What is a Customer Experience Map? How to Create an Effective Customer Experience Map

A customer experience map is made up of all of the touchpoints a customer could or does have with your organization as well as the interactions that take place at each touchpoint. Similar to customer journey maps, customer experience maps go one beyond simply mapping the touchpoints, also analyzing customer behavior and customer-brand interactions across all touchpoints and channels. Customer experience maps are usually laid out in a visual form and typically include the marketing, branding and sales processes of a given company. Customer experience maps include many benefits for the overall health of a business.

  • Where do buttons on your top web pages go?
  • What are sales reps saying to prospects?
  • Which content gets the best response?

Questions like these are exactly why creating a customer experience map is important.

Benefits of Using a Customer Experience Map

One of the easiest to identify benefits of using an experience map is, of course, improved sales. That said, there are a number of positives that lead to the result of better revenues. Improving these factors boost the overall health of a company from beginning to end.

These benefits include:

  • Improved Marketing: Understanding where and how potential clients are hearing and interacting with your materials will help you improve the messaging and even reduce ad spend in areas that are unhelpful.
  • Better Sales Training: Knowing which resources and sales content that works best is a powerful tool in the hand of your reps and sales team. Buyer personas can also be much improved leading to better interaction with your team.
  • Improved Customer Retention: An experience map continues past the buying cycle into how a customer interacts with you after becoming a customer. Understanding this stage can improve retention and even sales by encouraging customers to become net promoters

 

Elements and Tools of a Customer Experience Map

There are a number of different “touchpoints” in your organization. Figuring them all out will be easier for some than others. For instance, a small company may only have one ad channel (say Facebook ads). Those ads take leads to a primary landing page. It’s on this page where potential buyers will make a decision.

Other businesses may have complex funnels which include multiple channels, including:

  • Inbound Marketing (SEO, content marketing, etc.)
  • Outbound Marketing (cold call, cold email, direct mail)
  • Current Customers/Referrals (word-of-mouth, upsells, etc.)

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In order to put together an accurate customer experience map, you’ll need to document every way in which site visitors, leads and customers see your brand and materials.

Tools to Use to Generate a Customer Experience Map

In order to find all of the data, you’ll need to use tools. These tools are primarily in a few categories, like software, past records and outreach. Here is a short list of common tools used to gather customer experience data.

  • Analytics (like Google, heatmap tools, speech analytics and customer engagement analytics, etc.)
  • Past communications (like email campaigns, support interactions)
  • Social media (like brand mentions, interactions, etc.)
  • Reviews (like on third-party sites)
  • Outreach (like surveys, personal interviews, etc.)

Creating and Using a Customer Experience Map

Note: It’s important to note that a customer experience map is not how you would like for leads and buyers to interact with your organization.

Visualize the Data

Now that you have so much data, it’s time to put it in visual form. Focusing more on function, rather than design, will help you get the most out of all of the information. In the same way, a spreadsheet often holds more data than an infographic. How you organize the data should resemble the progression your customers make.

 

You may have multiple touchpoints for each step on the way to purchase (and beyond) and all of those points should be listed together. Other items for visualization will come after the actual map is created. For instance, figuring out how your customers feel and ideas for improvement can be included in your map.

Tip: In order to figure out how a customer feels about a touchpoint, you can use the tools mentioned above. For example: If a certain element converts well, it’s likely customers respond well.

Assess the Data

Using things like customer interviews (and the other tools) can give you eye-opening experiences to how visitors view your touchpoints. These notes should also be included on your customer experience map. If visitors to your site are frustrated with load times, it’s obvious site-speed improvements should be made. Or, perhaps customers aren’t impressed with how quickly they hear back from your team. Likely, there can be improvements in support.

Use the Data

One of the most useful benefits from customer experience maps is the ability it gives those creating it to see potential improvements. The process of visualizing where your organization interacts with its customers creates a very clear picture.

Customer Experience Map Examples

Here are a few examples of effective customer experience maps you can draw inspiration from:

  • ProductPlan: First Time User Experience Map – While the example in this post is classified as a customer journey map, it delves into pain points, objections, and questions, as well as insights and opportunities, making it a solid starting point for CX mapping.
  • Niall O’Connor: How to build an experience map – Niall O’Connor provides a comprehensive example of the customer experience mapping process throughout several stages, complete with tips for analyzing your research, grouping behaviors and feelings, and mapping them alongside the buying stage and objectives.
  • Behance: Lancome Brand Journey – This example from Behance showcases Lancome’s brand experience journey, complete with insights on how customers are feeling at each stage in the journey.

Once you have the complete map of how customers are interacting with your brand and processes — it’s up to you to implement the changes and create the map you and your buyers really want.

Have you created a customer experience map for your brand? What elements do you find most essential for improving CX?

 

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