these sources are starting points, eventually leading to the company and product.
The customer then branches in one of three basic directions – the study of the company’s website, a phone conversation/email with customer service to get more information, or discussion of the service or product with family, friends or colleagues on social networks or word of mouth.
#2 – Searching and Researching
The customer experience is critical at the review stage- this includes online research and review by reading articles or blogs about your product/service, and that of competitors. From here, you will map customer activities through lines and arrows and link them back to your site
These are synthesized concepts, but they are an excellent way of seeing potential circles customers may be led in, as well as predicting where the masses will go for help. This gives you the ability to patch holes in your ‘warm’ lead marketing and initial customer relations.
Sometimes “choosing and committing” is plotted on the customer experience map. Create a point the moment a customer chooses to use your product or service. Based on where they found you, you may be able to predict channels where a customer will discuss their experience, product use and pros and cons regarding your product.
It’s a good way to plan where you will wait and respond to customer feedback.
These 3 tips just scratch the surface of how intricate customer experience mapping can be. I covered the topics as a starting point. There are many mapping techniques and map models out there; check them out and find the one that is right for you.