Insight and opinion
Why everyone should try customer experience mapping
We’ve been doing customer experience mapping for a number of years now. Why? With the constant adoption of new technologies and changing buying habits, we’re seeing that customers are increasingly choosing products and services based upon the quality of their experiences with them. Placing an outside-in lens on their behaviour can make a big difference to both your customers and your business.
Firstly, what is a customer experience map?
In short, customer experience maps show why and how customers are interacting with your products and services to achieve a specific goal. They focus on how things are experienced, not how they’re made. We avoid looking at technology, business operations, internal processes at this early stage and selfishly don our customer glasses to see the world through their eyes.
How are they useful?
We’re huge evangelists of experience mapping and can’t stress enough the value of them. A good experience map will allow you to:
- Create a shared frame of reference around the customer experience.
- Build organisational knowledge of customer behaviours and needs across channels.
- Identify specific areas of opportunity to drive ideation and innovation.
- Distribute key customer insights in a form that is both usable and easy to understand.
- Further organisational evolution towards customer-centered thinking.
Adaptive Path – Guide to Experience Mapping
First things first – we’re gonna need a workshop! We’ll also need an enthused UX designer (yours truly) and an obscene amount of post-its. We recommend that the people in your organisation who have regular direct
contact with your customers should attend the workshop. You could argue that they’ll know the customer better than the customer themselves. For example, someone would never put their hand up and admit to having a bad attitude or that they’re vulnerable and need constant support, but your employees may see these behavioural patterns over time.
Once we’ve identified the customer journeys that need attention, we’ll work through them to uncover each stage in the journey that a customer must step through to achieve their goal. At each stage we’ll use the following building blocks to prompt discussion:
The purpose of the workshop is to deepen our understanding of your customers throughout their journey and enable us to capture all insights and observations on how improvements can be made.
Here’s one we made earlier...
Above is an example of one journey that we mapped recently for Rochdale Boroughwide Housing. We’re supporting them with their digital transformation which involves a significant shift from traditional channels such as phone lines and branches to purely digital channels. Experience mapping was an invaluable technique to understand RBH's customers and help us design their future online journeys that must be frictionless and quickly adopted.
The map combines both qualitative and quantitative data and enables us to add breadth and depth to the existing knowledge uncovered in the workshops. This approach gives us opportunity to identify improvements and chart a new course of action to better meet the needs of customers. It ensures we end up with an artefact that can be confidently used to support strategic thinking.
From insight to action
We combine all research, observations and insight to propose the optimum journeys for your customers. Journeys that consider the pain points of the current process, the needs of your customers, your competitors and guiding design principles. Often the number of opportunities for improvement can be overwhelming. It’s a good idea to prioritise, so you can weigh up the effort involved vs the value to your customers and your business.
Every brand and circumstance are different but there are a number of reasons for taking a holistic, human-centered approach to the experiences you’re offering. Often, companies have separate departments who contribute to the same products and services but don’t collaborate well. This lack of interconnectedness can lead to a failure in meeting your customers’ needs.
We’ve used experience mapping to generate insights, support strategic thinking, discover new opportunities and build stronger experiences for the businesses that we partner with. If you’re trying to optimise your customer journeys or would like some experienced UX eyes to review your customer experiences, then please contact our team on 0115 941 2184 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.